The Santa Claus Book by Aurelius Battaglia

Today's vintage children's book starts off the season here with The Santa Claus Book, written and illustrated by Aurelius Battaglia. This book was formerly titled The Reindeer Book. Aurelius Battaglia, (1910-1984), was among other things, a prolific illustrator of children's books. 

Battaglia worked for Disney in the late 40's, contributing to Dumbo, Fantasia and Pinocchio. After that he joined the United Projections of America, a studio staffed by well known animation artists. It was there doing animation work that Battaglia honed his style, while also helping to start a trend of mid century illustration style that was looser and more abstract. (Info from Wikipedia,

Battaglia seems to have illustrated this book in a different style than his work from the 50's. (My copy is from 1982 but it looks like this book was originally done in 1965.) Check out the samples of his work below. And his work previous to mid century was also different. Artists are always changing and evolving.

The Santa Clause Book
By Aurelius Battaglia
Golden Press, New York,1982

Here is the original cover and title.

More work by Aurelius Battaglia:

image via Shelly Davies

This book is great, love the illustrations!

Above illustrations from Cowboy Jack the Sheriff via Golden Gems

image via La Petit Robert


An Eskimo Birthday, Illustrator Glo Coalson

Today's vintage children's book is An Eskimo Birthday, written by Tom D. Robinson and illustrated by Glo Coalson and is from 1975.

Glo Coalson is an artist, illustrator and a sculptor from Abilene, Texas. After graduating from college, Coalson moved to Alaska where her brother and his wife lived. Her sketches from her time there provided the inspiration and material to illustrate children's books with Eskimo characters.

I did a post on another book by Glo (love that name) awhile back, and unfortunately my scanner went out after just three pages. I need to find that book and repost it, as there is a limited number of images and info on the web
about Glo Coalson and her work. 

In my previous post the link for her website is no longer active as she seems to have moved on to other work.  Click here for a short paragraph about Glo Coalson and her current work.

I'm not sure what medium Coalson used for this book (charcoal and ink?),
but I like her style and obvious skills.

An Eskimo Birthday
By Tom D. Robinson
Pictures by Glo Coalson
Dodd, Mead, 1975


Fish Head, Ilustrated by Marc Simont

Today's vintage children's book, Fish Head, has been on my list of books to find for some time. I was pleased to come upon it at a recent estate sale. At this particular sale, there were books and bookshelves all over the home and even a small library. There was a nice selection and I happily bought many books for only $2 each.

I always find it touching at estate sales to come upon children's books that the home owners had saved for so many years.

I do believe this is my first post on Simont, who is a very well known illustrator. After looking at his bio, I found he was the illustrator for the numerous Nate the Great books, which my son enjoyed when he was young. Besides knowing his way around a line, Marc Simont illustrated close to 100 children's books, in addition to being a cartoonist. In 1956 he won a Caldecott for A Tree is Nice, written by Janice May Udry. Simont was also the recipient of two Caldecott Honors for The Happy Day (Ruth Krauss) and The Stray Dog (Reiko Sassa). 

To read about Marc Simont, click here, to see images of other work by Simont, click here.

Fish Head
By Jean Fritz
Illustrated by Marc Simont
Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc.
1972 Edition


King Midas and the Golden Touch, Haig and Regina Shekerjian

Today's vintage children's book, King Midas and the Golden Touch, is illustrated by the husband and wife team of Haig and Regina Shekerjian. Unfortunately, information about this couple seems to be elusive, so the best I can give you is a post I did on another book they illustrated back in 2011.

King Midas and the Golden Touch
By Al Perkins
Pictures by Haig and Regina Shekerjian
Scholastic Book Services, 1973


Real Science Riddles, Talivaldis Stubis

Today's vintage children's book, Real Science Riddles, was illustrated by graphic designer and illustrator Talivaldis Stubis (5/22/26 - 11/08/09). In addition to illustrating almost two dozen children's books, Stubis designed hundreds of now famous posters for stage and screen. Stubis won numerous awards for his books, including his 1962 book, A Pocketful of Seasons, that was named one of New York Time's 100 Best Books of the Year. Stubis's work was also very popular in Japan.

Rose Wyler, along with husband Gerald Ames, published many Science books in the 1950's, 60's and 70's, with the aim of making Science more approachable
to children.

Real Science Riddles
By Rose Wyler
Pictures by Talivaldis Stubis
Scholastic Books, 1971