This original artwork, for pages 16 and 17, was used for the book Come Play House written by Edith Osswald with illustrations by Eloise Wilkin. This book was published by Simon and Schuster in New York, New York, in 1948.
A Graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Eloise Wilkin (1904-1987) studied illustration. In her early years she worked as a freelance artist in New York City, illustrating schoolbooks for children learning to read, paper dolls and puzzles. She was married and raising a family in upstate New York when she started working from home creating illustrations for Little Golden Books in 1946. A prolific illustrator, Wilkin's work is easily identifiable for her adorable images of children with round faces and rosy pink cheeks. It is reported that she modeled her characters on her own family members and friends. Her beautifully detailed settings and backgrounds demonstrate her meticulous research and attention to detail. Her depiction of the idyllic home and family life reflected the post war optimism of the 1950s. She worked for Little Golden Books until 1984 and continued to design dolls for Vogue and Madame Alexander.
A stalwart Catholic, Wilkins was much attuned to the awakening social conscious of the 1960s. In 1964, the National Urban League, headed up by Whitney Young, brought attention to what he considered a fundamental omission on the part of the juvenile publishing world who he accused of racial stereotyping. Indeed, there were no children of color depicted in this vast category of books, but Eleanor Wilkin was one of the first illustrators to include an integrated classroom in We Like Kindergarten.
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