October 23, 2012

John Alcorn: Books!

I was very delighted to find a review copy of this one in our letterbox today:


It's the Italian edition of "Books!", written by Murray McCain and illustrated by great graphic designer and illustrator John Alcorn. Topipittori just republished this book, which was originally published in 1962 in the U.S. Valentina from the Italian publisher told me, that they have heard about this title from a friend, Marta Sironi, at the University of Milan. The university recently acquired all the drawings and materials from Alcorn's heirs. When Marta showed them the title, they immediately fell in love with "Books!" and decided to republish it. What a good decision!


"A classic by a great American graphic designer and illustrator, who revolutionized the image and style of Italian publishing in the 1970s: John Alcorn. A small book aimed at children: a hymn of love for books and reading, words, literature: the intelligence that espresses the best of what man is and can do since ten thousand years ago. A gem of irresistible beauty - for its design, illustrations and spirit - that challenges the pervasive dominance of the new technologies and reaffirms the charm without equal of the books."


As the title implies: "Books!" is about books. By playing with letters and punctuation characters in a very smart and funny way it explains: "WHAT is a book?" Really love this definition: "A book is full of surprises, feelings and learning and what growing up is like and loving and all the really big things there are." With its striking fonts and bright illustrations it's really fun! And it works for children (who start reading) as well as for grown-ups. 


In the late 1950s John Alcorn worked at the famous Push Pin Studios in New York City. Much more about him on this site.


"Books!" will be on sale also in French, Korean and Spanish. Hopefully it will be republished in English as well soon. Buy a copy in Italian here. More books by Topipittori this way!