"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stories for All Ages, Eloise Wilkin

~"Grandma rocks baby to sleep. What a good day it has been! Happy Birthday , baby!" BABY'S BIRTHDAY by Patricia Mowers..illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
The book above is illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Eloise Wilkin. That particular story is one I read to all my children on their birthdays for many years, and now I read to my grandchildren. I made up a tune to go with the last page ( above ) where I quietly sing " rock a baby by-o, rock a baby by", and the granddaughter spending her birthday with us, who is sleeping in our spare room right now, sang this tune often in her little baby voice. When I would hold and rock her she would request this song and snuggled in her favorite blanket, she would go to sleep.
~These are some of my favorite story books. I began collecting children's books before I was married. I love children's books and in college, where I was taking classes in education,( at the time my goal was to be a teacher) many of the books I collected were purchased from thrift stores. Our granddaughter brought out WIGGLES for me to read to her tonight. The books shown above are a few of the many books I own that are illustrated by Eloise Wilkin and they are the favorites . ~Look at the detail in the illustrations. They are not fussy or cluttered..but tender, and comforting. The stories are too. Not fussy, complicated, cluttered. "There is still among laymen a lack of comprehension of the discipline needed to pare a text to a basic line that looks simple. A picture book is as concise as poetry." Marcia Brown As I have been writing posts for my blog I have realized it is best to use as few words as possible to state my point or tell my story. When you combine wonderful photographs or illustrations and art with a good , succinct story...you have talent!
~This illustration is from PRAYERS for CHILDREN. ( 1952 )~
~Eloise Wilkin illustrated Little Golden Books from 1943 to 1961. Everyone has probably had at least one battered story book laying around the nursery that was illustrated by her. Eloise Wilkin heads the list as as the most popular artist with collectors of these books. I did not know this, I just knew I loved her illustrations and whenever I saw a book with her distinctive portrayals of family life and nature...I bought it. Usually not spending any more than a quarter. After researching her on-line I now know why I don't find good deals on such storybooks anymore! ( above picture is from BIRDS by Jane Werner Watson, illus. by Eloise Wilkin) ~My personal favorites are WE HELP DADDY, WE HELP MOMMY, and WHERE DID THE BABY GO ? I still read and re-read these books when I have no children around to read them to.They are in some way , so comforting. Apparently,they are calming to my grandchildren too. ~Here a little boy is saying his good night prayers in PRAYERS for CHILDREN. "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray Thee, Lord, thy child to keep; Thy love guard me through the night And wake me with the morning light. Amen."
~Do you have any books illustrated by Mrs. Wilkin in your home ? Are you still reading them to children, to yourself ? And hey, if you want to get rid of them...just send me an e-mail, I have room on my bookshelf for more! "Picture books , of course. present the greatest problems in finding the right artist.....the author's vision of the finished book is important, because it is part of the author's concept of what he has done." Jean Carl, children's book editor

9 comments:

漢美女 said...
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Mildred said...

I have always loved children's books with sweet illustrations too. I only have one or two. I would love to sit on a rainy day and browse through your wonderful collection!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

What beautiful dreams your grands must have, being read from such lovely books. The image of her falling asleep is sweet.

Mrs. D said...

I believe that reading to your children is highly underestimated today. My daughters have been collecting books from antique stores and used shops for years and have some very unique finds for future children. My eldest daughter expecially loves older books, though they've climbed in price. Her hopes for her marriage may have gone south, but her love for books and collecting them continues. Maybe someday we can use them.

Daisy said...

I have a large collection of children's books too, Kathy. Some from my own childhood and some from my sons. Books are one of the hardest things for me to let go of, I guess. They hold a lot of memories and comfort for me. Very nice post. :)

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing!

A. Joy said...

Yep, I love these books too - most of the pictures in yours are imbedded in my head. I really liked We help Mommy and Daddy and I remember reading my baby brother Daniel his favorite " So BIG!" and Baby's First Birthday. We have a few but my favorite to get out is Baby's First Christmas.

Lanny said...

She is one of my favorite illustrators also.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

She is one of my favorites, I love the illustrations in her books.