One of my favorite things to do is to scout used bookstores and websites for beautiful vintage copies of classic books. There is just something irresistible about leafing through thick, deckled pages and imagining the lives that the books have lived before they came to be in my hands. One of the reasons that I am drawn to these old books is because so many of them are full of exquisite pictures by exceptional illustrators. I’ve said in a previous post that I wholeheartedly believe in the power of excellent book illustrations to shape children’s affections and tune their hearts toward beauty. I seek out beautifully illustrated books and collect as many as I can. So, when I first came across a collection of Scribner Illustrated Classics illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, I was immediately enchanted.
Wyeth was an American illustrator who lived at the turn of the 20th Century. His illustrations are realistic and poignant, with somewhat faded colors, reminiscent of classical art. His commission to illustrate Charles Scribner & Sons Treasure Island catapulted him to success, and he went on to provide art for many books in the series. Although they can be hard to find, the old Scribner Classics illustrated by Wyeth are worth looking for, and I have been amassing a small collection for my boys. Here are just a few of them!
These exquisite classic books are well worth the hunt (and your book budget)! I still have a long list of others illustrated by N.C. Wyeth that I hope to add to our collection someday!