This article about Eulalie was written by Karen Hinz (July 15, 1997 and last updated by her on August 20, 1997). It was provided to us courtesy of Kay E. Vandergrift, Professor Emerita, Rutgers University, who had an extensive web library of children's literature and learning while at Rutgers. - See correspondence at the end of this page.
jdayminis.com March 18,2008.

Eulalie celebrated her 102nd birthday June 12, 1997 and delighted her guests by drawing this mouse, her famous trademark.

LEARNING ABOUT
EULALIE


Written by Karen Hinz

Eulalie (pronounced U-la-lee) celebrated her 102nd birthday on June 12, 1997 in California. Shortly after my children were released from school for the summer, I received a letter from Betty Kalagian, a friend of Eulalie and former editor of Expectations, a braille publication, informing me that Eulalie was indeed still alive and she would be attending her 102nd birthday celebration on June 12, 1997. She was delighted to hear that a WEB page existed in honor of Eulalie.

I was most excited to hear of this news, for as I began my search for Information on the lady, I have been amazed at the volumes of work produced by Eulalie and how little is actually printed about her. One March 14, 1997, I attended the 16th Annual 1997 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. When I inquired with children's book dealers about Eulalie and her work, many showed me their books and nothing more. I questioned one dealer as to why the price was so high on a beautiful edition of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, 1950's edition. I was simply told that Eulalie was a very old children's illustrator. She died a long time ago and that is why her work is so valuable.

However, I am most pleased to say that Eulalie is still alive at the age of 102 years and what makes her work so valuable is what makes anyone's work valuable and that is its ability to speak to its audience. The Bumper Book, edited by Watty Piper and illustrated by Eulalie, became one of my favorite books as I was growing up. I personally delighted in the illustrations and found myself lost in the lands depicted by the artwork of Eulalie. It was her ability to pull me into those pictures where I lived in the world of childhood fantasy.

I trust that as you read the information complied on Eulalie you will find some memories that you have tucked away of those times when someone read to you your most favorite childhood story.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

EULALIE (pronounced U-la-lee) was born, Eulalie Banks, June 12 1895 to Marie Minfied and Frederick Francis Banks. She was the youngest of nine children; born in a house at the corner of Wickham Road, Bockley, Southeast London, England.

All sources indicate that she had a real love and talent for illustrating from a very early age. At age 15 she landed her first job as an illustrator for a children's page in a woman's magazine. At age 18, the book titled, Bobby in Bubbleland, was her first published work. She was both author and illustrator.

In 1916 she married Arthur L. Wilson, a Captain in the RAF Expeditionary forces. In 1918 she moved to Alberta, Canada and to the United States in 1919. In 1921 she had a child, Athalie Wilson Neely. She divorced Arthur in 1931.

Platt & Munk commissioned her to illustrate the book, The Cock, The Mouse, and The Little Red Hen, edited by Watty Piper, published in 1925. This was her first book published in the United states and the first of many that was published by Platt & Munk. She also did illustrations for Robert Louis Stevenson's, A Child's Garden of Verses, 1929. I had a chance to see a copy of this work. It was beautifully done.

The book The Enchanted Canyon Fairy Story by Homer H. Mitten, published by Suttonhouse in 1932, is described as follows by Phyllis Barton, author of Eulalie Banks, Children's Book Illustrator, An Annotated Bibliography. This book was published for both trade and in a limited edition. These limited editions were published in gold-stamped turquoise cloth with 12 full color plates. It was limited to 400 copies singed by both the author and the artist. Because the majority of her work was published as inexpensive children's books, one sometimes does not get a true feel of what the illustrator is capable of producing with other mediums of art. The publisher went to great lengths to make the limited edition of this book very attractive to the consumer, and so I imagine the artwork was most likely very nicely reproduced. It would be fun to see copy of these illustrations.

