Vintage children’s book covers

First an apology. I’ve somewhat lost my writing mojo over the last week.

I was reading through my last few posts this morning (mmm, I know, surely there are better things to do with my time) and thought they were somewhat lacking in a little je ne sais quoi (except I do sais quoi: it was sparkle, verve, wit, elan, not to mention, on occasion, some good grammatical construction).

So, to anyone checking in regularly, my apologies. I hope the mojo reappears soon, but I’m not sure today’s the day.

(Just for your interest, the missing literary mojo (and every other mojo in my life right now) is down to sleep deprivation. The little sproglet is having serious sleeping issues, which of course means we are too. But I don’t want to bore on about that here…)

Sleepy Book, vintage book cover
How I feel, all day, every day

(Book cover found on Pinterest, from my vintage book collection blog.)

So, instead of trying to conjure up a witticism or three, I thought I’d share some amazing pictures with you instead.

I’ve just been strolling round Pinterest and had the most incredible discovery: galleries and galleries of vintage children’s book designs.

Straight hair, curly hair, vintage book design
Not only curly hair, but lovely ginger hair too — so we can teach the sproglet what it means to be a red head!

(Found at present and correct, an amazing online shop I’ve only just discovered, that also has a physical London store as well. Definitely need to go and visit soon.)

Being a serious bibliophile, a lover of vintage and mid-century design and with a bambino to read to, I don’t think I could have found anything more inspiring on a weary Wednesday afternoon.

Here, then, are some of my favourites.

Water All Around, vintage children's book
Illustrated by Bernice Myers

Found at the Retro Kids Pinterest board

This child, on the front of the brilliantly titled Water All Around, looks extremely happy for someone who appears to be in a swirling vortex of water, with at least one distinctly evil looking fish.

Mud, Mud, Mud, vintage book covers
Mucky pup

Another cheerful looking child on the front of the equally brilliantly named mud! mud! mud! and it seems to get even better once you’re inside the book:

mud illustration, vintage children's book covers
“They liked mud better”… Who wouldn’t?

(Found at the Etsy shop bibliocycle. That book has sold, but there are lots more to browse…)

And one last one, with a little lesson for us all:

Be nice to spiders, vintage book covers
I promise I will!

(Found at Elwood and Eloise on Etsy. Again, that book has sold but there are loads more to look at…)

You can see many many, more appealing covers on my brand new Pinterest board Book covers.

NB: I’ve tried to only include images here that are okay to reproduce, but it’s not always easy to check. If you think I’ve posted something that I shouldn’t have, please do get in touch and I’ll remove it asap…

Related articles

Okay, I’m something of a vintage illustration addict right now. I’m clearly having a little phase. But here are some other articles and projects that relate to vintage illustration one way or other…

  • A DIY gift box (template and tutorial included) using a vintage feather illustration
  • Some printed T-shirts, with vintage images transferred as logos
  • A few vintage gardening images, shared in celebration of the start of my horticulture course
  • Print your own vintage bookplates – perfect to go inside any books you’re buying: old or otherwise!
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