Illustrations of book characters reading & writing
September 17, 2015 7:23 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for illustrations from picture books and chapter books that show characters reading or writing.

Some examples: Harold with his crayon; Harriet the Spy with her notebook; a dog reading in a hammock from Go Dog Go; Milo consulting the rules book in the Doldrums; Frog and Toad reading in a tree.

I'm especially interested in books from when I was young, so things published before 1980 are a bonus, and I'm more interested in famous/iconic images than, say, Arthur and his classmates at school. Which is to say, single or standalone works are more likely to have the kind of thing I'm looking for than series with many, many books.

That said, toss whatever you can think of at me. It's all grist for the mill.
posted by not that girl to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does spiderweb writing count?
posted by the_blizz at 7:56 PM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Richard Scarry's "Watch Your Step, Mr. Rabbit" has a rabbit reading the newspaper as he walks along... and gets stuck in cement, among other problems.
posted by xo at 8:15 PM on September 17, 2015

Response by poster: Spiderweb writing totally counts!
posted by not that girl at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2015

Dr. Seuss' "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut" has book reading.
posted by xo at 8:19 PM on September 17, 2015

I can't link this on my phone, but if you image-search Winnie the Pooh writing, there's an image of him writing on a scroll with a feather.
posted by xo at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2015

Here's Eloise reading and Eloise writing.

And here's Alice reading.
posted by Redstart at 9:00 PM on September 17, 2015

"Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" has pictures of donkeys reading the newspaper.
Owl in "Winnie-the-Pooh" trying to write someone (maybe Pooh?) a birthday card.
How about the cover of "Dear Mr. Henshaw," ...even though it's kinda boring?
Then there's "Matilda," for probably a whole book's worth of images.
posted by the_blizz at 9:01 PM on September 17, 2015

Pinterest is a good place for this kind of thing, and one thing leads to another there; somebody has almost certainly made a board of exactly the stuff you want. Just some starters:

vintage children's illustration of (?) making a scrapbook by Elizabeth Shippen Green
reading is magic poster
with a poem
two friends reading
reading, by Jessie Wilcox Smith (who had a lot of illo's like this IIRC)

Jessie Wilcox Smith again, writing
(Richard Scarry?) bunnies writing a letter
writing a letter, V. E. Jenkins
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:57 PM on September 17, 2015

It kicked off a series, but the first Boxcar Children book has a subplot where Jessie teaches Benny how to read. The illustrations depend on the edition -- the cover of the original 1924 edition (seen on the Wikipedia page) features an illustration of them reading, and I think the more recent reprint I read includes a relevant picture inside (I don't have it handy though).
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:07 PM on September 17, 2015

Erk, somehow missed the thing about specifically famous characters.

Curious George: 1, 2
Matilda (Quentin Blake): 1
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:23 PM on September 17, 2015

Illustrated copies of Jane Eyre may have the fairly iconic image of the child Jane reading in the window seat at the beginning of the book.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 1:57 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Richard Scarry books have animals reading books. Here are a few I remember:
Pierre Bear
The Bunny Book
The Golden Book of 365 Stories
more Richard Scarry illustrations, many of which have critters reading books or writing letters
posted by belladonna at 5:03 AM on September 18, 2015

22 picture books about reading.
posted by bentley at 2:48 PM on September 18, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everybody!
posted by not that girl at 3:05 PM on September 18, 2015

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