Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Art of Garth Williams

Today is a post in celebration of the art of Garth Williams. Garth Williams illustrated many books that are now some of the classics of children's literature. So many of his illustrations have become as much a part of the stories as the text is.
Bedtime for Frances  text by Russell Hoban

(I love this picture. It is when Frances comes in to the room and is "the quietest thing in the room"...reminds me of my own son)

Little Fur Family text by Margaret Wise Brown (he did many books with her)
This book was similar to Pat the Bunny. It had pieces to touch.

Wait til the Moon is Full
Once upon a time in the dark of the moon
there was a little raccoon.

He lived down in a big warm chestnut tree
with his mother -- who was also a raccoon.
This little raccoon wanted to see the night.
He had seen the day.
So he said to his mother,
"I want to go out in the woods and see the night."

But his mother said, "Wait. Wait til the moon is full."

So he waited, deep in his warm little home under the chestnut tree.

The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Charlotte's Web  by E.B. White

charlottesweb Garth Williams’ Illustration for Charlottes Web Fetches Record Price

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Three Bedtime Stories

The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies

The Rabbit's Wedding

Written in 1959 in the midst of the civil rights movement, The Rabbit’s Wedding was banned in Alabama because it featured the marriage of a black rabbit and a white rabbit."I was completely unaware,” he said ironically, “that animals with white fur such as white polar bears and white dogs and white rabbits were considered blood relations of white human beings. I was only aware that a white horse next to a black horse looks very picturesque…”

Three Little Animals by Margaret Wise Brown

Fox Eyes by Margaret Wise Brown

Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

"Where is your home?" he asked the frog. "Wog, wog, wog," sang the frog.
"Wog, wog, wog, Under the water, Down in the bog."

Do You Know What I'll Do by Charlotte Zolotow
(This is one of the sweetest books. It is for a younger sibling, from an older sibling. Beautiful!)

Do you know what I'll do
at the seashore?
I'll bring you a shell to hold
the sound of the sea.

Do you know what I'll do at the party?
I'll bring you a piece of cake with the candle still in it.

Over and Over

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

Stuart Little by E. B. White
(the first book that Garth Williams illustrated)

The Rescuers by Margery Sharp



  1. When I think of all the great illustrators of children's books, my mind almost breaks down under the weight. But if I had to pick the top...the top handful (I could never set a number)....surely Garth Williams is sitting there on the top of this mountain. His contribution to sheer pleasure for children and their grown-ups is mind-blowing.

  2. When I was a child (before I could even read) I would look @ Mr. Williams enchanting and beautiful drawings for hours. I was so inspired by his illustrations, that I grew up to be a Wildlife Artist/Biology Illustrator.

  3. When I was a child (before I learned to read) I would stare for hour upon hour at Mr. Williams enchanting & beautiful drawings. His work inspired me to become a Wildlife Artist/Biology Illustrator. As a recent "Grandma" I have pasted my treasured "Garth Williams" books along to my Grandson. He is as mesmerized by his work as I was/am!

  4. He's the best. I look and wonder. No one can take his place.