In 1927 EULALIE received a commission to paint the boys and girls room of the Santa Monica Library. Again, according to Phyllis Barton, EULALIE presented her sketches for the children's library on a roll of shelf paper! Today we live in a world where image is everything. And in spite of it being 1927, I suspect that image and presentation still held a great power. I can only imagine this tiny woman who reached the great stature of 4'11 1/2", walking into a board room of the most important people and making a presentation of what is to be a representation of great artwork for great masterpieces in children's literature on kitchen shelf paper! Now I can only imagine that she was the lowest bidder and the entire board of Directors were very thrifty and so they gave it to her or they had the good sense to see beyond the shelf paper and see something in the character of the artist that gave them the go ahead to make her the artist of the boys and girls room in the Santa Monica Library.

These murals graced the walls of the Santa Monica Library for years and were the catalyst for me finding the information on Eulalie. What a pleasure it must have been to be surrounded by the actual oil paintings for her characters brought to life in this medium. Apparently before the old bulding of the Santa Monica Library was torn down, Eulalie reproduced the paintings on canvas. Above is a picture of one of the mural walls that Betty Kalagian sent to me. Below is Betty Kalagian and Eulalie with one of the reproductions of the walls.

She also painted nursery murals for actress Ann Harding in 1930, for Harold Lloyd in 1931 and for Charlie Chaplin in 1932. During the 30's she also painted many murals for offices, store walls and dentists offices that specialized in orthodontics. In 1974 the city of Santa Monica honored EULALIE. Mayor Clo Hoover presented her with a special commendation for her contribution to the city of Santa Monica. The Santa Monica Independent, August 22, 1974, stated that her art work was displayed by the Altrusa Club.

When I was living in Detroit, I happened to hear a radio interview with EULALIE on the National Public Radio. I remember her talking about murals she had painted and books she had illustrated. Her voice was tiny sounding and I was fascinated by rhythm of her words. When I was studying at Wayne State University, I spend many hours at the Detroit Public Library in between classes. I recall seeing fairy tale characters painted on the walls of the big reading room in front in the new section. These figures looked very much like those of EULALIE. The summer of 1996 I returned to the Detroit Public Library to look at the room and see the pictures. However, the walls were bare and no one there at that time knew anything about the pictures. If anyone reads this page and knows anything about these murals or pictures, please email me at HINZT@mail.firn.edu.

During the second World War, EULALIE returned to England and stayed there until 1953 when she returned to Santa Monica, California. While she was in London she worked as head artist for the Amex Company. She designed greetings cards. She had 250 designs and four calendars. These greeting cards were very much loved by the royal family and they ordered many of them. It was also during this time frame that the illustrations for The Bumper Book were produced.

The Bumper Book, my favorite, was published in 1946 under the complete title, The Bumper Book, A Collection of Stories and Verse for Children. Other releases of this book were in 1955, 1959. In 1961 and 1969 is was released under the title, The Bumper Book: A Harvest of Stories and Verses. Although the books claims its editor as Watty Piper, its true authors are most accomplished. The table of contents reads: Eugene Field, Mary L.T. Tufts, William D. Robertson, Christopher Morley, A. A. Milne, Jo McMahon, Edward Lear, Walter De La Mare, Basil Blackwell, Julia Powell, Anne Elizabeth Allen, Frances Heilprin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, Leora Robinson, Matthew Browne, and Sara Coleridge.

It is the Table of Contents that makes this book unique and decidedly different from the previous releases of Platt & Munk which were just mostly traditional tales simply retold by Watty Piper, the in-house editor of Platt & Munk. It is this fact too where one can see the creativity of EULALIE as she interpreted into pictures the stories and poetry of these authors and poets.

I am sure the style in which this book was published made a difference too. The artwork of EULALIE took on a new appearance. In early works the colors are flat and for the most part drab. Also many illustrations were simply black and white outlines. But in The Bumper Book, the pages had bright full color pictures that filled the entire page. And the pictures would shine because they were printed on heavy glossy paper. The cover is a very deep rose pink. As a child, I liked this.

