Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Some selected drawings from the children's book PETER PLANTS A POCKETFUL, written and drawn by Aaron Fine. It's copyright 1955 by the Oxford University Press. As you can see, this is from an old, discarded well-loved library book. I bought it for a dollar at a thrift store in Maine. What an old kids book from a San Bernadino, CA elementary school is doing at the other end of the country some sixty years later, I don’t know. But I was glad to discover it.

STORY: Peter and his family, for reasons not spelled out in the story, has to move three blocks away from his old house. (It could be eminent domain, but I am just supposing.) Now, before that happens, he plants the title “pocketful of seeds.” His old house is demolished. The seasons pass. Winter comes and goes. A concrete playground is poured on the grounds of Peter’s former house. And, workmanship being what it is in a contract-goes-to-the-lowest-bidder public works matter (Perhaps a topic for another book in the Peter series.), a crack appears. You can see it right there next to the teeter totter.

Turns out it’s a sunflower, left over from Peter’s planting of a year ago. Oh, and, “many, many weeds – a whole pocketful!”

Aaron Fine did a wonderful job on the look of this book, like I said. Each one of theses pages is an outstanding graphic, created in two tones. But, then I started looking for more about Aaron Fine. There is nothing on the Internet about him or about other books or other art that I could find.

I would be glad to discover that I am wrong, though!

My scans of the gatefold are incomplete. Sorry about that.


Rodrigo Baeza said...

Thanks for posting this, Mike. I found some additional info about Aaron Fine: it seems he's better known for his posters for Pan American airlines (some of these can be found on Tumblr and/or Pinterest), that he was a friend of Andy Warhol, and that he died of cancer in 1962.


Mike Lynch said...

My sincere thanks for this bounty of information on Aaron Fine! Those posters are STUNNING!