Feodor Rojankovsky and Vintage Children's Book Illustration

November 14, 2012

Hello! I've been busy with illustration jobs, which is good for me, but bad as far as Tiny Aviary updates!

Following up on the last post, my good friend Rebecca lent me a fantastic book: 'Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way'. It's a beautiful anthology of the artists and writers of the Golden Books. It's been such an inspiring resource these last few weeks. There is a wonderful interview with the daughter of Feodor Rojankovsky, the artist of the Papa Bear illustration of the previous post.

Rojankovsky was born in Latvia. He lived in Paris until having to flee it in 1941 due to Nazi occupation of the city. His reputation as an artist was already established in Europe by the time he immigrated to the States. His lifelong passions were for painting and the study of nature. His love and keen observation of nature really shows in his illustration work. His daughter Tatiana said that they would often go to the zoo, and he was never without his sketchbook. I love this quote from her about her father:

"He was a firecracker - very quick and agile. He played the balalaika and love to dance and give parties. He was fifty-eight when I was born and even when I was in my teens he would start jumping up on tables, imitating a monkey!"

The bottom 2 illustration are by Rojankovsky. The top one is actually by another Golden Book artist, Leonard Weisgard. I think they're all incredible.


  1. They are wonderful illustrations. I love the colors in all of them. The garden 'génies' one made me laugh. We have a 4-legged creature who would fit in with the 'bad' group. Thankfully for him, he has other redeeming qualities.

  2. They are incredible! Thank you for sharing!


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