Palm Desert, CA: Best-West Publications, 1966. First edition. Hardcover. Folio. Unpaginated (40 pp.). Mottled green cloth with gold lettering on cover. Minor rubbing to head and tail of spine and corners. Original full-page 12 inch multicolor watercolor of flowers and butterfly (image available upon request) signed and dated: "Leo Politi 1967." Lavishly illustrated with color and b/w facsimiles of his work, the inspiration of which, as the title suggests, were various parks in Los Angeles. Illustrated endpapers and title-page. Book is in near fine condition. vg. Item #18107
Leo Politi (1908-1996) was an American artist and author who wrote and illustrated some 20 children's books. His works often celebrated cultural diversity, and were often published in both English and Spanish.
Leo Politi's life was literally the stuff that picture books are made of. Born into an Italian family in Fresno in 1908, he was transported to Italy at the age of seven via transcontinental railroad and ocean liner to a small town near Milan, his mother's home town. After art school, and some designing and illustrating, he returned to the States - via the Panama Canal. Settling in Los Angeles's quaintly Mexican Olvera Street, he sketched tourists and sold drawings alongside potters, weavers, and other artisans-in-residence. He loved children without reserve or distinction, a fact that shines clearly through his work. Drawing children for magazines and books gave him an American career and a professional identity. In 1980, the Fresno Public Library was named for him, and in 1991 the Leo Politi Elementary School in Los Angeles was dedicated.