- Books, Literature, and Writing
Beautiful Old Children's Books
Beautifully Illustrated Vintage Children's Books
Some of the illustrations in old public domain books are stunning. I'm especially fond of children's stories. They are truly works of art and something to be appreciated. I've handpicked each one. Some of these are treasures of beautiful artwork. I tend to favor color illustrations and look for images that really pop with color and detail so those are the types of images I've picked to show here.
I also look for books that have many images in them so they form a collection of images with a similar style. Included is a sampling of the pictures followed by the link so you can view the book in its entirety.
These old books can be a treasure trove of artwork because years ago there was a lot of work that went into it. All the artwork was meticiously drawn out and carefully lithographed so it could be printed. It's not like it is today where there are millions and millions of books and now people can even publish their own. There isn't any need to be approved by a publisher or even find a printing house to print it.
Most of the books were done in black and white ink because the process for printing color was costly, time consuming and labor intensive. However even the black and white pictures can be stunning in some of the books, especially some of the old catalogues.
Apple Pie and Other Nursery TalesClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Ballad of the Lost HareClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Ballad of the Lost Hare
Written by Margaret Sidney and published in 1882. Soft, delightful illustrations of a rabbit who runs aways from his family and encounters all kinds of problems. It's a wonderful story and beautifully illustrated.
Christmas RosesClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Christmas roses
Christmas Roses was published in 1886 by Lizzie Lawson. It's a collection of poems for children. You can almost feel the silkiness of the girl's dresses in these pictures. They are so soft and beautiful.
Aunt Ann's Lesson-Book, for Very Young ChildrenClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Aunt Ann's Lesson-Book, for Very Young Children, by Anonymous
First published in 1822 by an anonymous author and illustrator. The story contains lessons for children like having little boys and girls come when they are called, and minding their mothers. Hmmm, maybe I should get my kids to read this. Wonder if i
CinderellaClick thumbnail to view full-size
This is an OpenLibrary.org project. At only 11 pages long this is a very short story with full page illustrations. A very beautiful treasure. Everything is wonderful about this publication, even it's cover.
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Learn all about the vast hidden treasures of copyright free books, images, music and film that are available in the public domain. All of these are free for the taking including repackaging and selling as your own products.
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The Circus ProcessionClick thumbnail to view full-size
- The Circus Procession
A beautifully illustrated circus parade with clowns, camels, chariots, elephants, and ostriches. Published in 1888 by McLoughin Bros. by an unknown author. This in the available for copyright free use and is a Project Gutenberg book.
The Thirteen Little Black PigsClick thumbnail to view full-size
- The Thirteen Little Black Pigs
I love the distinctive color drawings in this story. There are also many line drawings sprinkled throughout the text. Written by Mary Louisa Molesworth, illustrated by Walter Jenks Morgan, published in 1893, this is a Project Gutenberg Canada ebook.
Little Downy, or The History of a Field MouseClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Little Downy, or The History of a Field Mouse
Written by Catharine Parr Traill, illustrated by anonymous, and first published ca. 1822. This was one of Catharine Parr Traill's earlier works. She was a prolific writer who wrote children's stories as well as nature books about flowers. A Project G
Other Web Links Related to Old Book Art
- Old Book Art
Great site with search links to find old images. Site is well organized and easy to navigate. The downloads are free, but there is also an option to purchase prints.
- Children's Literature - Digitized Print Materials (Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room, L
A wonderful selection of children's books that have been digitized and are free to view.