Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Frogs in fairy tales, folk tales or folk songs (IV)

Let’s continue our exploration of stamps picturing frogs in children tales. After the characters of the tales from Grimm Brothers, from HC Andersen and from Jean De La Fontaine, the next one to mention if Jeremy Fisher, the frog character created by Beatrix Potter.
Helen Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) was an English author but also an illustrator and mycologist. She is well known for her children’s books which featured animal characters. She has published 23 children’s book, the first one being published in 1902 and featuring her most famous character Peter Rabbit.I don’t think she actually appears on a stamp, but her picture can be seen on the cover of a prestige booklet dedicated to her and issued by Great Britain in 1993.

Great Britain 1993 - Scott #BK158
(To be noted that even though the price of £6 is written on the cover, the booklet was sold for £5.64 the total amount of the face values of the stamps it contains).

In 1906, Beatrix Potter published “The Tale of Jeremy Fisher”, a book that tells the adventures of a frog, Jeremy Fisher, that goes fishing for minnows for supper but finally gives up after a succession of unforeseen events (such as being swallowed by a trout and spat out again !).
Jeremy Fisher appears on a stamp issued by Great Britain in 2006 has a part of a common stamp issue with USA about children’s tales.

Great Britain 2006 - Scott #2334
He also appears on a stamp from the isle of Man, also issued in 2006.

Isle of Man 2006 - Scott #1171d
This stamp is a part of a souvenir sheet illustrating various tales of Beatrix Potter and picturing also a portrait of the author in the margin of the sheet.

Isle of Man 2006 - Scott #1171

Tales from Beatrix Potter are widely known and have inspired several movies (animated or not) or theatre plays. Her illustrations are also very well known and can be found on various objects for children. I personally own a music box that pictures Jeremy Fisher fishing ! A very nice item !

Another famous frog character is Mr Toad, created by Kenneth Grahame in his book “The wind in the willows”.
Kenneth Grahame (1859 – 1932) was a British writer. He was born in Edinburgh (Scotland) but quickly moved to England. He started his career as an employee of the Bank of England in 1879, but he retired after the publication of his book “The wind in the willows” in 1908. This book had such a big success that it made his fortune.
The book tells the story of four main animal characters : Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad and Badger.
Mr. Toad is wealthy. He often wears tweed suits. He is the owner of Toad Hall,. He is impulsive and self-satisfied. He is prone to obsessions for things that he quickly becomes bored with and drops.
Mr. Toad is pictured, together with Mole, on a stamp from Great Britain issued in 1979 for the International Year of Children.

Great Britain 1979 - Scott #1482

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