Elizabeth Cleaver, William Toye, and Oxford University Press: Creating the Canadian Picturebook

By Saltman, Judith; Edwards, Gail et al. | Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

Elizabeth Cleaver, William Toye, and Oxford University Press: Creating the Canadian Picturebook


Saltman, Judith, Edwards, Gail, book, children's, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada


In a series of four Aboriginal stories published in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Oxford University Press Canada, William Toye, the influential editor at the Press, and Elizabeth Cleaver, artist and illustrator, worked together to create the first full-colour picturebooks with identifiable Canadian themes and images. This fruitful collaboration between Toye and Cleaver, and its role in nurturing Cleaver's career as an innovative children's book illustrator, is an important part of the history of the development of Canadian children's book publishing.

William Toye as Children's Book Editor

As trade editor at Oxford University Press Canada, Toye played a significant role in the growth of Canadian children's book publishing in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He had been inspired by the fine illustration, design, and writing in the British parent firm's children's list, and determined to create books of similar quality in Canada. As Toye stated, at the time "there were a number of Canadian children's books, but they weren't very good ones." (2)

Toye determined to remedy the situation by seeking out and nurturing fine illustrators who would add a level of visual pleasure to Oxford Canada's books for children. The majority of illustrations in these early books were in black and white, sometimes highlighted with spot colour, limited in number, and distributed throughout the text. A self-taught book designer, Toye was responsible for their distinctive modern look, and in some cases wrote or rewrote the texts. (3) Oxford illustrators of the 1950s and 1960s included Theo Dimson (James McNeill's The Sunken City and Other Tales from Round the World, 1959; The Double Knights, 1964), Donald Grant (Dorothy M. Reid's Tales of Nanabozho, 1963), John A. Hall (Cyrus Macmillan's Glooskap's Country and Other Indian Tales, 1956), Arthur Price (Marius Barbeau and Michael Hornyansky's The Golden Phoenix and Other French-Canadian Fairy Tales, 1958), and Leo Rampen (William Toye's The St Lawrence, 1959; Anne Wilkinson's Swann & Daphne, 1960).

The genre of the picturebook, in which text and illustration are fully integrated, was slow to develop in Canada, primarily due to the high production costs of printing in full colour and the limited number of experienced illustrators who could work with the cumbersome process of manual colour separations. Just as he had challenged the perception that Canadian children's illustrated books were dull and pedestrian, Toye collaborated with talented artists with European experience in book design to create picturebooks comparable in quality to those published in England and the United States. Frank Newfeld was already an established graphic artist when Toye asked him to illustrate The Princess of Tomboso: A Fairy-Tale in Pictures (1960) in full colour and black and white, with a text based on a folktale from Marius Barbeau's The Golden Phoenix, and Other French-Canadian Fairy Tales (Oxford, 1958). Toye and Newfeld later collaborated on Simon and the Golden Sword (1976), an adaptation of a Canadian fairy-tale first told by Wilmot MacDonald. Laszlo Gal, who had worked as a set designer for the CBC, and had illustrated books for the Italian publisher Mondadori in the 1960s, created meticulously researched full-colour paintings for Toye's Cartier Discovers the St Lawrence (1970), a unique illustrated picturebook of Canadian history.

Toye's involvement with the Friends of the Toronto Public Library's Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books resulted in the first publication of An Illustrated Comic Alphabet (1966), a hand-lettered text illustrated with humorous and delicate drawings by Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon. Although Howard-Gibbon had created the work in Ontario in 1859, the manuscript, which is considered Canada's first picturebook, had never been published, and its issue stimulated interest in the historical study of Canadian children's book illustration. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Elizabeth Cleaver, William Toye, and Oxford University Press: Creating the Canadian Picturebook
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.