Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! from Natasha Simkhovitch

For Christmas, I was looking through my small pile of holiday picture books and came across this one.

I believe I bought it for a dollar in the used book store at the downtown Milwaukee Public Library several years ago (during one of my Ellen Raskin visits). As you can see, the cover and binding are in rough shape.

But the art inside is still good. It's by Natasha Simkhovitch, despite the fact that her name is nowhere on the outside of the book. (Google tells me that may be a pseudonym for someone named Marie Stern, about whom very little appears to be available online, though there's a mention of "Marie Stern Papers" in the University of Southern Mississippi's collection.) I wonder what moved her, or Knopf, to use a Russian name in the middle of World War II?

The text is a mix of stories, music, and poems. The art is usually made up of three horizontal illustrations per page, with a decorative border, like these three:

It's a neat book that I don't remember seeing as a child, but I'm happy to enjoy it as an adult.


Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Nice! I really like the art.

Ms Sparrow said...

The illustrations are full of warmth and charm.