Saint Patrick’s Day has us thinking about leprechauns, so Katie and I delved into Cotsen’s special collections vaults to see what we could find! Happily, we discovered The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies : with Assorted Pixies, Mermaids, Brownies, Witches, and Leprechauns (Golden Press, c1951). It’s a collections of stories and poems selected by Jane Werner, and illustrated by the famous Garth Williams.
Garth Williams has a signature style that’s most often associated with his illustrations for Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and the Little House series. The Giant Golden Book, however, is considerably more whimsical, teeming with mythical creatures and fanciful settings. And just look at these moody, evocative end papers:
There is still quite a bit of adorableness, of course. One story featured a walnut carriage drawn by mice:
And a tiny suit of armor composed of fish scales and a robin’s feather plume:
And this amazing “little crinolined dress made of one hundred rose petals”…
We’ll leave you with a charming leprechaun poem by Jane Werner herself:
Images from The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies : with Assorted Pixies, Mermaids, Brownies, Witches, and Leprechauns. New York : Golden Press, c1951. Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University Library