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Eloise Wilkin Stories: A Little Golden Book Collection    by Eloise Wilkin order for
Eloise Wilkin Stories
by Eloise Wilkin
Order:  USA  Can
Golden Books, 2005 (1989)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Just one glance at Eloise Wilkin's illustrations and artistry is enough to hook book lovers. Little Golden BooksŪ has gathered classics into a sturdy, hardbound 209-page display, with gold-leaf page edges, and their signature gold spine. The Introduction, penned by Deborah Wilkin Springett, includes a brief biography of her mother, including 'The award-winning artist Eloise Wilkin is best known as an illustrator of Little Golden BooksŪ ... renderings of adorable babies, winsome children, and cuddly animals in old-fashioned settings and delicately crafted landscapes ... to Ann, Sidney, Jeremy, and me, Eloise Wilkin was first and foremost our mother.'

The book's front cover features a blond cutie, a ring of flowers in her hair, standing at an open white gate door, with an expression that says, 'I am inviting everyone into my garden to read the stories therein'. The story of 'Busy Timmy' tells of his growing up - 'He is a big boy ... he gets ready for his bath. No one has to help him ... He gets ready for bed ... He climbs into bed, all by himself!' 'Wonders of Nature' spotlights worlds under the sea, in the desert, animals of the forest and jungle, and people in the arctic, introduced with words: 'Isn't it a wonder' and closing, 'that a little baby / that couldn't walk or talk / or feed itself ... should grow up to be you!'

In 'We Help Mommy', Martha and Bobby dress themselves, help with the housecleaning, washing and grocery shopping, especially putting the groceries away. At bedtime, as Daddy tucks them in, he says, 'Thank you for being such a big help to Mommy and me. Sleep tight.' 'At Sunset' is a splendid poem - 'From Grandma's house we're homeward bound / As dusk begins its evening round. / The snow that's fallen on our street / Makes crunching sounds beneath our feet. / The sky glows red at close of day ... And little footsteps in the snow / Trail homeward in the afterglow.'

The compositions and their authors include 'Busy Timmy' by Deborah Wilkin Springett; 'Guess Who Lives Here' by Louise Woodcock; 'My Little Golden Book About God' by Jane Werner Watson'; selections from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson; 'We Help Mommy' by Jean Cushman; 'Baby Listens', 'Baby Dear', 'Baby Looks' by Esther Wilkin; 'Little Boy Blue' from Baby's Mother Goose; 'At Sunset' from Eloise Wilkin's Book of Poems by Deborah Wilkin Springett.

The book closes with 'Eloise Burns Wilkin 1904-1987: The Soul of Little Golden BooksŪ, A remembrance, written by Jane Werner Watson in 1987', a tribute article in which Watson writes, 'Her work, she said, was 'in her bones' ... What she shared with children - and their parents and grandparents - was in fact her world and her life.' The distinctly recognizable artwork of Eloise Wilkin represents the innocence of a child's view of the world. Cherish moments reading Eloise Wilkin Stories with a child, and watch the sparkling gleam of wonder in their eyes, as hands caress the silky pages and images.

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