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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Table That Ran Away To The Woods (The)
by Stefan Themerson
Age Range: 6-8
One day a writing desk grabs two pairs of shoes, runs downstairs and takes flight, escaping into the countryside with its owners in barefoot pursuit. Written in verse, the typography appears in different font sizes with colours that swirl around the images. Some of the illustrations are black and white, expanding across a double-page spread, while others have minimal colour, such as an orange pair of shoes on two of the table legs, or a few green leaves as the table approaches the forest. The simple illustrative style is extremely evocative as the table escapes from the man-made world, finally rejoining the trees from which it originated.
Written and illustrated by Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, who were leading Polish avant-garde artists and film-makers in the 1930s,
Tate Publishing have made The Table that Ran Away to the Woods available to an English-speaking audience for the first time, enabling a new generation of readers to enjoy this exquisite collaged version from 1963. As art historian Nick Wadley says in his accompanying notes at the back of the book it 'has all the innocence of a child's song, as the table dances back to nature, and the liberated typography floats across the page'.
This heart-warming fable is an unusual and highly original book because it not only introduces a different style of art that children may not be familiar with, it also conveys a wit, reminiscent of nonsense verse, and an important message about nature.