The Dragon Who Liked to Spit Fire, Judy Varga

Today's vintage children's book comes recommended by someone very important to me, my grandson. Grayson, who is six, is with me a couple days a week this summer. Yesterday we decided to do a book review together. 

Grayson liked The Dragon Who Liked to Spit Fire and also liked anticipating what was going to happen as we read it. The illustrations by Judy Varga are fun and charming, the purple and orange color scheme is funky. It's interesting, when I asked Grayson what his favorite illustration was in the book, he picked a black/white one - sophisticated choice!

The Dragon Who Liked to Spit Fire
Story and Pictures by Judy Varga
William Morrow and Company, 1961

This is the illustration that Grayson liked, there's a lot of action going on here.

Here's Grayson, giving this book a thumbs up!

I will be back posting next week, taking a little time off for fun and work. We're moving one of my daughter's this week, looks like we get to do it in 90 degree weather.

Happy Fourth of July!


Timothy's Flower, Moneta Barnett

I have another nice mid century book for you today. Timothy's Flower is a sensitive account of how a small child who lives in an apartment in the city, brings back a flower from a visit to the park with his grandmother and makes friends with a grumpy tenant. Lovely illustrations by Moneta Barnett with a pleasing light color palette. I  like how just parts of the illustrations are colored and not everything is finished.

Timothy's Flower
by Jean Van Leeuwen
illustrated by Moneta Barnett
Random House, 1967


Finders Keepers, Nicolas Mordvinoff

Today's vintage children's book, Finders Keepers, is one of many collaborations between author William Lipkind and artist Nicolas Mordvinoff. In 1952 Mordvinoff won a Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in Finders Keepers. Born in Russia in 1911, Mordvinoff worked under the name of Nicolas or Nicholas. William Lipkind was born in 1904 in New York City and worked under the name Will.

This title page spread is my favorite. Don't you love how these illustrations were done. I really like how Mordvinoff kept the four color scheme fresh by switching the colors around and not using them the same way or using them all on each page.

Finders Keepers
By Will and Nicolas
Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1951


Brian Wildsmith's ABC Book

Today's vintage children's book is Brian Wildsmith's ABC from 1963, a wonderful book for children to learn from and a visual treat for all. Just showing the illustrations here, it's nice to see the type with the illustrations but my scanner is small and I think we all know how to spell. I really like Brian Wildsmith's work and probably have said that in every post, but I do, I do, I do. So without further adieu, on to the illustrations.

Brian Wildsmith's ABC has a list of accolades and awards. It was chosen by the American Library Association as one of their outstanding books in 1963; by the New York Public Library for exhibit and listing in its 1963 booklet, Children's Books Suggested as Holiday Gifts; and by The New York Times Book Review's "Ten Best Illustrated Books of 1963." It was also specially exhibited by the Library of Congress. This book also received the Kate Greenaway Award in 1963, Great Britain's equivalent of the Caldecott Medal. 

To go to Brian Wildsmith's website, click here. To go to the Brian Wildsmith Museum of Art (which is in Japan), click here.To read previous posts on Wildsmith click here or here or to my favorite one, click here. The Owl and the Woodpecker was one of my first postings, so please take pity on my poor blogging and spacing skills. 


Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present, Maurice Sendak

Today's vintage children's book has lovely illustrations by the great Maurice Sendak. The illustrations are done in such a way that the characters feel gentle, soft, thoughtful... same with the color pallette; it feels cool, lush, tranquil.

Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
by Charlotte Zolotow
Pictures by Maurice Sendak
Harper and Row, 1962


Joey and the Birthday Present

Today's vintage children's book is Joey and the Birthday Present. Love the illustrations by Evaline Ness, the more of her work I see, the more I like her. Ness's work seems effortless, but I'm sure it wasn't. It just looks like she had a lot of fun doing it. Ness has some nice compositions in this book, like the kitchen or the family with the dalmation. I think that is one thing she was very good at, besides being a talented artist. An interesting aside about Evaline Ness, she was married for awhile to FBI agent Elliot Ness, who was the inspiration for the movie The Untouchables.

Evaline Ness

Joey and the Birthday Present
By Maxine Kumin and Anne Sexton
Illustrations by Evaline Ness
McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1971

Other books by Evaline Ness:

If you would like to read about Evaline Ness, click here or here or here.


Vintage Children's Book, Hailstones and Halibut Bones

Hailstones and Halibut Bones is a collection of poems about colors by Mary O'Neill. The poems are not only about how colors look, but also about how colors might feel, sound or smell. This is an excellent book to read to children.

If I picked a color to describe Leonard Weisgard I think I would choose gold; as his books are treasures. If you would like to view previous posts I did on Weisgard; click here or here or here. There is a really nice website about Weisgard, if you would like to read about him go to www.leonardweigard.com

Hailstones and Halibut Bones
by Mary O'Neill
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1961