Frederick Richardson

Little Peachling by Georgene Faulkner, illustrated by Frederick Richardson

This post is dedicated to Frederick Richardson (1862-1937), very versatile American illustrator, who worked for newspapers, magazines and book publishers, but we can’t neglect another person from Chicago. Richardson worked for such big names as Andrew Lang and Frank Baum, but in my opinion we have to give at least the same amount of credits to his cooperation with Georgene Faulkner.

Georgene Faulkner (1873-1958) was kindergarten teacher, writer and especially storyteller, who had her own radio shows and was known as The Story Lady. Little Peachling is only one of her numerous projects from the field of world folklore. She explored Russian, English, Indian, Italian and in this particular case Japanese fairy tales. She tried to introduce different cultures to her audience what is not so simple as somebody may believe. Her (American) young audience should understand stories from other worlds and times, so she had to use adapted vocabulary and certain simplifications, but still preserve the essence of the stories. This kind of project definitely demanded healthy amount of adaptability and proper illustrations can be of great help.


Well, Frederick Richardson was without doubt the right illustrator to do the job. Experts, who like to put everybody in right compartments classify him as a member of Art Nouveau movement what is clearly visible in all black and white drawings in the book Little Peachling and Other Tales from Old Japan, but he also liked to experiment and show how much he knows (he was an art teacher for seven years after all, so certain amount of showiness is acceptable and understandable). He even parodied van Gogh and Gaugin! Illustrating so diverse works as Andersen’s Fairy Tales, Aesop’s Fables, Norway Folktales, Collodi’s Pinocchio and numerous schoolbooks, variation of the style was probably expected too.

Little Peachling gave Richardson a chance to experiment with Japanese style and we can see results right here.

picture of japanese storyteller

Let’s check the stories one by one.

Little Peachling

black and white illustration of little peachling

full page color illustration of little peachling

color illustration of little peachling

The Two Frogs

illustration of two frogs by frederick richardson

The Wonderful Tea-Kettle

wonderful teakettle by frederick richardson

wonderful tea kettle by frederick richardson

the wonderful tea kettle by frederick richardson

The Mirror of Matsuyama

illustration of mirror of matsuyama

mirror of matsuyama by frederick richardson

The Prince of the Reed Plains

prince of reed plains by frederick richardson

full page illustration of the prince of the reed plains

prince of reed plains illustrated by richardson

Chin-Chin Kobakama


full page illustration chin chin kobakama frederick richardson

color illustration of chin chin kobakama

The Boastful Bamboo Tree

illustration of boastful bamboo tree

frederick richardson boastful bamboo tree

black and white illustration boastful bamboo tree


frederick richardson illustration of schippeitaro

schippeitaro illustrated by frederick richardson

black and white illustration schippeitaro

The Tongue-Cut Sparrow

the tongue cut sparrow richardson

richardson the tongue-cut sparrow

The Wonderful Waterfall

the wonderful waterfall color illustration

full page color illustration of the wonderful waterfall

black and white illustration the wonderful waterfall

The Stone-Cutter

black and white illustration by frederick richardson the stone-cutter

full page color illustration by frederick richardson the stone-cutter

half page color illustration by frederick richardson the stone-cutter

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the trip in the land of Japanese imagination. I am sure Frederick Richardson’s skills helped a lot!

black and white vignette little peachling

little peachling georgene faulkner frederick richardson

Frederick Richardson is an illustrator who deserves to be remembered.


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