Professor talks classic kids’ books

Presentation will compare illustrations from different artists



Anne Phillips, Kansas State University English professor talks about her passion for studying illustrations in books, like The Little House on the Prairie in Avery Hall on Monday.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

An English professor from Kansas State University will hold a presentation titled “Illustrating Little House on the Prairie” at 5:30 p.m. today in Neill Public Library.

This is Anne Phillips’ first time in Pullman, she said. WSU’s English Department Chair Donna Potts worked with Phillips at Kansas State University. Potts made arrangements for Phillips to speak in Pullman.

Phillips said her presentation will focus on the differences in the interpretations made by the two illustrators of The Little House on the Prairie.

She said the children’s books were originally illustrated by Helen Sewell when they were published in the 1930s, but there was another illustration done in 1953 by Garth Williams.

Phillips said in her presentation she will show sample images from each illustrator and discuss the different interpretations they had.

People interested in the future of books, kids and reading should attend this event because it is important to know this information, she said.

The event will be lively because there will be a lot of images, she said. People will also learn new information about children’s books.

“These are our stories, and this is our culture and we learn more about ourselves when we study these kinds of things,” she said.

Phillips said she has focused her studies on children’s literature because she always loved children’s books. She said she learned to read from The Wizard of Oz by following along in the book while a recording of the text played on a record player.

“I have always loved these books and these images,” she said. “To get to study those is like ‘I have the best job on campus.’ ”