I just received some lovely new-to-me Golden Books of eBay. ABC Rhymes I’ve seen before, but I’d never come across Play Street or The Little Golden Book of Mother Goose.
When I saw the cover of Play Street, I was immediately reminded of the illustrations of Eloise Wilkin – author and illustrator of many Little Golden Books, including A Child’s Garden of Verses, We Like Kindergarten and Prayers for Children. Jane Werner Watson, who edited and wrote hundreds of Golden Books, called Eloise Wilkin “the soul of Little Golden Books”.
But Play Street was written by Esther Wilkin and illustrated by Joan Esley. A little research into these two revealed some interesting collaboration. Esther Wilkin was the sister of Eloise, who were born Eloise and Esther Burns, and they married two brothers Wilkins. Eloise was friends with Joan Esley and they opened a studio together and later moved to New York city together. I love the thought of the shared careers of these three, working together, helping each other in an era when few women were working, let along making names for themselves as leaders in their careers.
This is a gorgeous story, if you don’t already know it – how’s this for a classic 50s opener?
It was all very quiet on on Butternut Lane. The mothers were busy with their housework and the babies were taking their mid-morning naps. Bobby was riding his tricycle.
Against a backdrop of a classic US streetscape, is a tale of make believe – each of the littlies of Butternut Lane rides his or her trike imaging they are driving a vehicle. Until the roving policeman stops them as they are starting to make so much noise!
The Little Golden Mother Goose collects 75 Mother Goose rhymes – I’m amazed that I’ve heard of most of them but lovely to read a few new ones too.
I’m a very happy e-Bayer…