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Janet & Anne Grahame Johnstone 
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Phil, Wood's "King Of The World" wasn't aimed at kids. It was for college-age Tolkien fans.

The Johnstones' later illustrations remind me a bit of Pauline Baynes, who had a similar medieval flatness. I like "flat" art, it's the way I normally draw.


Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:07 pm
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I've just bought (for the princely sum of 40p!) a book illustrated by the Grahame Johnstone's. It's called "happy ever after" and was published in 1969 by Young World Publications.

I am away from my scanner so no pictures sorry.

I also acquired "time for tales" illustrated by Ronald Embleton in the same shop, and there was at least one more volume "nightingale tales".

Anyone know anything about them? Are they from the same source material or were they all brand new stuff????


Thanks in advance

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:09 pm
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Just acquired a load of original art produced by the amazing Johnstone twins for Finding Out magazine during the 1960s (some of their best work IMHO). It cost an arm and a leg but I'm over the moon! :)


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Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:23 am
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philcom55 wrote:
Just acquired a load of original art produced by the amazing Johnstone twins for Finding Out magazine during the 1960s
To my eyes, Phil, that looks just like a photograph. A remarkable achievement.


Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:28 pm
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Ahem! :) ...Leaving aside their astonishing photorealist skills here's a nicely stylized page from 'Goldenmane' - a black & white comic strip serial the sisters drew for Robin in the early 1960s. As can be seen Janet (who specialized in any animals that appeared in their work) had a remarkable talent for drawing horses!


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Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 pm
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...And here's a full-colour Robin centre-spread from the same period which features the uniquely elfin-featured children they became famous for.


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Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:08 pm
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nice work.

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Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:21 pm
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philcom55 wrote:
...And here's a full-colour Robin centre-spread from the same period which features the uniquely elfin-featured children they became famous for.

Think I had a nursery rhyme book with that art in it - certainly it links in my mind with a version of 'Pop goes the weasel' so it could possibly have been a music book.

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Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:37 pm
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Yes. Over the years they produced numerous books of Nursery Rhymes, Fairy Tales, Bible Stories, etc. for publishers like Dean - all filled with Anne's distinctive tousel-haired children. There can't have been many people who grew up in Britain during the second half of the 20th century without being exposed to their work at an early age, from the original episodes of Watch With Mother on TV until Anne's final, exquisite illustrations for A Year Of Poetry in 1997.


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Last edited by philcom55 on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:26 pm
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The first episode of 'The Enchanted Book' - another of the rarely-seen Fairy Tale strips that the Johnstone sisters drew for Robin during the early 1960s.

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Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:16 pm
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...And here's another of their idyllic Robin centrespreads. It's weird to think that I was the same age as these happy urchins when this appeared! :)

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Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:38 pm
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The cover of an early Watch With Mother book featuring Janet and Anne's own versions of Bill and Ben, Andy Pandy, Teddy, Looby Loo, and Rag, Tag and Bobtail.

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Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:50 pm
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I couldn't resist adding yet another of the Johnstones' Robin centrespreads (which the sisters drew on an alternating basis with a number of other artists). While I've never been a particular fan of the tradition of child illustration established by Kate Greenaway and continued by the likes of Mabel Lucie Attwell (both of whom were a clear influence on Janet and Anne's oeuvre) I can't help being impressed by the masterful sense of design and movement displayed in these charming scenes.

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Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:02 pm
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And if anyone is interested, here is a copy of Tales of Ancient Greece that the owner is interested in selling.

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Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:24 pm
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philcom55 wrote:
The cover of an early Watch With Mother book featuring Janet and Anne's own versions of Bill and Ben, Andy Pandy, Teddy, Looby Loo, and Rag, Tag and Bobtail.
You should ashamed of yourself Phil for not mentioning (to me!) that Raymond Sheppard did some work in this book (which I've owned for quite a while). Check out my blog article. Your punishment is to scan all the Black Beauty strips in the first volume of Girl for me...PLEASE!


Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:30 pm
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