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Kay Druce Kay Druce i(A42687 works by)
Born: Established: 1906 Montreal, Quebec,
Gender: Female
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Kay Druce, who lived in Australia after World War II, produced a large volume of illustrated fantasies for children during the decade 1940-1950. Her artistic style, high volume output, genre and presumably audience popularity can be compared to Connie Christie (q.v.).

Both women explored the commercial possibilities for their children's books during the same decade but in different states. The Melbourne based Christie produced colourful, simple fantasies that capitalised on the 'cute' factor in their visual representation with adventures associated with the sea. The Sydney based Druce enjoyed market appeal based around adventures down on the farm placing her regular characters, Popsy and Little Duffy, on picnics, visiting the zoo or going fishing. In both cases these fantasies were supplemented by books of nursery rhymes, European based fairytales and annual cumulations.

The characters portrayed in these books are universally rosy-cheeked, often accompanied by anthropomorphic companions capitalising on an audience appeal to cuteness. The imagery combined with their printing on low grade paper has meant that their contribution to Australia's literary history has been overlooked in the past. Like the publishing dynamo, John Mystery (q.v.), who dominated the Sydney children's book market for cheaply acquired fantasies between the late 1930s and 1950, the importance of these items has been too easily dismissed. However, Druce's children's books and illustrations are highly significant to the history of Australian publishing for children, especially in regard to the changing nature of the children's literature genre around the time of World War II.

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Last amended 22 Sep 2008 18:27:08
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