Our Favorite Vintage Illustrations from Classic Children’s Books

After spotting a post on Brainpickings on these magical illustrations that Maurice Sendak created for a 1960s edition of The Velveteen Rabbit, we couldn’t resist hunting down other vintage children’s book illustrations — with wonderful results. Alongside the words of such adored authors as Beatrix Potter and Munro Leaf lay simple black-and-white sketches, vibrantly hued drawings, and eccentric portraits that serve as delightful embellishment to timeless stories. Not only do these illustrations lift the tales off of the page, but they have been a source of inspiration for artists and crafters over the past decades. Join us as we round up amazing vintage illustrations from children’s literature, and feel free to add your favorites in the comments.


Langston Hughes, The First Book of Jazz, F. Watts, 1955. Illustrated by Cliff Roberts [Image via]