Monday, December 22, 2008

The Christmas Story-- A Golden Book Comparison

Eloise Wilkin, illustrator, Western Publishing Company, 1952

The Christmas Story by Jane Werner is another book illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. My book was published in 1980. I think I came by this book while searching for another. My grandma had a book on the Christmas story that featured cut-out figurines so you could play with it like a paper doll set. I remember longing to take my scissors to the book and her telling me no. And she was right. When she died two years ago some of her books were given to me. The Christmas Manger was one of them. Below are three images from The Christmas Story. I love the vibrant colors on the angel andshepherds and the dreamy quality to all of them.

When I had a chance to inspect Grandma's book a bit closer, I realized it really is the same story just packaged differently. Well, the same story but The Christmas Manger uses much simpler language. The page with Mary sitting alone reads, "Mary was a lovely girl. She lived long ago." Read the text on the Mary image above for comparison.

The Christmas Manger
is also by Jane Werner, though with a different illustrator, Steffie Lerch. The book is from 1953 and is published by Simon and Schuster. It even has that Mary Reed, PH.D stamp of approval on the inside cover. I provided the back cover to show how the style of Little Golden Books has changed over the years. If you click on the image you can read the promotional copy which also warns readers to beware of "imitators." :)

An example of how the book is set-up. Here you see an angel ready to be cut-out and assembled in your own manger scene.

This little angel pic might be my favorite illustration in the book.
It's ridiculously sweet.

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