Issue Details: First known date: 1991... 1991 Robert Ingpen and 'Imaginative Space': Tradition and Invention in The Idle Bear
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Bradford discusses The Idle Bear (Ingpen: 1986), with attention to what Robert Ingpen describes as the 'imaginative space' of children's picture books: 'To preserve the lively glow of juvenile imagination and fancy is the Art of Children's Literature. It is also the Art of Imaginative Space' (Ingpen in Bradford: 251). The expression 'imaginative space' refers to 'the traditions of fantasy and fantastic worlds' as well as 'works of literature and art which draw upon these traditions' and illuminate 'man's power to create and invent' (251). Bradford points out that Ingpen's concept of imaginative space refers to both 'the power of tradition and the revitalizing capacity of invention' and goes on to state that, 'The Idle Bear provides a fine example of the ways in which Robert Ingpen blends tradition and invention drawing on literary and artistic traditions to produce a work of marked freshness and originality' (251). The text reads as a philosophical 'exploration of ideas through order and logic' (252) and Bradford's critique highlights how intertextuality and the interplay between verbal text and visual image are used to comment upon old age and memory: 'The Idle Bear is one of those picture books which defies easy definition, for its meanings are embodied in the texture and narrative structure of words and pictures, and in the complex interactions which we perceive them' (254).

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Last amended 23 Apr 2008 14:30:05
251-254 Robert Ingpen and 'Imaginative Space': Tradition and Invention in The Idle BearAustLit Children's Literature Association Quarterly