illustrated children’s books

A new book, Illustrated Children’s Books, explores the design and influence of some of the best-loved children’s books which have inspired and enchanted generations worldwide.

The English Struwwelpeter or Pretty Stories and Funny Pictures by Heinrich Hoffman

Looking at work from as early as the 1600s through to the golden age of illustration in the nineteenth century, Illustrated Children’s Books examines the history and development of children’s books.

The Wizard of Oz © 2008 by Graham Rawle

The book also contains an analysis of more contentious material such as Noddy and Little Black Sambo, explored here in a socio-historical context.

The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls, illustrated by Florence K Upton

Here’s my personal favorite.  It sort of makes up for my personal “not-favorite” (see above).

Miffy’s Dream by Dick Bruna





At first I was just going to post this photo as something I don’t like.  Why on earth are these white people wearing sambo on their sweaters?  Homemade sweaters at that!  Then I figured I should look into this.  Oh boy!  This is Golly.  You could buy this pattern today on ebay.  Golly began as golliwogg in Florence Kate Upton’s 1895 book “The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg.” Upton, a native New Yorker, first describes him as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome.”  He was a caricature of American black faced minstrels – in effect, the caricature of a caricature. The book became very popular in England and thirteen books featuring Golliwogg were published.  Then they began making rag dolls. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Golliwog doll was a favourite children’s soft toy in Europe. Only the Teddy Bear exceeded the Golliwog in popularity.


Small children slept with their black dolls. Many White Europeans still speak with nostalgic sentiment about their childhood gollies. Now onto Robertson’s. The Golliwog is inextricably linked with the famous English preserves company, James Robertson & Sons. Robertson’s Jams has been using the smiling Golliwog as its logo since the 1920s until it was discontinued in 2001. Despite much criticism during the 1960s and ’70s, they simply changed their logo’s name to ‘Golly’, and continued to stand by their trusty mascot. Consequently, the collecting of Robertson’s Golly memorabilia is a hobby in itself, with a vast array of promotional material and items to be collected.