Jan Lewitt


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(1907–1991), Polish-born illustrator and designer. Before moving to London in 1937, Lewitt and his design partner, George Him, had earned an international reputation through their work for magazines such as Gebrauchsgraphik, and through their innovative illustrations in the picture book Lokomotywa (1934) by Julien Tuwim. One of their first books in English, Diana Ross's The Little Red Engine Gets a Name (1942), was an artistic success. Part of its appeal was that it provided a spot of color, epitomized by the red engine itself, on an otherwise dreary wartime picture- book scene. The printing was also first-rate, bringing out the potential of the picture book medium. As a pioneering work, this book, and others such as The Football's Revolt (1939), brought children's illustration up to date with what was happening in contemporary design and art: the influence of Cubism and Surrealism can be seen, and the level of abstraction is high.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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