From The New York Times review by Ellen Lewis Buell:
One of the most beautiful books of the year is "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Here Ilonka Karasz has set the verses of that lovely old carol against twelve pictures which combine modern technique with the exuberance of the medieval tradition...It is a miracle of design and imagination.
Karasz chose to include The Twelve Days of Christmas in the annual exhibition held by the Book Jacket Designers Guild in 1949. And the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) selected it that year as one of the "Fifty Books of the Year."
To see the rest of the art for The Twelve Days of Christmas visit my Flickr set here.
Phyllis McGinley's appeal can best be measured by the fact that today, almost by inadvertence, she finds herself the sturdiest exponent of the glory of housewifery, standing almost alone against a rising chorus of voices summoning women away from the hearth.(She also accepts an invitation to The White House by President Lyndon Johnson in the same article.)
In 1958, Phyllis McGinley released a collection of her Christmas poems (and one essay about New Year's) as Merry Christmas, Happy New Year with decorations by Ilonka Karasz.
In the first poem in the book (after the brilliant Greeting Card for Bibliophiles), McGinley turns her wry sense of humor to the twelve days of Christmas, giving Karasz an opportunity to revisit the same material from her own Christmas book.
For the rest of the art from Merry Christmas, Happy New Year (and especially to read the aforementioned Greeting Card for Bibliophiles), see my Flickr set here.
AND TO WRAP UP my discussion of Ilonka Karasz, as is inevitable in any discussion of Ilonka Karasz, I present some New Yorker covers.
First, an instance of personal plagiarism: