Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gyo Fujikawa's The Night Before Christmas

Gyo Fujikawa, illustrator, Grosset & Dunlap, 1961
I have three versions of The Night Before Christmas, and while this wasn't one I owned as a child, it's one of my favorites. I love Gyo Fujikawa's (1908-1998) soft, dreamy style. Her paintings of children are recognizable for round happy faces, rosy cheeks and simple dot eyes. For some reason I always thought Gyo was a man. How silly. SHE worked for Walt Disney in the early 40s, designed the yellow rose 32 cent stamp, and the eskimo pie icon, in addition to creating more than 50 books for children. I love this version of Santa. He's impish and cheerful. Some of my favorite illustrations:

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