Friday, December 2, 2011

COLLECTION #111: Vintage Children's Christmas Books

One of the things I've noticed as I've been posting my collections here, is that I have various things that I never thought to categorize as a collection. These little children's Christmas books are one such collection. I think if I'd set out to collect vintage children's Christmas books, I would have done a much better job of it than this! But such as they are, here are a few sweet Christmas books of the 40s and 50s.

Illustrations by Corinne Malvern
 The Little Golden Books are a motley lot: everything from the sacred to the profane! (Ok, perhaps Tom and Jerry aren't really 'profane', but they definitely put the 'naughty' into the 'nice' of The Christmas Story).  I included the Hymns book here, it's not really a Christmas book, but many of the hymns inside are Christmas hymns and songs. I love Corinne Malvern's adorable illustrations.

Illustration by Eloise Wilkin

Regarding The Christmas Story, I was surprised to see that the illustrations were by Eloise Wilkin. It's not up to her usual high standards, and I think it's because drawing and painting adults is not really her forte. She is much better at capturing cherubic children's faces, and bedtime story fare. But it's a sweet book nonetheless.

Two 'regular' Christmas story books are Cornelia Meigs' Mother Makes Christmas is from 1940, and was illustrated by one of my favorites, Lois Lenski. This is a charming book, wonderful story and beautiful illustrations. It's not in great condition, and I'm so pleased that the previous owner thought to scrawl each page number in large penciled numerals on each page.

Endpaper illustration by Lois Lenski

More artwork by Lois Lenski

The second of the Christmas story books is the Littlest Angel, by Charles Tazewell. I wrote more about this enchanting little book here, and you can see other images, and read about the history of the book.

*Edited to add: I came across another beautiful Christmas children's book in my book shelf,  so wanted to include it here. It's called The Christ Child, illustrated by Maud and Miska Petersham, and published by Doubleday in 1931. I'm a big fan of the Petersham's work (they were a husband & wife team), and as far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most beautiful children's Christmas books ever published. Here are a few pictures for you:

I hope you enjoy my little book collection!

1 comment:

jeriberri said...

I just love the old books!! I have several myself, the artwork is grand!!