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The US illustrations and their meanings

Argulor May 24, 2013 User blog:Argulor

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I've long noticed that in the U.S., the illustrations for the books often are of things that have little meaning to do with the chapter. This is especially the case in the earlier books. Sure, there are frequently ones of characters, but considering Jacques' love for numerous, untitled chapters, there are just as many that seem rather irrelevant.

Take, for example, in Redwall, Chapter 10 of Book Two: "The Quest". In the U.S., the chapter heading is an illustration of a dog, even though those don't exist in the Redwall universe. Or what of chapter 10 of Mariel of Redwall, which appears to show a monkey in a chef's hat?

Things got better when Allan Curless took over, but they still weren't as good as the Russian illustrations. For example, what is the illustration for Chapter 30 in "Outcast of Redwall" of, exactly?

It's not that the U.S. illustrations are bad; but the Russian ones actually seem to give a darn about what's happening, whereas the U.S. ones only vaguely relate to what happens in that particular chapter.

In my opinion, David Elliot was by far the best illustrator for the U.S. editions. Still, I think it would be only fair if there were editions here in the U.S. that contained the Russian illustrations. The Russian ones have a magic to them that, sadly, many American and British readers are completely ignorant of.

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