And apparently Eulalie had an eye for quality too, for when later editions of The Bumper Book were published a different cover was used, illustrated by Betty de Auaujo, as well as a lesser quality of printing. When Eulalie saw these later editions she was quite upset and contacted the editors to complain. In an interview with Ray Richmond of the Daily News she is quoted with the following: "They put out this book without any end sheets, thin as the dickens, and some silly ass did a new cover. So I raised hell. I asked them why on earth they got someone else to do the cover and they said, "Well, we thought you were dead."

***These prints were from a very old copy of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. The book itself was falling apart, but the pages were in great shape.








BIBLIOGRAPHY OF EULALIE'S WORK

Bannerman,Helen. Little Black Sambo. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1925.

Browning, Robert. Pied Piper of Hamelin. Illus. by Eulalie. London: Dean & Sons, 1948.

Caldwell, Doris. Dawn and Other Verses. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Wallace Hebberd, c.1929.

Chicken Little. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1932.

Culp, William Maurice. And A Duck Waddles Too. Illus. by Eulalie. San Francisco, CA: Harr Wagner, 1939.

Culp, William Maurice. Jeremiah, the Cat. Illus. by Eulalie. San Francisco, CA: Harr Wagner, 1939.

Eulalie. Bobby in Bubbleland. Illus. by Eulalie. London: Gale and Poulden, Ltd, c.1913.

Eulalie. Dancing Dinah. Illus. by Eulalie. London: Ayers & James Pty, Ltd., n.d.

Jack and the Beanstalk. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1934.

Lennox, Mary. Funny Grunt and Frisky Frog: A Pig and A Frog See the World Together. Illus. by Eulalie. Los Angeles, CA: Suttonhouse, c. 1932.

Lennox, Mary. The Wishing Tree. Illus. by Eulalie. San Francisco, CA: Faralar Press, 1935.

Little Red Riding Hood. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1934.

Madison, Elizabeth Syle. Child of the Sea: A Story of Early California. San Francisco, CA: Williams Printing Co., c. 1932.

Mead, Stella. The Speckled Hen. Illus. by Eulalie. London: Amex Co., c. 1945.

Mead, Stella. Wid Wad Woo. Illus. by Eulalie. London: Amex Co., [1945].

Mitten, Homer H. The Enchanted Canyon Fairy Story. Illus. by Eulalie. Los Angeles, CA: Suttonhouse, c. 1932.

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c. 1950.

My Story Book Library. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1932, 1934.

Peter Pan. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1934.

Puss in Boots. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1934.

Piper, Watty, ed. Animal Friends Story Book. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1935.

Piper, Watty, ed. Brimful Book: A Collection of Mother Goose Rhymes, Animal Stories. Illus. by Eulalie and Others. New York: Platt & Munk, 1923.

Piper, Watty,ed. The Bumper Book: A Collection of Stories and Verses for Children. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1946.

Piper,Watty, ed. Children's Heart Delight Stories. New York: Platt & Munk, 1934.

Piper, Watty, ed. Children of Other Lands. New York: Platt & Munk, 1933.

Piper,Watty, ed. Cock, the Mouse and the Little Red Hen. New York: Platt & Munk, 1925.

Piper, Watty, ed. Eight Fairy Tales. Verses by Kate Cox Goddard. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c. 1934.

Piper, Watty, ed. Fairy Stories Children Love. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1922.

Piper, Watty, ed. Fairy Tales Children Love. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1932.

Piper, Watty, ed. Famous Fairy Tales. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1932.

Piper, Watty, ed. Famous Rhymes, Mother Goose. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1932.

Piper, Watty, ed. Favorite Mother Goose Rhymes. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1924.

Piper, Watty, ed. Favorite Nursery Stories & Poems. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1985.

Piper, Watty, ed. Favorite Nursery Tales. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1934.

