Paddington Bear and The Herbs Sage?

Firstly thanks for all your comments from various people over the last weeks, glad to see there are so many Ivor Wood fans out there. They’ve been great to receive and I’m finally getting a chance to reply to them so my apologies for this. Also thanks to all the new followers, it’s so great to have you all on board as we delve into Ivor Wood’s archive.

This weeks post is more of an observation than anything else. I was flicking through Paddington’s Loose End Book the other day and stumbled across his idea for the letter ‘O’. The book details activities and crafts to do at each letter of the alphabet and when it gets to ‘O’ Paddington suggests creating your very own Owl. A very odd idea indeed but when you take a look at the picture it starts to make sense…

…is that Sage from The Herbs?

Owls - Paddingtons Loose End Book, Illustrated by Ivor Wood

Owls – Paddingtons Loose End Book, Illustrated by Ivor Wood

This  might be one of those things that we never find out and I have no idea how much input Ivor had in the creation of the content of the book. However the author, Michael Bond, also famously wrote and created The Herbs so pretty sure this isn’t a coincidence. It’s the only cross-reference I’ve ever seen so thought it’s be good to share with you all. Especially for all those Herbs fans out there.

 

Parsley Parade – Storybook Illustrations

Hello to everyone, it’s been really busy at work over the last couple of weeks so hopefully this exciting new entry will make up for the lack of a post last week.

Parsley Parade Front Cover - Young Lions 1972

Parsley Parade Front Cover – Young Lions 1972

Last month I was very lucky to find and purchase a 1st edition of the Parsley Parade storybook telling tales from his show The Adventures of Parsley. The book was released in 1972 by Young Lions around the same time as the self-titled Adventures of Parsley storybook. You can see our post on that here.

As well as featuring a vast array of Ivor Wood illustrations it also gives us a great shot of the TV show on the front cover. From an episode called ‘Holiday Time’ it shows Parsley precariously perched on the herb gardens greenhouse ready to make his maiden flight. Looks like Dill the dog is expecting trouble.

For this post I thought I’d share one set of illustrations from a story called ‘Looking into the Future’. Centred around Parsleys crystal ball, it doesn’t take Dill long to highjack the situation. They are some of my favourite illustrations of the Herbs as Ivor perfectly depicts both central characters, Parsleys nonchalance and Dill’s over keenness as he cooks up a new scheme. Also the exaggeration of everyones personalities and emotions are wonderfully rendered and was something that Ivor excelled at. Capturing in one pose the whole attitude of a character whether on screen or drawn out.

The way in which Dills body rises up over the crystal ball sums him up to a tee. Over exaggerated and always wanting to look like he knows what he’s doing. On the other hand Bayleaf looks quietly bemused by all thats going on, tentatively waiting for what Dill will come up with.

Parsley Parade Illustrations by Ivor Wood - Young Lions 1972

Parsley Parade Illustrations by Ivor Wood – Young Lions 1972

Parsley Parade Illustrations by Ivor Wood - Young Lions 1972

Parsley Parade Illustrations by Ivor Wood – Young Lions 1972

After charging to read fortunes Dill ends up eating all his profits. 48 bones! That’ll serve him right.

Parsley the Lion – Story Book Illustrations

First published in 1972 by, the aptly named, Young Lions, ‘Parsley The Lion’ was a story book to tie in with the popular Herbs TV spin off ‘The Adventures of Parsley’. The book was written by Michael Bond and lovingly illustrated by Ivor Wood throughout.

Parsley The Lion. Second edition published 1987. Illustrated by Ivor Wood

Parsley The Lion. Second edition published 1987. Illustrated by Ivor Wood

This second edition of ‘Parsley The Lion’ was printed in 1987 and features Ivor’s colourful illustrations on the front cover. The first edition featured a still from the show, portraying Parsley and Dill fixing his car from the episode ‘Parsley’s Breakdown’.

At FimFair, producer Graham Clutterbuck, actively encouraged his staff to take on a variety of different jobs and this often meant illustrating the various programmes they created for books and merchandise. In his time at the studio Ivor produced illustrations not only for The Herbs and Adventures of Parsley but The Wombles and Paddington in his trade mark sketchy line.

Parsely_PageCropped

Sir Basil, Lady Rosemary and Constable Knapweed

Parsely_Page 2Cropped

Parsley the Lion, Dill the Dog and Sage the Owl

Parsely_Page 4Cropped

Parsley the Lion and Dill the Dog in Parsleys Car

The drawings were often sketched and painted on two layers to give the printer and publisher options to print in colour or black and white. As we see in some of the illustrations Ivor has used watercolour to add vibrancy and pick out the recognisable shades of all the characters.

Parsley The Lion. Second edition published 1987. Illustrated by Ivor Wood

Parsley The Lion. Second edition published 1987. Illustrated by Ivor Wood

Another book does exist within the same collection named ‘Parsley Parade’ which also looks to be illustrated by Ivor but copies are short so this maybe a post for another day.

 

In Pictures – The Herbs

Created believe it or not on the kitchen table at Ivor and Josiane Wood’s flat in Paris, The Herbs was a huge success and took Ivor Wood’s design and animation sensibilities to an even greater audience. This week I thought I’d share with you all some great pictures sent over from a friend of Josiane’s. They show some great moments from the The Herbs first series.

The Herbs - Parsley the Lion

The Herbs – Parsley the Lion

The Herbs - Lady Rosemary, Sir Basil, Constable Knapweed, Belladonna

The Herbs – Lady Rosemary, Sir Basil, Constable Knapweed, Belladonna

The Herbs was the first programme that Ivor worked on post Magic Roundabout and the first programme  that he produced with Graham Clutterbuck at FilmFair. Graham was approached by the BBC to animate a show written by the now esteemed Michael Bond. They wanted a feel much like the Magic Roundabout and who else for the creator role but Ivor. Michael Bond came up with the idea after he was asked to write a childrens show for the BBC. He’d had the idea of herbs coming to life after leafing through a herb book at home. From the get go he knew what he wanted to do and set about creating all the characters we now all fondly remember, Parsely the Lion, Sage the Owl, Dill the Dog, Sir Basil and Lady Rosemary. Not to forget the rather more colourful character of Tarragon the Dragon.

The Herbs - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Sir Basil,  Dill and Bayleaf

The Herbs – Parsley, Sage, Lady Rosemary, Sir Basil, Dill and Bayleaf

This is also a great opportunity to share with you the a great blog written by huge Herbs fan Jay. He’s collated a mind of information and images that really get into the heart of the creation of The Herbs and all the avenues it went down as it grew in popularity and nostalgia. Check it out, it’s must for any Ivor Wood or Herbs fan.

http://theherbs.homestead.com

The Herbs Overview

First aired (The Herbs): 1968  |  Producer: FilmFair  |  Ivor Wood’s Role: Animator and Director

First aired (AofP): 1970  |  Producer: FilmFair  |  Ivor Wood’s Role: Animator and Director

Ivor Wood’s first into directing a TV show. He not only directed but animated and created all the puppets for The Herbs. Created in France for FilmFair it was created for the BBC. Following its success a spin-off series The Adventures of Parsely involving The Herbs leading and most popular character .