Saturday, October 18, 2014

The beautiful art of old children's books

I'm in Columbus, Ohio, at my childhood home, helping my mom "detach" from some of her material possessions in preparation to move to a retirement condo downtown next year.

In the basement I ran across some musty old children's books that I had to scan and share! These are beautifully illustrated and conceived books. I hope to make quilts based on them some day. There's the amazing "Dinosaur Comes to Town" (1963), illustrated by Art Seiden:

(All the woodland animals panic about the arrival of the "meat-eating dinosaur", who proceeds through town to the local diner and orders up 60 million hamburgers.)
And then there's the beautiful art of Virginia Parsons, from the out-of-copyright book, Snow (1962). I would love to make a crib quilt of these 4 joyful images!
(Here's a nice blog post about Virginia Parson's companion book, Rain.)
Finally, there was the book Little Peewee, or "Now Open the Box", illustrated by one J. P. Miller in 1948. Here's Peewee with the kind-hearted circus impresario:
The book features all the characters at the circus. This is the one I remember from childhood (surely I identified with the little bruiser!)
Peewee the tiny dalmation grows... and grows... and eventually gets kicked out of the circus because he's no longer unusual (nobody's happy about that. This is the nadir in the classic comic storyline):
But... Peewee continues growing... and then...

I just love these pictures and their color palettes and wonder how I could incorporate them into my quilting.
I've worked on the Dresden plate quilt here at home. Stay tuned for a finish!


  1. These are truly gorgeous illustrations. I'm looking forward to seeing the crib quilt made from the 4 Snow images. I love the color in all of the drawings...but my fave is Giant Peewee!

  2. Ha ha, I was totally thinking of Ivy when I posted that.