The Pere Castor albums were published by Flammarion in France from 1931 onwards and were aimed at children aged 1-10. They were conceived and launched by Paul Faucher (1898-1967), a radical editor who was deeply immersed in the New Education movement led by pioneers such as Frantisek Bakule and Piaget. The New Educationalists believed strongly that learners needed to be actively involved in constructing their own knowledge, and that learning could not simply be transmitted by an authority teacher figure.
Faucher drew markedly upon the artistic avant-garde of Russian and Eastern European emigres. His art director was the Ukrainian Nathalie Parain (1897-1958), who had studied in Moscow and bought with her a fresh uncluttered approach to children’s book illustration and design. Many of the Pere Castor volumes were illustrated by artists such as Faucher’s wife, the Czech artist Lida Durdikova (1899-1955), and the Russian illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky (1891-1970) , often known as ‘Rojan’. The series continues to this day with new writers and illustrators. Over 2000 volumes are now published, and there is even a French animated cartoon.
We hold four Pere Castor volumes from the Wild Animals series in English translation: Mischief the Squirrel, Frou the Hare, Scaf the Seal, and Quipic the Hedgehog.
- Browse the Pere Castor albums in our catalogue
- View digitised books on Plants and Animals from our collections