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While I was searching for a textbook yesterday for one of my college courses, I stumbled upon an old fairy tale book of classic Hans Christian Andersen tales. What I loved the most about this book, other than the fantastic stories of Andersen, were the illustrations that captured the feeling of these stories as well as the period they were written. It was like seeing the mental picture Andersen had in mind while he was writing these tails, considering that his Fairy Tales Told for Children. First Collection. were published between 1835-1837. The illustrations were made by Michael Fiodorov:

Published by Patakis Publications in 1991 (this book is as old as me!) and translated in Greek by Aggeliki Ksida, this book can now be found at old bookstores or e-shops that sell one hit wonder books. I also found out that Italian and Portuguese editions also exist.

Greatest Tales of the World – Tales by Anderen, published by Patakis Publications in 1991 (this book is as old as me!) and translated in Greek by Aggeliki Ksida, this book can now be found at old bookstores or e-shops that sell one hit wonder books. I also found out that Italian and Portuguese editions also exist.

My favorite drawing from the book!

My favorite drawing from the book! “I want 100 kisses from the Princess!”, The Pig Boy.

Thumbelina. My second favorite illustration!

Thumbelina. My second favorite illustration!

I tried to find out more about the illustrator, Michael Fiodorov, but the only thing I could discover was his list of works in Goodreads.

Nevertheless, Fiodorov’s work inspired me to search more about children book illustrators and I selectively chose three women artists whose designs imprint this sentimentality of the old years I’m looking for. By the way, the artists just happened to be women, I chose three old children’s books and they, in turn, re-directed me to the wonderful worlds of these illustrators we are about to examine.

Jessie Willcox Smith

(1863-1935)

Jessie_Willcox_Smith,_photograph

It was this little picture that helped me discover Smith. While I was reading about the history of children’s books illustration, this little girl reminded of me. And along with this click, not only the image came out but also the entire imaginary world of Jessie Willcox Smith:

This poster was created in 1919 for the purposes of the first Children Book Week event, right after the end of World War I, according to Rockwell Center {http://www.rockwell-center.org/essays-illustration/jessie-willcox-smith-and-the-first-childrens-book-week-poster/}

This poster was created in 1919 for the purposes of the first Children Book Week event, right after the end of World War I, according to Rockwell Center.

Fellow friend Marco here, I am a Child, has even more illustrative collections! You can also find his posts on Smith.

Smith is considered to be one of the greatest illustrators for children’s books. During her lifespan, she also designed magazine covers – she painted hundreds of covers for Good housekeeping Magazine, worked for Scribner’s Magazine, Ladies Home Journal and others and sketched advertisements for companies like Kodak and Ivory Soap.

Some heart-melting covers of Good Housekeeping magazine illustrated by Smith:

Good Housekeeping - June 1926 - Willcox SmithGood Housekeeping - August 1930 - Willcox SmithGood Housekeeping - June 1925 - Willcox SmithGood Housekeeping - April - Willcox Smith

GoodHousekeeping 1925-September-SmithGoodHousekeeping1927-10

And some examples of her advertising work:

Advertisement for Ivory Soap

Advertisement for Ivory Soap.

Ad for Kodak.

Ad for Kodak.

Smith never had children of her own.  However, she managed to capture evidently this sensitivity and carelessness that characterize young age as well as the love of a parent towards a child.

A Mother's Day. It's the little things that express love...

A Mother’s Day.
It’s the little things that express love…

A Rainy Day. (1908)

A Rainy Day, 1908.

Auntie-Jessie-Willcox-Smith

Auntie.

Her works can be found today in prominent museums and galleries, like The New York Public Library, Delaware Art Museum and Library of Congress.

Beatrix Potter

(1866—1943)

beatrix potter

 

Helen Beatrix Potter was an English author and illustrator, mainly drawing her love for animals and nature. She was raised isolated from other children having little interaction with her parents and, as a result, she started drawing in order to cope with her loneliness. Potter started her professional career by creating greeting cards for Hildesheimer & Faulkner publications. At the same time, she was exchanging picture letters with the children of one of the former governesses who educated her, Annie Carter Moore. Carter’s eldest son, Noel, had scarlet fever and Potter, in order to help him feel better, came up with a little tale:

letter to noel

“Eastwood | Dunkeld | Sep 4th 93 | My dear Noel, I don’t know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits whose names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter. They lived with their mother in a sand bank under the root of a big fir tree…” Thanks to Letters of Note for their transcription.

Thus, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was born, one of the best children’s book of all time, that has sold over 40 million copies and it has been translated in 36 languages.

Published in 1902.

Published in 1902.

the tale of peter rabbit

the-world-of-peter-rabbit

Some pictures from Peter Rabbit.

Some pictures from Peter Rabbit.

The success of the book spawned a series of tales, written and illustrated by Potter. These are also known as The 23 tales of Beatrix Potter.

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. (1904)

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, 1904.

The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan. (1905)

The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan, 1905.

The Story of Miss Moppet, 1906.

The Story of Miss Moppet, 1906.

Her Tales were adapted in the 1971 ballet film The Tales of Beatrix Potter, featuring dancers from the Royal Ballet of London as well as her life was made into a feature film with Renée Zellweger portraying Miss Potter.

Tasha Tudor

(1915-2008)

tasha tudor

Tasha Tudor was a beloved American illustrator and writer. She authored and designed the images of many books, like Pumpkin Moonshine (1938), Edgar Allan Crow (1953), A Time to Keep (1977) and Corgiville Fair (1971) plus illustrated famous Andersen’s tales, The Secret Garden authored by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1962) and stories from Mother Goose for which she received the Caldecott Medal – an award granted to the best American picture books. Tudor’s work also includes New England nostalgic scenes, primarily shown on the Christmas cards she made:

Seems like it was drawn somewhere in the 20s or 30s, but it is actually from 1973!

Seems like it was drawn somewhere in the 20s or 30s, but it is actually from 1973!

tashatudor - christmas

Becky’s Christmas, 1961. Thank you Orange Marmalade (http://orangemarmaladebooks.com/tag/beckys-christmas/) for this info!

Becky’s Christmas, 1961. Thank you Orange Marmalade for this info!

Pumpkin Moonshine was Tudor's first story.

Pumpkin Moonshine was Tudor’s first story.

From A Time to Keep.

From A Time to Keep.

From Corgiville Fair.

From Corgiville Fair.

Tudor’s love pictures, though, are my favorite ♥

valentine card

Smoochie, smoochie :-*

Smoochie smoochie(っ◔◡◔)っ❤

From The Springs of Joy, 1979. Sigh...

From The Springs of Joy, 1979. Sigh…

... even more sigh.

… even more sigh.

Do you have any favorite illustrators? Or any childhood fairytale books that you loved the pictures? Leave me a comment 🙂

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