I love these books so much! And was delighted to find that Phaidon just reissued them. I think Bob Gill is a genius. He was a freelance illustrator in New York before he moved to London in 1960 — where he started a design firm that eventually became Pentagram(!). What a cool guy. I love that he has both Pentagram and awesome children’s books on his resumé. Nice.
In A Balloon for A Blunderbuss a child starts with a butterfly and imagines what he could trade it for. A butterfly for a wishbone. A wishbone for a flag. A flag for a straw hat. A straw hat for a green umbrella. Until eventually he figures out a way to trade for everything-in-the-world.
In What Colour is Your World? there is a simple discussion of how different people view color. A gardener would see things in green. A milkman would see the world in white. And an artist might view color altogether differently.
The style and illustrations are perfection — authentically retro cool. These books would make great gifts for the children of any artsy parents you know.