Monday, December 08, 2008

Where Did You Go, George De Santis?

We got our Christmas tree yesterday, and to make room for it, I had to move the kids toy bins down into the basement, and to make room in the basement I had to organize things a bit. Anyway, I found a box of old books that were read to me when I was a child -- books I kind of forgot I even had, ones that kind of slipped through the parenthood cracks, because I could have been reading these books to my kids if I knew I still had these beat up old hardcovers in the basement.

I didn't really look through the books too closely, because I wanted to get that Christmas tree up and watered, but this book, The Littlest Snowman, immediately brought back a whole bunch of memories, and I knew I'd have to rescue it for bedtime reading last night.

I read it to my daughter, and she loved it! Although I couldn't remember the exact plot of the book, the images were vividly familiar, and I don't know how often I looked at this book as a child, but it sure made a lasting impression. To me, children's books should all look like this one, with its the ephemeral innocence of the George De Santis illustrations.

The story is a strange one, about a snowman who fills up on ice cream just so he can sacrifice himself to bring about a white Christmas. Oh, sorry, SPOILER! Anyway, the book is long out of print as far as I know, and I was so fascinated by the look of George De Santis's artwork, that I hopped online to find out more about him after my daughter went to bed. I couldn't find anything (other than a couple of other great-looking books that he illustrated). He's not famous enough to warrant critical attention, and he's kind of been forgotten by now. But critical revival of De Santis, I'm ready for you!

If I find out more about the guy, I'll let you know. Until then, here are some beautiful images from The Littlest Snowman:





4 comments:

Andrew Wales said...

Stuff like that is a TREASURE! Wish I had some of the books that mesmerized me as a kid. Then sometimes you find it and think, "What did I think was so great about this?"

marcwrz said...

I don't recall that book but the art style definitely looks familiar....

Molly said...

If I ever have any kids, one of the first things I'll do is buy all the books I used to love as a kid. Maybe even before I have kids--I almost bought a copy of "Pat the Bunny" at Chapters the other week.

Andrew Wales said...

"To show a child what once delighted you, to find the child's delight added to your own - this is happiness. " - J B Priestley