Skip to main content

Children's Literature

Is that Book Signed? Illustrators' Drawings as Inscription

by Linda Salem on 2017-08-02T14:04:00-07:00 | Comments

For background nformation about illustrator Taro Yashima see

Sometimes I find an illustrator has "signed" a book by drawing a custom illustration inside it for the owner. Many examples of this appear in books found in the San Diego Public Library's Historical Children's Collection, now a special collection at SDSU Library.The first example I share is Crow Boy  by Japanese author/illustrator Taro Yashima. Where the drawings appear on the verso or reverse side of the page the author draws a crow in flight and below he writes the inscription, 

 "To: Boys and Girls of San Diego Public Library." On the recto or front side of the page and in the tradition of form (character)-based writing, Yashima draws and hand colors Crow Boy over the words "Crow Boy." Here the inscription continues, "with Best wishes- April 16th, 1968. Author, Taro Yashima." He then draws an image of his own seal or the image he uses as a signature. Please note how the vibrance  of the yellow, orange, pink, and blue contrasts with the black ink in this image to create a glowing quality. Such color vibrance in a 1968 drawing suggests this book has been well conserved with very little exposure to light.  Stay tuned for more on this artist and on other examples of illustrators' drawing-enhanced signatures. Happy reading. 

 Add a Comment


  Recent Posts

Coretta Scott King Book Award turns 50!
The Lost Love Letters
From Newspaper Article to Picture Book. Armando and the Blue Tarp School by Edith Hope Fine, Judith Pinkerton Josephson. Hernan Sosa, illus. Lee & Low Books.
The Clara Breed Historical Children's Collection at San Diego State University. A bibliography of books in the collection.
The Juvenile Collection Move --Same Place, Better Organization!
Pointing to the moon. Catching up with picture book author and SDSU alum Cindy Jenson-Elliott.
Classic Children's Books in the Mary Louise Olsen Collection
Gene Luen Yang Recommends Writers and Artists in Comics, Animation, and Graphic Novels in CLAQ Special Issue
The Edward Gorey Personal Library - Explore it today
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Oliver Wilson's Survey (1937)
CFP Children's Literature Society panels at the American Literature Association May 24-27, 2018
Don and Lydia Freeman Added Illustrations in Beady Bear, Pet of the Met, and Chuggy the Blue Caboose.
Is that Book Signed? Illustrators' Drawings as Inscription
New Exhibit - The Author A.B.C.s from the Collection of Peter and Helen Neumeyer, July 2017
The SDSU Children’s Book Collections in the SDSU Library
Ukiyo-e, the Floating World Picture, and Children
Fairytale Illustrations - Relief and Illumination
Chris Riddell and letterpress texture in The Sleeper and the Spindle (2015).
Celebrate el dia!
Takeo Takei and Miss Clara Breed
Making Color from Insects in Illustrated Scientific Materials
Books on Color for Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Novelists, Conservationists, Chemists, and Historians. An Annotated Bibliography by Linda Salem and Margaret Drehobl


Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Follow Us

  Back to Blog Home
This post is closed for further discussion.