Wednesday, January 8, 2014


TALK ABOUT GETTING a lot of mileage out of one story. We have already looked at Christmas Miniature by Pearl S. Buck as it appeared in Family Circle Magazine and Once Upon a Christmas, and then as it appeared as a stand-alone book and in A Gift for Children. Well in Great Britain in 1958, Christmas Miniature was published again under the title The Christmas Mouse with new illustrations by Astrid Walford. From the back of the book: "The delicate and perceptive line and wash drawings by Astrid Walford are among the loveliest work she has ever done."

There are a few minor differences between the U.S. and U.K. editions. For some reason the bicycle becomes a tricycle. The flashlight on the back of the book is translated as a torch, but within the book remains a flashlight. And the British spellings of words like pajamas have been predictably adopted.

Below are a sample of Walford's illustrations. To see them all visit my Flickr set.

COMING SOON: More Pearl S. Buck

All images are copyrighted © and owned by their respective holders.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


SHORTLY BEFORE CHRISTMAS, I wrote about several of Pearl S. Buck's Christmas stories for children. At the time, I was still waiting to get my hands on some other editions of the stories, and promised I would post scans as soon as I did. Well the books came in...

Christmas Miniature and The Christmas Ghost were both published as books by The John Day Company with illustrations by Anna Marie Magagna almost immediately after the stories appeared in Family Circle Magazine. Magagna was at the start of an illustration career that would go on to include editions of The Wizard of Oz, Little Men and Little Women, Five Little Peppers and many others. Her drawings for Christmas Miniature were shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in 1958.

In addition to her accomplishments in the world of publishing, Magagna is possibly best known as the exclusive fashion illustrator for the high-end women's store Henri Bendel starting in 1969 throughout the early 1970s. A selection of her fashion drawings was exhibited in a one woman show last year.

From Christmas Miniature:

From The Christmas Ghost:

Just after her death in 1973, The John Day Company put out a collection of Pearl S. Buck's children's stories called A Gift for the Children. Despite Once Upon a Christmas having appeared only the year before (see my previous post for scans from that book), both Christmas Miniature and The Christmas Ghost were included each with yet another set of illustrations, this time by Elaine Scull.

Christmas Miniature:

The Christmas Ghost:

Not all of Buck's Christmas stories were illustrated so many times, but all of them had multiple lives. I now have several other Christmas books in hand as well as these, so even though Christmas is behind us, bear with me as I stretch the holiday into January in my upcoming posts. To see even more of Anna Marie Magagna's illustrations for these books, view my Flickr sets for Christmas Miniature and The Christmas Ghost.

All images are copyrighted © and owned by their respective holders.