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Classic Children's Books by Alain Grée

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Cover

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 7 (first page with text)

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 8

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 9

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 10

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 11

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 12

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 19

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 21

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 22

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 23

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 24

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Page 25

Alain Grée made "In De Tuin" (in the garden) in 1968. The above title was published by Casterman and was sold in Belgium from 1968 to 1978. The main characters in this book are Marijke en Piet (they are named Achille & Bergamote in the French and English editions). The same book was published in several other languages as well including Arabian, German, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Iranian, Italian, Croatian, Portuguese, Serbian and Spanish. Alain Grée is responsible for both the drawings and the text. The text of the above book is in Dutch (which is pretty much the same as Flemish). The author of this article receive this book as a birthday gift in 1976.

You can purchase his vintage children's books on abebooks.com. Most of the vintage books are available from bookstores in Belgium and France, the two countries where his books were extremely popular. For years now we have been waiting for a publisher to re-release these brilliant children's books. But until this happens, we are going to scan some of these publications from our own collection before they are lost in eternity.

We have always loved the work of French illustrator Alain Grée whos wonderful children's books captured the imagination of French, Belgian and Dutch children during the 1960's and 1970's. A very limited selection of his work was briefly published in the USA by Hart Publishers. But Alain Grée's work remains pretty much unknown. That is a shame because the drawings he made are real pearls.

His illustrations are characterized by their educational and very peaceful nature. We always thought it is a good idea to show children "beautiful things" rather than "ugly things". Sounds pretty normal until you realize that three-year olds in kindergarten are watching Transformers at home.

Masterpieces like Alain Grée's work are incredible hard to improve upon. It would be like re-designing the wheel, it just cannot get any better. And this leads to our final questions: shouldn't mankind preserve its classic gems rather than abandon them for new but often far inferior improvements. Is destruction creative when it looses focus of this reality? Our immediate history hints towards the answers (destruction of New Yorks Penn Station in 1963, partial destruction and modification of Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal and far more importantly: the increasing biodiversity loss of animal- and plant life).

The book has some beautiful detailed illustrations about the four seasons:

Spring by Alain Grée

Summer by Alain Grée

Fall by Alain Grée

Winter by Alain Grée

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Detail from Page 16

Alain Grée, In De Tuin, Detail from Page 28

All images credit source: nova68.com

The French illustrator and author Alain Grée was born on July, 21st 1936 in Eaubonne near Paris. He married to Monique in 1960 at Balbigny (Loire) and has 2 children. He studied in Paris at the "Ecole des Arts Appliqués" (atelier d'Art Graphique) and at the "Beaux Arts de Paris". He is the author of three detective novels ("La Chouette" editions) and produced children’s broadcasts on the French national television for two years.

As an author and illustrator of children's books, Alain Grée published over 300 books for several editors (Casterman, Hachette, etc.), most of which in the 1960s and 70s. His books were translated around the world into 20 different languages. In that same period, Alain Grée made the concept and artwork for 12 educational board games for children, issued by Nathan.

He also worked as an illustrator for "Pomme d'Api" and "Journal de Babar" magazines. Later he created 10 books as initiation works to ship navigation for Gallimard editions. He was also a journalist for the "Voiles et Voiliers" (sailing ships) magazine for 20 years and is currently
working as a graphic designer and editor of advertising publications.

Alain Grée recently remastered some of his earlier children’s books for the Japanese book editions of Geneon Entertainment Inc. and is now working closely together with RicoBel to develop the Alain Grée license further throughout the world.

His main hobby and passion are sailing ; he has owned several sailing ships since the 1970's on which he has crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice ; he made many sailing trips all over the world while working on new children's stories and illustrations on board.

Alain Grée is currently represented by Ricobel. If you are a publisher who wishes to re-release his books, please contact Ricobel for further information.