N.M. Bodecker 1922-1988 (the “N.M.” stands for Niels Mogens, though when asked he would say it stood for “Nothing Much” or “Never Mind”) was born, raised and educated in Copenhagen. He emigrated to the United States after World War II, where for many years his illustrations appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire and Holiday.
Bodecker illustrated Edward Eager’s well loved ‘Half Magic’ series, but he was best known for the many collections of children’s “nonsense rhymes” that he wrote and illustrated himself. Among his honors were two Christopher Awards for poetry in 1974 and 1976.
Bodecker’s book illustrations are whimsical and witty, and his magazine work is often gently mocking and political in tone. Detailed and yet highly stylized, his ink drawings often caricature the adult’s folly while depicting children as the more reasonable characters. Bodecker has had a great influence on many young artists of both his day and our own. He is admired internationally for his fluid lines, which manage to be both serious and humorous at the same time.
Most of Bodecker’s original children’s book drawings are housed in the famed Kerlan Collection, and this is the first time his original classic magazine work, and his illustrations for books such as Dickens’s David Copperfield, have been offered for sale to the public.