Eloise Wilkin

Ruth announces a new baby!Eloise Wilkin has always been my favorite children’s book illustrator.  In fact, she’s probably my very favorite illustrator ever (excepting my husband’s drawings of classic cars and my daughter’s “pictures,” of course!).  I grew up with my parents reading me the Golden Sturdy Shape Book versions of My Good Morning Book and My Good Night Book.  The poems from Eloise’s illustrated copy of Poems to Read to the Very Young are among my very favorites (from “The Goops” and “After My Bath” to “Merry Sunshine” and “The Wind”).  Somehow, a book was always better when illustrated by Eloise Wilkin.  Her winsome drawings just captured a child’s imagination.

Before I got married I found my own copies of My Good Morning Book and My Good Night Book at thrift stores (I knew my mother would never part with the ones she read to us).  When I got them out to introduce Ruth to Eloise Wilkin, they were a hit.  The stories came back to me instantly-and Merritt already has them memorized, as well, since the books are constantly plopped in our lap with a rather emphatic sign for “please.”  Ruth likes to have them read to her over, and over, and over.  And on the page of the Good Night Book where it says, “Daddy reads me a bedtime story.  He lets me turn the pages for him,” Ru quickly took her cue and started turning the pages.  She finds the teddy bear on each and every page and waves goodnight to the little girl on the last page (unless she’s not ready to go night night, in which case she skips that page!).

I found a board book version of Poems to Read to the Very Young on Paperback Swap.  Ruth thinks most of the poems are a bit too long to read in one sitting, but I think she likes the pictures as much as I do-and as much as her grandmother who introduced me to them when I was her age!  Ruth’s latest favorite illustrated by Eloise Wilkin is The New Baby. (Which has as much to do with the subject matter and pictures as it does with the fact that it has real paper pages.)

If you have yet to discover the fun of Wilkin’s illustrations, her Little Golden Book collection is the easiest place to start.  Poems to Read to the Very Young has been reprinted and is easy to find in board book edition.  (And if you’re already a Wilkin fan, then look up the other childhood illustrator I’m particularly fond of-Gyo Fujikawa’s illustrations are quite different, yet delightful!  Check out her book Babies, for example…)

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  1. I love Gyo Fujikawa as well asEloise Wilkin, personal favourite, Shirley Hughes. Elizabeth Orton jones is another.

  2. lol I suspected something too, especially when I saw baby dolly and teddy all swaddled up! Congratulations Gretchen and Merritt! We’re expecting our second in August, so we have all the same excitement right now of ‘going to be a big sister’….it’s so fun 馃檪

  3. Congratulations!!!
    I’m so excited for the new addition to your already beautiful family.
    I love Eloise Wilkin dearly and have sweet, sweet memories of my mother reading her books to me when I was little. Now I have made sure that they are my little sister’s favorites as well. She’s always coming to me with her collection of Wilkin-illustrated stories. Her (okay, “our”) favorite is “Baby Dear.” If Ruth doesn’t have that one yet, this would be perfect timing. 馃檪

  4. Congrats on the upcoming new arrival, Gretchen! 馃檪 I was curious as soon as I saw the picture. . . 馃檪 That is so awesome. . .I have never heard of Eloise Wilkin, so I will have to look her up sometime. Again, congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. awww i love this post with a picture of Ruth Anne, i never caught on until i saw congratulations, yet i was afraid to say it too early,..but now that it’s confirmed…BIG Congratulations Gretchen!! i am sure this child will be a blessing from the Lord 馃檪
    And this child will keep Ruth company and i’m sure she’ll like that :)))
    best friends they’ll be..I hope :))

    awww these are such great news!

    Gretchen i’ll keep your family in prayers!

    Blessings & HUGS!

    In His Love, Jane.

  6. I thought y’all would catch the hints. 馃檪 The photo of Ruth with the book and her Pooh bears is actually how we told most of our family…that Lord willing, Ruth gets to meet a new brother or sister sometime early in September! She’s already very excited about Baby, as are we. Thank you for your congratulations and prayers!

  7. Funny, I read a lot in childhood, but I don’t remember Eloise Wilkin. My mother probably does. And I missed the hint, if it was one!

    But what I wanted to say is that I think it’s so neat when children begin to respond to “cues” and show preferences for different things. God’s design is so amazing. Thanks for sharing about Ruth!

  8. We have several Eloise Wilkin books, and I love them! When my little sister was small, she had “Baby Dear” read to her every night. We had a doll that looked a good deal like the doll in the book, so that baby’s new name became Baby Dear. She couldn’t say Eloise Wilkins or Esther Wilkins, so it was Baby Dear by Esher Wiwkins and Esher Ewowise. 馃檪

  9. We are bringing all of our children up on Eloise Wilkin books. We find most of them at garage sales and op-shops here in Australia. I like Tasha Tudor art as well.
    Congratulations on the coming blessing if that’s a hint for us!
    Claire Roberts

  10. We’ve always loved Eloise Wilkin in our family too. My mom has a small collection! 馃檪
    I’ve seen some hints going ’round and ’round and now I’m very curious 馃槈
    If so, Congratulations!!!!

  11. I love Eloise Wilkin! 馃檪
    And are we right about the “The New Baby” hint? 馃檪 Congratulations!


  12. It is true then?! I saw something on your family’s blog, but I wasn’t sure I should believe it until I saw the first comment here offering congratulations. I joyfully echo the congratulations! There are never enough red-headed children running about the Washington countryside! 馃檪

  13. Hmm, I think that was a hint….that someone is going to be a big sister?!
    If so, congratulations!