Rod Library--Special Collections
Early Children's Books and Illustrations
This display contains many children's books which are normally located in Special Collection's Rare Book Collection. These volumes were all published between 1879 and 1917, and contain some of the detailed illustrations created during the time period. Most of the books were written purely for pleasure reading, but others, like the readers, were published for educational purposes.
Harper's Second Reader (1888)
Readers are books students used to practice their reading skills and oral recitations. Its illustrations, formed with lines and dots, were drawn with black ink.
The drawing below is from "The Story of Four Blind Men."
McGuffey's Second Eclectic Reader (1879)
by William Holmes McGuffey
This reader's purpose is similar to Harpers and contains the same types of illustrations.
This drawing was taken from a lesson called "A Kind Brother."
Boys' and Girls' Own Speaker (1902)
by Laura Agusta Yerkes
This book was written for older children and has black and white line illustrations. As you can see in the drawing to the right, color illustrations are also present.
Dutton's Holiday Annual (1891)
edited by C.J. L'Estrange
Dutton's book of poetry and short stories contains black and white line drawings as well as color drawings.
This illustration is from the short tale of "Sulky Sibyl."
Frank Leslie's Holiday book of Pictures, Stories, and Poems for Little Folks (1881)
edited by Frank Leslie
This book contains very detailed black and white line drawings.
The illustration to the right is entitled, "A Kiss for a Bite."
Little Brother and Little Sister and Other Tales by the Brothers Grimm (1917)
by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm; illustrated by Arthur Rackham
Inside this Brothers Grimm book are exquisite illustrations with subtle color highlighting.
The young woman in the illustration is from the story "The True Sweetheart."
Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories by the Brothers Grimm (1900)
by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm; illustrated by Kay Nielsen
The twenty-two stories in this book are illustrated with bright, colorful drawings.
This illustrates the story called "Snowdrop."
St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks (1882)
edited by Mary Mapes Dodge
This magazine for children contains black and white line drawings throughout its chapters.
The little boy in the right illustration is from the story "How Joe Bently Won a Bouquet from the Queen of Portugal."
Run About Stories: Merry Plays for Happy Days (1900)
The younger child will enjoy both the black and white, and the color illustrations in this story/poetry book.
This illustrates a poem titled "Sleepyland."
Fairy Tales (1916)
by Hans Christian Andersen; illustrated by Harry Clarke
Harry Clarke used bright, vibrant colors to illustrate Andersen's fairy tales. Also included are many black and white drawings.
This colorful illustration is from the story of "Thumbelina."
Special Collections and University Archives
December 1996; January 1997