Piper, Watty, ed. Folk Tales Children Love. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1934.

Piper, Watty, ed. The Gateway to Storyland. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c. 1925.

Piper, Watty, ed. Gingerbread Boy, and Other Stories. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1927.

Piper, Watty, ed. Little Readers Library. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1933.

Piper, Watty, ed. Little Red Hen and The Grain of Wheat. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1925.

Piper, Watty, ed. My Indian Library. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1935.

Piper, Watty, ed. My Picture Story Book: A Collection of Objects, Mother Goose Rhymes, Animal Stories. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1932, 1941.

Piper, Watty, ed. Nursery Tales Children Love. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c. 1925, 1933.

Piper, Watty, ed. Rooster, The Mouse, and the Little Red Hen. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1925, 1928.

Piper, Watty, ed. Stories Children Love. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c. 1922, 1927.

Piper, Watty, ed. Three Little Pigs, Retold. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1925.

Piper, Watty, ed. Tick-Tock Tales. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, 1931.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. A Child's Garden of Verses. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1929.

The Three Bears. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt and Munk, c.1934.

Tom Thumb. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1934.

Treasure Box of Children's Stories. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Platt & Munk, c.1922.

The True Mother Goose. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: Gingerbread House/Dutton, c.1979.

Wickham, Constance. Baby's Very First Book. Illus. by Eulalie. New York: William Collins Sons, 1938.

Kalagian, Betty. 1977 Expectations. Illus. by Eulalie. Los Angeles, CA: Braille Institute of America, 1977.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ABOUT EULALIE

Barton, Phyllis Settecase. An Annotated Bibliography Honoring Eulalie Banks Children's Book Illustrator in Celebration of her 97th Birthday June 12, 1992. Old Town Temecula, CA: Pictus Orbis Antiquarian & Collectible Children's Books, 1992.

COMMENTARY ON HER STYLE

EUALIE was more than just a children's illustrator for the Platt & Munk Publishing Company. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, and by her own right, author, illustrator and artist. Although she had no formal training, she developed her own unique style. She had the guts to enter into the business world and succeeded in making her mark. Her murals at the Santa Monica Library delighted many. Her work was commissioned by the famous. She was resourceful, creative and she lived a very long and full life. Her illustrations stand alongside those of Lois Lenski, Helen Sauber, Elizabeth Colbourne, E Bachman, Pelagie Doane, Roger Duvoisin, Alice and Martin Provenson, Charles Robinson, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Amy Millicent Sowerby, and, I am sure, many others.

Her work reflects an era of time in our country in which many suffered great financial loss as a result of the depression and a time when our country, along with the world suffered through the tragedy of two World Wars. Whether esteemed or deemed as just a children's illustrator, she brought to her viewers a world of brightness and fantasy.

EULALIE was born into a world on the brink of change. She lived through the greatest era of progress the world has ever seen. She saw the invention of the automobile and watched it change our world. The world of communications went from telegraph to telephone and now the internet. She lived through the great depression, two World Wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. She watched the evolution of transportation go from the horse and buggy to the automobile and train and airplane. She lived to see a man land on the moon. And somewhere in time I am sure the world passed her by. Her art work is unique to her and unique to the time period in which she lived.

COMMENTS ON THE BUMPER BOOK

It slipped into the house silently even though I had been anticipating its arrival. There was no fanfare by those who actually took it inside. They just laid it on the nearest table and left it. They had no idea what they had received.

I walked into the dinning room, carrying my package. It was not as heavy as I thought. I quickly found a knife to cut the tape and began to unravel the packing. As I pulled out the contents, I was now delighted that my supplier had done a decent job of packing. The deep rose color I remembered well although truth be told, I could not remember the picture on the front cover.

This book, The Bumper Book, was a gateway to happy times and laughter, to comfort and beauty, and everything I remembered was wrapped inside those pages. My sisters and brother would lay on the bed together and we would read, A Nonsense Alphabet by Edward Lear, laughing all the way through it. It became a challenge to see who could read a "letter" all the way without getting the words mixed up or even finish it before another gale of laughter would erupt from our mouths.

