My Romance with Dorothy

It happened – all of a sudden.

Like a warm sunrise – it was inevitable.

Once I opened the book A Little Boy Lost by W.H. Hudson – I was in love.

Lathrop Illustration from A Little Boy Lost
Lathrop Illustration from A Little Boy Lost by W.H. Hudson



Dorothy Pulis Lathrop. American.
Author & Illustrator. [b. 1891 – d. 1980]
Her softly rendered pencil illustrations were surely influenced by the artists of the Golden age, but her style is truly her own. Over the years her style became more fluid, more serene, more enchanting. Influences: Asian art.

Lathrop was the inaugural recipient of the Caldecott Medal for her drawing in Animals of the Bible. “The Caldecott Medal has become synonymous with quality in picture books, and Dorothy P. Lathrop has the distinction of being the first artist ever to receive this esteemed award. With this honor, in 1938, she became part of the tradition of American books for children that continues today.” –PM


Dorothy Lathrop, 1929, illus. for Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field

Lathrop knew how to mix fantasy and reality – with her realism in depicting animals, fauna & nature and her floating gossamer fairies, nymphs & elfins all balance and blended in her wonderful illustrations.

Here are 3 examples of her fantastical work from the 1930 The Fairy Circus – written and illustrated by Lathrop.


The power of the line and vision of Lathrop overtakes me. For example. This sweet, delicate Snow Queen is enveloped in a heavy laden snow cave – the snow still falling , even pressing heavily down on the plants at the surround. The Snow Queen sits content – wings unfurled, skirts floating . . .


From Lathrop’s Little White Goat. 1935

From Lathrop's Little White Goat.  1935

We hope this little sample of her work will encourage you to explore this versatile artist, champion of women and naturalist.

Biography ReferencePennsylvania Center for the Book at PENN State

Find Lathrop ArtFirst edition & early edition book illustration plates available as artworks from seasidecollectibles



4 thoughts on “My Romance with Dorothy

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