Comparing Illustrations of H. A. and Margret Rey's Opposites

Comparing Illustrations of H. A. and Margret Rey's Opposites

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Comparing Illustrations of H. A. and Margret Rey's Opposites and Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit


Margret Rey and husband H.A. Rey are well known for their writing and illustrating the Curious George books. This paper is going to look at the way H. A. and Margret Rey and Beatrix Potter as authors and illustrators use images to express their feelings through these characters. H. A. and Margret Rey's Opposites, and Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit will be compared and contrasted.

These two authors H. A Rey and Beatrix Potter has created two similar characters. Curious George and Peter Rabbit seem to find mischef wherever they go. There are also some distinct differences between these two books. In Margret Rey's Opposites, husband H. A. uses cartoon looking characters making the illustrations interesting giving it a feeling of fantasy. The characters in this book are all smiling and the colors seem to be more bright and vivid to catch the readers eye. The color yellow to me represents George's curiosity. This bright yellow also makes for a focal point in many of the Curious George books. For example in Curious George's Opposites bright yellow is represented on the majority of the pages. From a small flower taking up just a little area to the pigpen which takes up most of the page. To me this shows the importance or trademark of the yellow in Curious George series. Another book H.A. and Margret wrote was Curious George the original. This book is dealing with similar characteristics. Curious George becomes curious when he sees that yellow hat lying on the ground. Again the characters are more fantasy like. The faces are all smiling which represents how this is an unrealistic story. Rey tends to use this kind of illustration to show how this is more of fantasy writing and not so realistic. He also uses round shapes rather than pointed or jagged representing innocence. As Curious George seems to be so innocent when he gets into this mischef.

Another character that is curious and is always getting into mischef is Peter in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. In this book Beatrix Potter uses a different type of illustrations than does H.A. and Margret Rey.

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Beatrix uses more life like illustration with softer earth tone colors that help to bring out the more life like scenes. For instance, Peter Rabbit is a brownish color while there are light blues, greens, tans, oranges and black representing a more natural feeling. Peter does have some unrealistic features, for example, his and his family's outfit. Peter's wardrobe consists of shoes and a jacket. These outfits are an unrealistic part of this story because most rabbit that I know of do not wear any type of clothes. This illustrates the imagination of Beatrix Potter. With Peter Rabbit there are more rounded shapes used. The only objects that were used in the book that could cause harm were the jagged and sharp rake and the shovel. The jagged and sharp objects causing harm came from the Molly Bang theory.

Both of these books are written in similar text but differ in their illustrations. The main difference in these books is that the color that is used is much different. The Curious George books use more bright unrealistic colors while The Tale of Peter Rabbit uses the more natural quiet colors. There are also illustrations that are similar. For instance the way that the authors only use parts of the page. The pictures do not cover the entire page but rather only a portion. This makes the style of illustration more direct. Since these books are for such a younger audience having the details in the pictures helps the children to understand the words. The authors both tend to write in a more friendly way using more rounded illustrations to depict their work. Both books also end on a good note leaving it up to the imagination of the reader to wander what mischief these two character's will come up with next. Overall the authors have similar ideas about the content and the way the illustrations are displayed among the books.

Works Cited:

Rey, Margret. Curious George's Opposites. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941.

Rey, H.A. Curious George. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941

Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1902
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