Inspiration Monday: The Table That Ran Away to the Woods

This is one of those books that completely catches you off guard- the cover looks sophisticated, even serious, and the illustrations are quirky, mature but playful and just plain different. The Table That Ran Away to the Woods was first published in a Polish newspaper in 1940 and then re-created in book form in 1963. A husband and wife duo, Stefan and Franciszka Themerson are known for their avantgarde filmmaking, writing, and artwork. In this story, a table used as a writing desk escapes its domestic lifestyle to literally re-root itself in the woods. The most striking image for me was one of the desk with a leaf growing out of an ink-stain on the table’s surface. Writing a children’s book has recently become a fantasy of mine and I love how a fairly classic story of returning to nature is made into a playful and beautifully rendered book for children and adults alike. Upon further research, I discovered that Franciszka Themerson’s illustrations are expansive and beautiful, and most often use the simplest of lines to evoke such playful images. I’ve always been fond of working in black and white, and she certainly proves that it’s not necessary to use an excess of color to be playful and fun with illustration.

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