Friday, April 13, 2012

COLLECTION #207: Books Illustrated by Garth Williams

For my Friday children's book feature (which is usually vintage school books), I wanted to feature children's books by one of my favorite illustrators, Garth Williams. I first became aware of Mr. Williams when I was in grade school, probably fourth grade or so, when I began reading the Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although several of my favorite Little Golden Books were illustrated by Mr. Williams (The Sailor Dog and Mister Dog, for example) it wasn't until I started paying attention to his loving portrayal of the Ingalls family that I really became a fan. Shortly thereafter, I read Charlotte's Web, and I was hooked.

From Little House in the Big Woods

Here are some of my Garth Williams books. I have a number of Little House books in paperback that I've collected through the years, although the two hardbound editions are my own childhood books.

From Three Bedtime Stories

From Three Bedtime Stories

From Animal Friends

Two adorable Little Golden Books are on my shelves: Three Bedtime Stories, and Animal Friends.

In addition to Charlotte's Web, I also have Stuart Little, by E.B. White. They are classics in every sense of the word!

From Charlotte's Web

Another fun book is The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden.

From The Cricket in Times Square

From Wait Till the Moon is Full

From Wait Till the Moon is Full

The books Mr. Williams illustrated were the recipients of many awards: Newbery, Caldecott,  and various honor awards. He was famous for his animal art, but his children and scenes were superb as well. I was definitely influenced by his wonderful tonal renderings, as well as his line art.

If I had planned this a little better, I would have done my homework, and realized that Monday, April 16th, would have been Garth Williams' 100th birthday! Happy birthday, Mr. Williams!

1 comment:

Susie said...

Oh YES best children's illustrator of all time, iI think. I have spent most of my adult life looking for a copy of The Tall Book of Make Believe because my own copy was in such horrid shape (it was simply loved to death). I had despaired of finding one I could afford but recently did manage to get my hands on one. It is such a treasure because of Mr. Williams images. They are magic.
Thank you for sharing here. I had no idea it was just his 100th birthday, I'm sorry I missed celebrating it at least with a blog post. At any rate, I'm glad to find your blog.