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As Autumn begins, I find myself soaking up the sight of every last butterfly. Once the winter sets in and we get some snow, all of the little signs of garden life disappear until the sun comes out again in the Spring.
It is no wonder I have found myself revisiting one of my favorite children’s book illustrators.
Ernst Kreidolf’s illustrations are centered around the tiny world of insects and flowers. They abandon the literal world of the garden to explore the fairyland of childhood imagination.
Ernst Kreidolf was born in Berne, Switzerland in 1863 and was one of seven children. After an apprenticeship in lithography, Kreidolf attended the Munich School of Arts and Crafts and the Munich Art Academy.
In 1898, Kreidolf published his first children’s book, Blumenmaerchen or Flower Fairytale. He continued to publish children’s books until 1934.
His illustrations pull back the veil of the average garden to reveal a world inhabited by fairies, anthropomorphized flowers, and insects. It’s a world that every child knows exists even if most adults have forgotten it.
His illustrations give that dancing feeling one has in early Spring, as the flowers begin to peek out of their buds and the ladybugs celebrate the arrival of sunshine.
So, until our mountain fairyland is revived in Spring, I think I will crawl inside of Kreidolf’s world and stay awhile.
If you are interested in learning more about Ernst Kreidolf’s life, read this in-depth artist biography.
If you love this, be sure to explore more antique book illustrations on