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.


  1. I have "Sam, Bangs and Moonshine" of course, but do not recall seeing any of her other work, even though some were Caldecott Honors. Thanks for highlighting her work.

  2. Love Tom Tit Tot. My mother read it to us from a Childcraft volume. We'd laugh and laugh.

  3. Don't forget that Maxine Kumin & Anne Sexton were cray-cray Confessional-poetry superstars of the 1960s. OK, Sexton was cray-cray for sure, Kumin may have been sane. :)