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~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! ~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."
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.
~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