Originally written and illustrated by Enid Marx in 1945, The Little White Bear tells the tale of Ivan, the friendly polar bear, and his exciting adventures in the snow. After accidentally jumping on a boat of stranded wartime sailors Ivan makes some unlikely friendships, becoming their lucky charm in the search to get the sailors home safely. Along the way Ivan sneaks into an igloo, rescues his new friend Marcus from a great whale, helps hunt for seals and fish until finally a plane saves the day just in time for a Christmas party.
The Little White Bear is published, along with The Pigeon Ace and Fifty-four Conceits, to coincide with the exhibition `Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship' at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, opening May 2017.
Enid Marx, FRSA (1902-1998) was an English painter and designer, who studied at the Royal College of Art at the same time as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, under the tutelage of Paul Nash. Once living in Hampstead, she started her own studio designing textiles - ultimately being chosen by the London Passenger Transport Board to design the fabrics for the seats of the London buses and underground. She designed book covers for the likes of Penguin, and wrote and illustrated her own. Marx eventually became Head of Department of Dress, Textiles and Ceramics at Croydon College of Art. With her partner, Margaret Lambert, she developed a unique collection of British folk art, which is now on display at Compton Verney Art Gallery near Stratfordupon-Avon.