“Let’s Find Out About Spring” by Martha and Charles Shapp

Today at Gotcha Cha Cha I have listed a very nice illustration by Laszlo Roth, from the book “Let’s Find out about Spring, written by Martha and Charles Shapp. Check out the link for Laszlo Roth, he is a great 1960’s graphic designer. The green frame picks up the green birds and shirt in the picture, and the blue mat board gives it a fun and whimsical appearance. I imagined this in a sweet little boys room. This picture was previously listed for $24.99, but I re-list it at 20.99 for a short time. As usual, everything is framed and matted with backing paper, ready to hang.


“The Book of Popular Science”, 1977 and a picture of ChaCha

Hey there, I did manage to put something up on Etsy today. I like it, it is a picture I found in “The Book of Popular Science”, 1977. It compares the brain size of a crew cut guy, a gorilla, a dog and a fish. It is black and white and grey. I put it in a brown wood frame, which I was on the fence about, but I ultimately decided the brown frame color gave the juxtaposition with the black mat board and grey and black graphic a manly feel -? Kinda modern? I could be deluding myself. Take a look yourself, and if you feel like expressing your opinion, please do.

Wonder Books

I collect Wonder Books. They are 6.25 x 8 inches. They are mostly from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I collect them for the wonderful art. Today at my Etsy store I put up an illustration from the book “Playtime for Nancy”, with illustrations by Doris Stolberg, story by Margaret O. Hyde. A quick google search came up with many contemporary books by a Margaret O. Hyde “Drugs 101”, 2003, “Hobby Fun Book: For Grade School Boys and Girls”, 2010, and “Is the Cat Dreaming Your Dream”, 1980, along with other kinda serious science books aimed at teens. Could there be 2 Margaret O. Hyde’s? Could the contemporary one be a relative? Unless a writer/illustrator is very famous, I can not find out any biographical information. I also could not find out much on the illustrator Doris Stolberg, just that she did the books, “A Child’s First Cook Book”, 1950, and “Merry-Go-Round”, 1944, along with a few others. So I don’t have much background today. What I also want to learn more about are the Wonder Book series (“with washable covers”). I will post pictures of the books I have, and the approximate value, it can be surprising.

Cover “Playtime for Nancy”, 1951. Written by Margaret O. Hyde and illustrated by Doris Stolberg.

Framed. Polystryene Frame and Acrylic Glass.

Close up

This is what a finished back looks like, with a colorful dust jacket.

Picture of Pets of the Day. Daisy and Cha Cha together (they are sitting right around the corner from my desk)

Alphabet Flash Cards 1957 Milton Bradley

Yesterday at GotchaChaCha I put the first of many Alphabet flash cards. They are by Milton Bradley and were made in 1957. Since I love CATS, the first to go up is C for Cat.

My research on these cards brought up an interesting lawsuit. The Vice President of Milton Bradley, had basically stolen the content of these and other flash cards from the Gelles-Widmer Company. He admitted as such, but claimed they were not protected by copyright, since the information in the flash cards is public domain (alphabet, math concept). The court ruled that though that was true, the way these concepts were arranged was indeed copyrighted and Milton Bradley was ruled against. There was a second part to this lawsuit, and that is The Gelles-Widmar Company claimed unfair competition by MB, and that part of the lawsuit was dismissed.*

The lawsuit even states that the VP literally copied the artwork on the cards to use on MB cards. He said he was in a rush to get product together to sell at a toy fair. That could explain why the pictures aren’t as sharp as you would think they would look.

Who knew such controversy in these simple, pretty flash cards.

*I am not a lawyer, so I may not know exactly what I am saying, you can see for your self at: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/313/143/317975/.

“Wheels”, by Kathryn Jackson, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard

Today I renewed a listing. “Wheels” is written by Kathryn Jackson, and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. Both are big names in the children’s literature business. Unfortunately, I could not find any biographical info on Jackson. She also wrote, “Tawny Scrawny Lion”, and “The Saggy Baggy Elephant”.

Leonard Weisgard has more information. There is a web site LeonardWeisgard.com. He was a Caldecott Medal winner, and illustrated over 200 books.  He moved to Denmark in 1969 when he was 53, where his family lives today. You notice that of all the information I have about him, I mentioned his moving to Denmark. I love Denmark (haven’t been there, but it was my country for the 4th grade country report).

He is a favorite illustrator of mine, I love all his work. He uses bright colors and everything he draws has a sweetness and innocence. I think his work, though maybe out of fashion in the 70’s-90’s, has a surprising modern look to them. I love the cherubic look of typical 1950’s children illustration, but Weisgard brings style and a little edge, in a good way. They would look great in any hip child’s room.

Babar – the story behind the story

Up for sale in my Etsy Shop, GotchaChaCha, is a framed and matted page from the book “Babar and the Ghost”, 1962, by Laurent de Brunhoff, the son of Jean and Cecile de Brunhoff. It says,

“Hmmm,” says Babar. “Something strange is going on.”

I like it because I like the colors and the image of Babar, and the fact that the text can stand alone, I think I often say the same thing around my house! The senior de Brunhoffs created the character of Babar and the Old Lady for their sons. Cecile first created the story (didn’t know that before), then the artist Jean created the images and added more details. Jean died young, and eventually, their son Laurent picked up the mantel, and continued on the series. From this website, http://prose.web.wesleyan.edu/Babar/family.htm, I learned all this, and the fact that Cecile might still be alive in Paris.

On another note, here is my Cha Cha. What an inspirations!