Mapping Instructions

When I was much younger my  yearly visit to the family Dentist’s office would allow me to once again, stare intently at what I remember as,  a large wall sized print that depicted a stylized map of Nursery Rhyme Land. After years and years and many visits to the same office I could almost literally walk around in that drawn landscape, in a vain effort, of course, to not think about the inevitable drilling for cavities that was soon to come.

Over the years I’ve made some feeble attempts to locate a copy of that map (my Dentist has long ago, closed shop and retired) but so far no luck.

Now every time I start an elaborate scene (think the Faerie Market scenes in Stardust or the Books of Magic mini) I try to capture the elusive magic that enveloped that map.

The opening spread to my new book, Instructions has a ‘map’ of the events depicted in Neil’s poem. The reader wont know it their first time through, but the landscape that they are about to travel is all there in that one image:

Instructions-pg-2&3-blogEdited to add: It’s around 8.30 on Sunday night and guess what? I’ve just finished the last piece of art for Instructions. 40 paintings since the first of July. I should pat myself on my back if  that is, I could actually lift my arms…

So I thought it would be fun to scan in a few more such maps. Here’s one drawn by Walt Kelly as a back cover to his absolutely delightfull comic book series, Fairy Tale Parade. This series was produced in the mid 1940’s, after he left the Disney Studios but before he started Pogo.


Then there’s this one by the very eccentric British illustrator, Sydney Sime:


And here’s one that I found on the internet. It’s a endpaper for some nameless book but delightful none the less:


Sadly that’s all I have for now. If you’ve got a good scan of any others, please feel free to send them along and I’ll add it to this post.

And now, there’s never any reason to get lost in Fairyland is there?



2 Responses to “Mapping Instructions”

  1. strugglingwriter says:

    Wow Charles. Thank you so much for these maps. The maps portion of a book is always my favorite part. I hope you can track down that map from your dentist office someday. Very much looking forward to “Instructions”.


  2. lbc42 says:

    Someone has a very interesting poster of a fairyland map up on ebay – I wonder if this would be col for your collection?

    Very much looking forward to your book!

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