The Marvellous Mr Sivko

When I was very little I was given a book called ‘Modern Tales and Fables’. Published in 1967, it had a thrilling colour wheel on the front and a crazy mixture of surreal Czech stories inside. From the sad tale of a singing dead light bulb to the boy who planted his grandfather and grew a tree full of new ones, I loved them – and the illustrations, by Vaclav Sivko, I loved most of all. There was a pull-out page where a hippo grew a giraffe’s neck, Victorian collage mixed with loose scribbles and a definitely somewhat psychedelic atmopshere to the whole book – it was the late 60s, after all.

More recently I tracked down another book illustrated by Sivko, though this time it’s in Czech so I can’t understand the stories. But I still love the pictures, very much. So here are a few favourite spreads to share…

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