Babes in the Woods

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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Baby’s First Book is, asserts the publisher, filled with the most common objects in a baby’s world. “Notice how a baby always responds to the one familiar thing in a picture.” Well, that makes sense. “The baby needs to learn about things as they are, and simple, accurate pictures to help him.”

This black and white book of photographs is the anti-picture book of 1932. And visually opposite to Garth Williams’ 1959 book of the same name. No stylization, no conceptualization, no safety concerns (see the knife and bread and the hammer and nails). Just the everyday objects a baby discovers as it matures. “The camera has been used because it portrays them truly.”

And check out the curious choice of children’s books in the photo titled “books.”

Fascinating concept, though. What if there was no such thing as styling? What if all books were photographed like snap shots? How many of us would be out of a job? And would the public really care?