If you haven’t heard of Mary Blair (1911 – 1978), you’ve seen her work. In fact, if you’re familiar with “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland, you know her style. Those striking colors that don’t follow rules. The doll characters that came straight from her illustrations. The flat cut-outs and patterns.
Aside from working with Disney on conceptual art for animated films (Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland), Blair illustrated children’s books. Five of them. All Little Golden Books in the 50s and 60s. And those five books are in a compilation! A Mary Blair Treasury of Golden Books! It’s glorious and I’m giving one copy away at the end of this post! Stay tuned.
Baby’s House (Little Golden Book Classic) written by Gelolo McHugh.
Looking at Blair’s illustrations, I see joy, whimsy, and imagination. Even in the more restrictive era in which she lived, I see a disregard for shoulds and an embrace of coulds.
The baby in Baby’s House plays with dolls and flowered hats AND balls. In fact, I really can’t tell what gender baby is. Which is a good thing!
I Can Fly written by Ruth Krauss (who will get her own post here one day for sure!).
This one is full of coulds and cans! In fact, the I in the book, the little girl, can be like any animal she pleases. My favorite detail is how her outfit and hairdo always mimic the animal she’s mimicking. Look at that white ruffly dress sticking up in the air!
Golden Book of Little Verses written by Miriam Clark Potter.
New Golden Song Book by Norman Lloyd.
The Up and Down Book.
I love Blair’s progression to these super bold, graphic, even sparer illustrations in this one. It’s like she’s turned up the volume on her earlier pastels but they’re still distinctively hers.
If you’re lucky enough to be near San Francisco before September 8th, you can see the Walt Disney Family Museum’s exhibit all about Mary Blair! How I wish I could visit.
The giveaway part!
I’ll contact the randomly chosen winner by email for your mailing address.
(Open to North American residents only—sorry about that, far flung international readers!)
Best of luck and I hope you’ll check out my first two Their Picture Book Life posts if you missed them!
WE HAVE A WINNER! CONGRATULATIONS TO NICK AND THANKS TO ALL WHO STOPPED BY HERE AND ENTERED!