Flibbity Jibbit: A Story of Friendship by Vernon Grant

February 18, 2013
Media contact: Mary Lynn Norton

New Vernon Grant Exhibition Opens at Museum of York County
Flibbity Jibbit: A Story of Friendship by Vernon Grant

February 23, 2013 Rock Hill, SC - During his professional career, nationally acclaimed illustrator, Vernon Grant, produced hundreds of illustrations for advertisements and product packaging for major American companies like Gillette, Hershey’s and Kellogg’s. In 1943, he wrote and illustrated the story, Flibbity Jibbit. The popular storybook was a promotional piece for Junket Rennet-Custard Powder and Tablets, a commercially marketed product used to thicken milk to make a nutritious, flavorful pudding. Typical of marketing campaigns of the time, Junket offered storybooks and recipe books free by mail-order to customers who purchased Junket products.

The story of Flibbity Jibbit, with its fairy-tale scenery, charming characters and wholesome morals of kindness, honesty and friendship, was widely popular with American families. Grant’s distinctive whimsical style, appearing in many of his children’s illustrations of the 1930s and 1940s, captured the imaginations of children everywhere - and the Junket Company was flooded with orders for storybooks, art prints and recipe booklets, all illustrated by Vernon Grant.

Sixty years since its original publication, Flibbity Jibbit is regarded as far more than a successful idea for marketing Junket’s rennet-custard mixes. This simple and endearing story still speaks to the hearts of young and old alike, inspiring new appreciation for the true and lasting friendships in our lives. The exhibition of enlarged reproductions from the book, along with hands-on activities such as keys, doors and a magnet wall entice viewers to experience the story through the eyes of the story’s characters.

Vernon Grant fashioned many illustrations to promote Junket products in magazines, store displays and advertisements circulated nationwide. Grant cleverly rendered the Junket’s active ingredient - the rennet enzyme – as a kindly, aproned “Aunt Rennie” who worked her special magic on milk. Most of these ads portrayed Aunt Rennie with a team of gnomes cheerfully whipping up giant bowls of yummy, flavorful and nutritious custards!

On exhibit through October 20, 2013, in the Vernon Grant Gallery, this new exhibition of artworks and product memorabilia offers a new opportunity for visitors to appreciate Grant’s artistry and imagination.

To print your own copy of Flibbity Jibbit - visit the company website at www.junketdesserts.com.

The Museum of York County is located at 4621 Mt. Gallant Road, Rock Hill. Admission Cost: Adults, $5; Seniors, $4; Youth, $3; Free for CHM members and children 3 and under. Admission is FREE to the public on Sundays. Museum hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am until 5:00pm and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 pm. www.chmuseums.org.

The Vernon Grant Collection at York County’s Culture & Heritage Museums encompasses the life and career of this national acclaimed illustrator from the early 1900s through the 1980s, and features a diverse selection of original artwork, commercial art, merchandise and family memorabilia.