Childcraft, Poems and Rhymes

In my recent travels for vintage children's picture books, I scored on a set of Childcraft, The How and Why Library for the mere sum of $5.00. These books are full of great illustrations by many different artists. I have quite a few scans for you from Volume 1 that I hope you will enjoy. Can I just say how much I like these books? They are fun to look at and full of ideas and inspiration.

Don't forget to click on the pics for a bigger view.

Artist: Charles Harper

Oh Charley, how we do love thee, let us count the ways...

Artist: Gordon Laite

Artist: Gordon Laite

I like all the details in these insect illustrations.

Artist: Mary Horton

What a great rendering of happiness!

Artist: Fred Womack

Who doesn't like polka dot elephants?

Artist: Mary Horton

Great composition by this artist!

Artist: Russell Jackson

I'm really impressed by the dimensional paper art by Russell Jackson. Coming up will be a post on Jackson with more examples of his work.

Artist: Vernon McKissack

This name is new to me, but I feel like I've seen work by this artist before, anyone familar with McKissack?

Artist: William Steig

Another masterful composition!

Artist: Garth Williams

Garth Williams draws a great mouse, like the hand lettering and the way the pages are laid out.

Artist: Susan Perl

I believe Susan Perl did a lot of work for McCall's Magazine in the 60's/70's. I'm partial to pen and ink drawings.

Artist: Roger Duvoisin

Isn't this a great illustration?

Artists: Alice and Martin Provensen

Alice and Martin Provensen were a great team and this is just one of the many reasons why their work is well regarded.

Artist: Elizabeth Orton Jones

I like illustrations like these where only part of it is painted and the rest is left as line work, it's very striking.

Artist: Gail E. Haley

I have a couple books by the talented Gail Haley and will do a post on her in the future.

Artist: Mary Miller Salem

This picture takes me back to when I was a kid - nice vantage point and composition.

Artist: Leonard Weisgard

Another great illustration by the impeccable Leonard Weisgard, simple and striking.

Artist: Mary Hauge

I like the simple color scheme and tree trunk rendering in this illustration. I'm not familar with this artist, but I'd like to see more of her work.


The Tempest, Illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Arthur Rackham is considered one of the great artists from the Golden Age of illustration. He was in a special league with other hugely talented illustrators such as Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen and W. Heath Robinson. Rackham's work continues to inspire and influence legions of artists. His first edition books are extremely collectible.

Though Shakespeare's works are not my cup of tea, I'll buy any book that is illustrated by Arthur Rackham (that I can afford), and found this copy of The Tempest at a library sale.

The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
Gramercy Books, 1993

To read more about Arthur Rackham there are two excellent sites that I found: JVJ Publishing Illustrators and Clark Historical Library. They both have a wealth of information and images. Here also is a yahoo link for images only of illustrations done by Arthur Rackham. Enjoy!


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Illustrated by Arthur Rackham

There's a chill in the air and the time seems right for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This classic American story written by Washington Irving in 1820, has been illustrated by many artists. This version was illustrated by the exceptional Arthur Rackham.

I'm not including information about Rackham in this post, but will do it in my next one where I'll be posting another book illustrated by Arthur Rackham. 

Did you ever see Tim Burton's movie version of Sleepy Hollow? I love that movie! Christopher Walken was great as the headless horseman or as called by some, the Galloping Hessian. Don't forget to click on the pics for a larger view.

Ichobad Crane - what a great name for the story!

Ichobad and Katrina

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
By Washington Irving 
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
Derrydale Books, 1994


A Country Wedding, Illustrated by Victor Ambrus

Hungarian born artist Victor Ambrus has had a long, varied and prolific career. He has illustrated or taken part in over 300 books, among other work. I really like his illustrations in A Country Wedding, not only for his line work, but also for the mood and essence that is captured in the characters of the story. The story centers around Bandi the wolf and Zoli the fox. These two characters crash a wedding in hopes of getting a free meal, but get more than they bargained for after they're caught and have to sing and dance for their supper.

I first became aware of Victor Ambrus when I was going to school for Graphic Design. While taking a figure drawing class, my teacher gave a slide presentation of different artist's work whom he respected, Victor Ambrus included. I bought a book by Ambrus, How to Draw Human Figures, as it was one of the books that was recommended by our teacher and I still have it.

A Country Wedding
Victor G. Ambrus
Addison-Wesley, 1975

To read about Victor Ambrus click here. To see other images of his work, click here.


How Does the Wind Blow?, illustrated by Betty Fraser

How Does the Wind Blow?
By Lawrence F. Lowery
Illustrated by Betty Fraser
Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc., 1969