Little Golden Book Collector

Monday, July 28 2014 @ 08:15 AM UTC

Eloise Wilkin, illustrator

 NewsEloise Burns Wilkin was born in Rochester, NY on March 30, 1904. At age 11 she won a drawing contest with a picture of a pilgrim returning home. She completed a illustration course at the Rochester Institute of Technology and began doing free lance work. Her first book was 'The Shining Hour' for the Century Co.
Other publishers she worked for were Ginn, Scibner, Little Brown, Rand McNally, Random House and MacMillian. Many early illustrations were for school books. An example is 'The First Grade Book' for Ginn. Early in her career Eloise illustrated paper dolls for Samuel Gabriel & Sons, Playtime House and Jaymar. She illustrated for 4 years before marrying Sidney Wilkin, so early works are signed Eloise Burns. Her sister Esther married Sidneys' brother and Esther later wrote books and Eloise illustrated them.

She signed a contract with Simon & Schuster in 1944 and went on to illustrate 47 little golden books, calendars, shape books,big goldens and sturdy goldens. Her illustrations show innocence of youth and wide-eyed wonder. She used her neighborhood, her children and their friends as models for her illustrations.

In 1961 she designed the Baby Dear doll for Vogue Dolls, Inc. It came in 12 and 18 inches and sold for 6 and 12 dollars.At FAO Schwartz this doll caught Nikita Krushchev's eye and he took 13 dolls with him. Many other doll creations followed.
Many little golden book pages became puzzles which were produced by Simon & Schuster and later Golden Press. Earlier puzzles have been found produced by Playtime House and Leo Hart Co.
Eloise Wilkin little golden books have been found in French, Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

Eloise Wilkin illustrations are found on record sleeves of many little golden records and sometimes on the record label itself.
Eloise's illustrations have been found on china plates, ads, Hallmark cards and in Child's Life, Story Parade and Golden Magazines.
Eloise and Sidney raised 4 children-Ann, Sidney, Deborah and Jeremy. When the children were young she did little artwork.

Eloise Burns Wilkin died in 1987 but her work lives on in all the collectors who pursue their collections.

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