A Book of Christmas

Today's Christmas book is vintage, but was not written for children, though I'm sure some kids would enjoy looking at the pictures. In A Book of Christmas, William Sansom looks at the history, customs and traditions of Christmas around the world.

Pollock's Toy Theatre, hand colored, 1834

Christmas Eve at the Wandsbecker Schloss 1796

From Hollyleaves of 1894, Interlude at the Twelfth Night Table

The Christmas Tree, from a painting by E. Osborn, 1864

Title page of Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman

Santa arriving by boat at Bondi Beach, Sydney

Christmas display of toys at Heal's store in London

A Polish szopka carried by children singing carols. It's placed on a bench support and used as the background for a puppet Nativity play. This particular one was based on tower motifs from Cracow.

A poster for the Christmas number of The Century showing a romaticized Father Christmas figure of the period. Designed by Louis John Rhead in 1895.

Illustration by John Leech from Charle's Dicken's A Christmas Carol

A Book of Christmas
By William Sansom
McGraw Hill Book Co., 1968


At Christmastime, Antonio Frasconi

Today's vintage children's Christmas book, At Christmastime, is unique. Unique because of it's approach and color scheme, medium used (woodcut) and because it is a book of Christmas poetry. Written by Valerie Worth and illustrated by Antonio Frasconi, At Christmastime is a special book and a lovely addition to anyone's collection of Christmas books.

Don't forget to click on the pics for a larger image.

To read a previous post on Antonio Frasconi, click here.

At Christmastime
Poetry by Valerie Worth
Pictures by Antonio Frasconi
Harper Collins Publishers, 1992


The Twelve Days of Christmas, Brian Wildsmith

Today's vintage children's Christmas book, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is
from 1972. This classic Christmas song is ramped up with Brian Wildsmith's colorful and exuberant illustrations.

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Illustrated by Brian Wildsmith
Originally published Oxford University Press, 1972
This edition published by The Millbrook Press, 1995


Christmas Is A Time of Giving, Joan Walsh Anglund

Today's vintage Christmas children's book is Christmas Is A Time of Giving,
written and illustrated by Joan Walsh Anglund. This small (4" x 6") and charming book from 1961 has Anglund's pen and ink drawings and trademark children. I like the vignette type illustrations in this book, very fitting for a book of this size.

Christmas Is A Time of Giving
By Joan Walsh Anglund
Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961

To view my previous postings and read about Joan Walsh Anglund, click here and here. To read a short bio on Anglund at Children's Literature Network, click here.


Martin and Alice Provensen Christmas Cards

I came across these great silk screened Christmas cards by Alice and Martin Provensen on ebay. A successful husband and wife team, Martin and Alice Provensen illustrated many children's books over a long career in their distinctive and popular style. To read about the Provensen's, click here. All images are via ebay seller bview26.


Alexander and the Magic Mouse, Philippe Fix

Today's vintage children's picture book is another goodie illustrated by Philippe Fix, whose lush and highly detailed illustrations enhance Alexander and the Magic Mouse. I can't imagine any child not wanting to read a book about a older woman who keeps house with an alligator from China, a yak, a Brindle London Squatting cat and a Magical Mouse! 

Great vantage point on the above illustration. To view a previous posting I did on The Book of Giant Stories, illustrated by Philippe Fix, click here. There is a little bit of information about Fix, all I've been able to find to date. 

Alexander and the Magic Mouse
By Martha Sanders
Pictures by Philippe Fix
American Heritage Press, 1969
Weekly Reader Children's Book Club Edition