A little collection of my vintage children's books I've dug up through various wanderings.

www.caitbrennan.com

 

You know when you see certain illustrations, or you read a really great book and you’re just like transplanted into that world? I kind of feel like that with this book. The illustrations in Marjorie Flack’s “Angus Lost” aren’t anything too crazy, like Dr. Seuss or something, but the familiarity of the streets, and that little dog, the colors, the charm of it all, just pulls you in. 

Adrienne Adams’ illustrations in “What Makes a Shadow,” are getting me excited and inspired for my next children’s book; an African folktale about the sun and the moon.

So, it’s finally getting a teensy bit chilly around here, and I love it!  I love this book too. I think “Josie and the Snow” is the book that started my little collection here. I remember finding it in some Podunk thrift store off the highway, on a trip to Asheville, NC. I had never heard of Evaline Ness when I found this, but have since researched her work quite a bit. She has such a nice graphic, yet messy style that really draws you in. So cheers to winter fun, cheers to Evaline Ness, and cheers to brilliant thrift store finds!

The city, the country, they’re both lovely, especially in Leonard Weisgard’s world. 

October is the best month of the year, it’s a fact. We’re already 17 days in and I have done nothing fall-y! I used to be one of those freaky annoying kids that incessantly bugged their parents to get out the Halloween decorations like 5 days before October even began. So, as my first fall act, I pulled out this stunning book, “A Day of Autumn,” illustrations by Betty Miles. The limited palette really helps to capture what fall is supposed to feel like. Makes me want to snuggle up with some big socks and make my Halloween costume!

(Source: caitbrennan)

 

I used to never want to illustrate kids books. A thought which is now very foreign to me, I guess I just didn’t like the idea of it (dummy). It’s so funny how things change though, now I kind of see things the way they would look in a kids book…which is obviously super fun and great! 

"What Elephants Do" is my very first print publication. It’s 28 pages are filled with exotic animals, jungle scenes, and dancing in the moonlight. Inwon Hwang wrote this lovely story for his son, Izzy. Inwon was amazing to work with, he basically let me run free with whatever I wanted to do. And while that’s the illustrator’s dream, it can also be pretty intimidating. Nevertheless, after a lot of work, and revising, and changing my mind, it came together. And now it’s this real thing you can hold and flip though. Pretty amazing feeling.

If you really, really like it, you can purchase “What Elephants Do” on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/What-Elephants-Do-Inwon-Hwang/dp/0984834338/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372175498&sr=8-1&keywords=what+elephants+do

 

So, the summer is nearly over. And if you can’t tell from my lilly white skin, I’m much more of a fall/winter girl myself. Although I’m so over mosquito bites, sticky heat, and the smell of suncreen, “The Sand Pail Book” makes me kind of sad summer’s coming to a close! I found this book last summer actually. Next to this antique mall on Johns Island, there was a barn full of mostly crap, but I found a few little gems, this being one of them. 

 

So, I’m very sad this week. My ancient car, nicknamed “the nanamobile” has just passed on. And I need some happy! This back section of Richard Scarry’s “Going Places” is just the place  to find it. I mean come on, a policeman stopping traffic for kittens? And those cute 50’s automobiles probably never break down. That’s a world I wanna be in! The characters here are wonderful and if they don’t make you smile like a crazy person then there’s just no hope for you!

caitbrennan:

I came a across this perfect little treasure at a really lovely bookshop in Richmond, VA, Black Swan Books. If you’re ever in Richmond, go there! They have a beautiful vintage children’s book section. “The Summer Noisy Book” was my first introduction to the wonderful world of Leonard Weisgard. It’s hard to pinpoint what I love most about his work, but I think it’s how spontaneous it all feels. Nothing feels over thought, overworked, or overly complicated. I just love that. I think too much planning can be a really dangerous thing. At least that’s what I’ve found. Occasionally, if I spend too much time in the planning stage of a piece, I just get super bored and want to move on. Not to say that planning, and thumbnails, and color studies are a bad thing, because they’re not. I just think sometimes your best stuff comes from accidents, and if you’re planning too much, there’s no room for those mess ups to happen. 

caitbrennan:

By day, I make pictures. But by night, I mix up booze for people. Obviously, I would rather illustrate things all day and all night, but this works for now. Over the years I’ve found a bunch of cool old school Mixer manuals. The cocktail titles are just whimsical as hell. And in “Peter Pauper’s Drink Book- A guide to Drinks and Drinking,” the illustrations, by Ruth Mcrea, are such a treat. The whole book just conjures up images of pretty people in the 40’s getting sloshed.

Here’s a recipe from The Official Mixer’s Manual-1940:

"Bunny Hug"

1/3 Dry Gin

1/3 Whiskey

1/3 Pernod

Shake and strain in glass.