Vintage Children's Book: The Quitting Deal, Trina Schart Hyman

 The last week has been eventful, well kind of. Last Sunday I cooked Easter dinner for 18. Monday I rested. Tuesday I quit smoking. Wednesday I got sick. Since then I've been sleeping and laying around, turning into a blob. I'm starting to get bored, which I'll take as a sign of getting better. And for once getting sick was a blessing, it helped with the first few difficult days of nicotine withdrawl.

In The Quitting Deal written by Tobi Tobias and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, mother and daughter both have habits to quit. They make a deal to quit together and to help each other.

Holy Cow! How many vintage children's books do you see with a mother smoking while nursing, not to mention with other children and pets?! This
book is from 1975, but even so... 

Trina Schart Hyman was influenced by the Brandywine era of artists such as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac. You can see this influence in her work, but she was also very contemporary and didn't shy away from illustrations that other's might not find acceptable. 

Mother and daughter test several ideas: the holding hands cure, the talking cure, the candy cure, the comforting cure, the penny cure, the food cure and the next to last cure.

What I like about this book (besides the fact that Trina Schart Hyman illustrated it) is how the family lovingly supports each other. No blame, no guilt, no anger.
They understand for a person to truly quit an addiction, they need to do it on their own.

We don't get the requisite happy ending in this book either. Just a strong message of hope and support.

The Quitting Deal
By Tobi Tobias
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
The Viking Press, 1975

To read about Trina Schart Hyman:


  1. Trina Schart Hyman is one of my favourite illustrators, thanks for putting up this book which I hadn't seen before. The illustrations are gorgeous, I love all the clutter and the breastfeeding/smoking picture is the best - so non-PC but at the same time so real for the 70s. Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for your comment Piroska!