Selections of the Month

Selection of the Month: January 2016

East of the Sun 

The North Wind goes over the sea

Peter Christen Asbjørnsen
East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North
Illustrated by Kay Nielsen
London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1924
Gould Library Special Collections

Danish illustrator Kay Nielsen’s lush Art Nouveau watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the fairy tales collected in this volume. As noted in the Preface, “… the exquisite bizarrerie of his drawings aptly expresses the inner-most significance of the old-world, old-wives’ fables.”

In the 1930s, Nielsen moved to California to work for The Walt Disney Company, creating sequences for the animated film, Fantasia. When he returned to Denmark, his illustrations were no longer in demand and he died in poverty. Today, Nielsen is considered one of the finest children’s book illustrators. In 2015, Taschen issued a reprint of the original 1914 edition of East of the Sun and West of the Moon, introducing a new generation of readers to Nielsen’s celebrated drawings.