Friday, December 13, 2013


I cannot resist---I must post a second birthday-of-the-month:  Ruth Gannett, born December 16, 1896.  One of the books she illustrated, MISS HICKORY, was one of my favorite books as a child.  In fact, it still is.  It's a story about stubborn prejudiced Miss Hickory, who is forced by unpleasant circumstances to make huge changes in her life, so that by the end of the story she is "heedless, headless Miss Hickory."  The black and white lithograph illustrations for this book were at least fifty percent of its attraction for me.

As an adult I discovered more of Gannett's work.  I marvel always at the clarity, boldness, vigor, and sure hand of her work.

What a little masterpiece!
And compare her own interpretation of Russian peasant culture with that of Rojankovsy's.  The two are different---but is one better than the other?  Yet though Gannett's work is of the same genius, quality, and calibre as other great illustrators I've highlighted in this blog, she is rarely spoken of.  Read a bit more about her at this link:  And please do read MISS HICKORY.  You'll not find a better tale (or novel, even) about having to face and accept the uncomfortable realities of life.


  1. Thank you, Wendy, I was unaware of Ruth. She had MAD drawing skills!

  2. Thank you Wendy,
    I was unaware of Ruth. She had MAD drawing skills.

  3. Oh, I ADORED Miss Hickory! and still do. I must get another copy, mine is long gone. I'll look for her other books, too. Thanks for sharing such illuminating art!

  4. I, too, loved Miss Hickory. I have a harder time selling it to young readers today though.

    1. Even though today's young readers aren't interested in these earlier books, it behooves those of us who are interested in the field of children's books---especially writers and illustrators---to be well-acquainted with what came before us. At least that is my philosophy. Perhaps knowing the history of one's chosen field is no longer in vogue either!