Hansel and Gretel (Little Golden Book, 1943)

Hansel and Gretel (Little Golden Book) by Jacob and William Grimm,
illustrated by Erika Weihs.  Simon and Schuster, 1943.

Like most decent Little Golden Book collectors, I have the popular Eloise Wilkin-illustrated edition of Hansel and Gretel.  Even though it's out of print, there a many used copies floating about, and they're usually pretty cheap.  The Wilkin edition is from 1954, and I knew it wasn't the first, but I hadn't come across the older version yet.  Until Tuesday, during a trip to my favorite antique mall.  This "I" edition has a messy spine and worn cover, but the pages are in lovely condition.


This is the 1943 Little Golden Book of Hansel and Gretel, illustrated by Erika Weihs. An About the Artist on the title page reads:
 Erika Weihs, a native of Vienna, came to this country in 1938 and specialized in greeting card art before turning to children's book illustration.  She lives in New York with her husband, an advertising artist.  Among the many books Mrs. Weihs has illustrated are Hello, I'm Adeline; Heidi; and Tales of Many Lands.



























I love how the sun comments on the action, smiling here, fearful looks there.  I'm still partial to the Wilkin illustrations, but these pictures are quite charming, don't you think?

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Comments

  1. Beautiful! I would love to see what life was like in NYC then, for the newly arrrived artists. (So many of them got work in Little Golden Books, didn't they?) I suppose news traveled by word of mouth about where both the work and the artists were. I'm off to google her and thanks for sharing this one.

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    1. Yes, Little Golden Books hired a lot of newly-arrived immigrant illustrators, although many already had fine reputations by that point. Golden prided itself on its stable of illustrators, especially given how inexpensive the books were. Quality for a low price, you know? Authors did not always receive credit, in fact, but the illustrator's name was seldom left out!

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  2. I love children's book from this era... the illustrations are just so wonderful! This little book is a true treasure. :)

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    1. I love old kids' books, too (obviously). This was a nice surprise. The text is well-done, too.

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  3. Replies
    1. Oh, me, too! I'm always on the lookout for cool versions of it.

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  4. I am a fan of her illustrations too although I don't collect her books or the Little Golden Books. I think her style is lovely! This is a beautiful edition of this story (one of my all time favorite!)

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    1. It was cool to come across this one! I need to replace my 1950s Eloise Wilkin-illustrated copy. My little niece ripped the cover off it one day...

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  5. What a gem! I love this! We 've been very fond of this fairy tale this past year in my family :)

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    1. It's one of my favorites. Weird and scary, with a happy ending. :)

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  6. holy toledo! the step mom looks scarier than the witch, don't you think??? this is glorious! i've never ever seen this version.

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    1. I'd seen the cover online before, but not the full book! It's in pretty decent shape, too! A very happy find. :)

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