1940s-1950s children’s book illustrations: more, please
August 30, 2019 1:09 PM   Subscribe

I love the style of the drawings in “Katie the Kitten,” (1949), as seen here. What other children’s books have this style?
posted by stillmoving to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The Little Golden Book version of Three Little Kittens has very similar imagery. It appears that there are different versions with different art, and not all of the art is in that same style.
posted by sacrifix at 1:19 PM on August 30, 2019

I associate this style with Little Golden Books; The Poky Little Puppy is from that line. Your book says it was a Little Silver Book, which is, according to an online forum I found, the softcover version of LIttle Golden Books and thus rarer today. An image search for "golden press little silver book" turned up a number of possibilities.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 1:24 PM on August 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

Margaret Wise Brown's The Color Kittens had the same illustrators, Alice and Martin Provensen.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:24 PM on August 30, 2019 [8 favorites]

Yep, building on a theme: The Color Kittens.

Lots of individual Richard Scarry books have this style; check out his Best Storybook Ever.
posted by Melismata at 1:24 PM on August 30, 2019

The myoldbooks Instagram account might be a good resource for you!
posted by GoldenEel at 1:27 PM on August 30, 2019

That version of Katie the Kitten was illustrated by the Provensens, all-time greats. My favorite (as in, my favorite picture book of all time) is The Color Kittens, already mentioned. But so as not to just repeat what others have said, The Fuzzy Duckling is probably even closer to the style you mean.
posted by lampoil at 1:30 PM on August 30, 2019 [7 favorites]

Another one of my favorites (though a little later, 1971): Brownie and Puff.
posted by Melismata at 1:32 PM on August 30, 2019

Also take a look at Richard Scarry's The Rooster Struts and I Am a Bunny.
posted by lampoil at 1:39 PM on August 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

And some of Gustaf Tenggren’s Golden Books stuff.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:41 PM on August 30, 2019

The Little Engine that Could ?
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:44 PM on August 30, 2019

Some of the stories in Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever are illustrated in variations on this style
posted by Mchelly at 2:04 PM on August 30, 2019

A Good, Good Morning by Bonnie and Bill Rutherford?
posted by Redstart at 2:05 PM on August 30, 2019

In the heydey of Flickr, TheRetroKid was documenting this style profusely
posted by bendybendy at 2:30 PM on August 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

One of my childhood favorites was Gidappy.
posted by kimberussell at 3:35 PM on August 30, 2019

Check out Mary Chalmers. Some illustrations from A Christmas Story. Here's a pinterest board with a bunch of covers.
posted by gudrun at 8:45 PM on August 30, 2019

The Saggy Baggy Elephant (which I of course knew as Plofje de Olifant) is by a different artist, but in a similar-ish style.
Thank you for asking this! I adore Gouden Boekjes, as we call them!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:40 AM on August 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Saggy Baggy Elephant was always my favorite. Can't read it today without tears. Find your tribe, indeed.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:30 AM on August 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

It is the 1950s-est, but I always loved Little Mommy
posted by ChuraChura at 3:44 AM on August 31, 2019

Why Do You Love Me? by Mabel Watts & Katherine Sampson. My mom read this to me a lot when I was little.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 7:07 AM on August 31, 2019

I think you'll enjoy the Kathleen Hale series of picture books starring Orlando, the Marmalade cat. Her illustrations are incredible.
posted by Wantok at 4:54 AM on September 2, 2019

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