Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Longing for Marika or the World of Marcel Marlier

 When I was a little girl, among the most popular children's books was the Marika series (translated Marika which was originally "Martine") written by Gilbert Delahaye and illustrated by Marcel Marlier. 

I was so in love with Marika and her adventures I knew the stories by heart and could get lost for hours, reading and re-reading every single page and studying the illustrations of Marcel. That man had left a strong imprint on my childhood with his illustrations.   

The first one, Martine à la ferme (Martine at the farm), was published in 1954, followed by 59 other books, which have been translated into many different languages. The book series has sold about 100 million copies and is one of the best selling book series.
When the author Gilbert Delahaye died in 1997, Jean-Louis Marlier, the son of Marcel Marlier, continued to write the stories. I have a couple of the new ones in my possession - I bought them for my children. However, the series was interrupted in 2011 when the illustrator Marcel Marlier died at the age of 80. The last book is the 60th, Martine et le prince mystérieux, published in 2010. 

 I have managed to keep a lot of my childhood favourite books -unfortunately one or two from the Marika series (they mysteriously disappeared) so this fall when I saw a bunch of used ones in an old bookshop I decided to collect them all again. 

Until I collect them all, I feast my eyes with the beautiful drawings I pin on my board here.


homemade@myplace said...

such sweet childhood memories!!!
xxxxx ale

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

The illustrations are beautiful! I am not familiar with Marika, I will need to investigate further. So wonderful that you have kept these special stories, they are really lovely. The birthday party scene is marvellous.

Linda said...

Our childhood books are dearest to our hearts. These illustrations are beautiful I can see why these books evoke such sweet memories for you. How lovely to find some of these dear books in the bookshop. Good luck with your collection, it will be fantastic if you manage to find them all x

Marlene aka Ouma Miaau said...

Hi! These are beautiful books. I would love to buy them for my granddaughter who has the most fantastic imagination.

Divya N said...

As a kid I remember having some european (illustrated) story books - hand me downs which I treasured nevertheless and later passed on to my nephews n nieces. This just reminded me of them

Unknown said...

I'm not at all familiar with these fabulously illustrated story books, but wow, these images are absolutely wonderful! Oh the bliss of a happy childhood... such sweet memories... Thanks for sharing!
Ira’s Crea Corner

Ana Love Craft said...

I love those sweet books and I keep some with love. In Portuguese they are named " Anita" from Ana and as that is my name, they always were very special to me. Thanks for making me remind my happy childhood.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs from Portugal,

Ana Love Craft

Papgena Made It said...

oh Maya!! I love those! As Ana said, here the little girl is call Anita! I do have some books from my childhood too and now my daughter love them too! In fact, the first one on the picture is 'Anita mamã', her favourite! mine was 'Anita vai às compras' (go shopping) she went to a 'grand magazine' and to me was something remarcable to be able to went some place and can buy everything one needs! (in the 70's there weren't big supermarkets or shopping centers here in Portugal)

Unknown said...

Maya - Thank you for sharing these! I love these children's books, too! In Indonesia, the little girl with brown hair who has a brown puppy is called Tini (when the story was written by Gilbert Delahaye). When Marcel Marlier started his own series of children's books, I think it's usually a boy and a darker-haired girl with a white puppy with brown spots. The boy's name is Robi, and the girl's name is Susi in Indonesia. Can anybody please tell me which book the picture with a girl & seashells came from? Thank you! No children's books have such beautiful illustrations like these ones anymore. So, I am currently on a mission to collect some of these books, and it doesn't matter in which language because I'm chasing the pictures!

Rani Kusuma Pertiwi said...

I LOVE MARIKA too. But in my country (Indonesia) the name is Tini. My parents used to buy me some when I was little and I love it sooo muchh!! I read these stories when i was very little (maybe 4 years old). Now all my Tini books were gone and I would like to re-collect them again like you but kinda hard to get them. The stories were amazing and the illustrations were super majestic. I miss them so and glad that I ever read them. Thanks for sharing with us