The Diverting History of John Gilpin

R. Caldecott Collection of Pictures and Songs by Randolph Caldecott cover, several men riding horses and carrying banners

The Diverting History of John Gilpin

Written by Randolph Caldecott

England, Warne, 1896

8.5" x 9.25"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

This stirring but also richly comic illustration of a man astride a runaway horse is the image reprised in bronze on the Caldecott Medal. It exemplifies the artist's knack for pressing drawing to the point of animation. Maurice Sendak, the 1964 Caldecott Medal recipient for Where the Wild Things Are, especially prized this aspect of the artist's work: "The word quicken, I think, best suggests the genuine spirit of Caldecott's animation, ... the surging swing into action that I consider an essential quality in pictures for children's books."


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Art of the Picture Book
Randolph Caldecott
The Diverting History of John Gilpin