Paul Rand designed and illustrated four children’s books with his wife, Ann Rand, as author. Little 1, I Know A Lot of Things and Sparkle and Spin are joy and play in a Modernist idiom. They’ve also been republished several times each, including a program by Princeton Architectural Press that includes books by Seymour Chwast, Saul Bass and Paula Scher.
My favorite, for the carefree energy of its illustration and the intelligence of its story, is Listen! Listen!, which has recently been added to the same PAP series. The casual yet deliberate use of drawing and collage reveals Rand at his intuitive comedic best. Each spread is a Paul Klee homage in Rand’s signature style. I won’t give away the editorial conceit but its safe to say that kids picture books are certainly not just for kids anymore — the young will be enthralled and the old(er) will be wondrous.
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