Now it had been a long time since I had thought about this book. While picking up in my son's classroom one afternoon during their big circus unit, I happened upon an old dog eared book that Ms. Waage, my son's teacher, had been reading to the class. As I glanced at it, all I could think of was such an ugly color for a book cover, it was an old faded and a dirty blue gray. As I stared at the book, Ms Waage came over and with enthusiasm took the book and began leafing through the pages. She then very excitedly proceeded to tell them that this book was her most favorite book when she was a little girl and that the book contained the story, The First Circus which she read to her class every year during the circus unit.

As I looked at the book and listened to her go on so about her beloved book, the appearance of the book no longer seemed quite as ugly as when I first looked at it. It began to look more like The Velveteen Rabbit of books. Also, the more I stared at the book something began to click in my mind. There was something very familiar about what I was seeing. Then the words, "I don't believe this," tumbled out of my mouth as I read the illustrator's name and the editor's name of the book. The book was titled, Eight Nursery Tales edited by Watty Piper and illustrated by EULALIE.

Just as The Bumper Book captured my imagination, Eight Nursery Tales captured the heart and imagination of my friend. So I decided to find a copy of The Bumper Book to add to her collection of children's literature. Also knowing she is a fan of children's literature, I decided to do some leg work and see what I could find out about Watty Piper and EULALIE. Watty Piper was fairly easy; EULALIE proved a bit more complicated.

I had to stop and laugh the other day as I could hear peals of laughter from my bedroom window. It is a sure sign that spring is here when my neighbor hangs up his swing. My neighbors are retired and have three grandchildren. A day or so before the arrival of the grandchildren, out comes his ladder and up goes the swing. And for a brief period of time there is a gathering of children under the oak tree and the grass is quickly worn away.

No matter how fast paced this world has become, or high tech in its design of children's toys, there is nothing that can delight one more than to hear the simple laughter of children enjoying the wonder of the swing.

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside-

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down of the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

--Robert Louis Stevenson

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

With all the books EULALIE illustrated, I thought that finding information on her would be a fairly easy task. I have talked with book dealers who know of her work, I have talked with librarians across this country that know of her work, but when it came to finding something printed about her there were only two places where her name was mentioned. And in those two places it is only her name with no other information printed. These references are via two of the author's which contain her illustrations. The first is, of course, Watty Piper. The second is Robert Louis Stevenson for whom she had illustrated the book, A Child's Garden of Verses.

The internet provided me with a gateway to many wonderful people whom I met in my search for information about this tiny little lady. First, I found Donnie Smith, Interim Head of Collection Management, New Mexico State University Library. It was he that posted a note over the internet and it was Ginny Gustin the Children's Librarian, who replied from the Santa Monica Library saying she had information on EULALIE, for EULALIE had painted the Santa Monica Children's Library walls in the old building, which has since been torn down. I would also like to thank Betty Kalagian, who took the time to reply to a request and let us all know that Eulalie is still alive. To these two people I own a great deal of thanks for their time in aiding me in this research.

But mostly I owe so many thanks and gratitude to Kay E. Vandergrift for encouraging me to put this thing together. My thanks to all.

And lastly, Clarice here is your information on Watty Piper and EULALIE. What started out as such a simple idea has turned into a published page on the web. Happy Birthday! - Karen Hinz/1997


Friday, 26 November 1999
An Obituary
EULALIE BANKS illustrated over 50 children's books during her long lifetime. Never a great artist, she was always a popular one. She succeeded in charming thousands of children even in unlikely venues such as dentists' waiting rooms or shoe stores, where she installed a number of her distinctively upbeat murals during the 1930s.



Contacts for questions or comments about Eulalie's work.

- Eulalie's daughter: Athalie Neely - nickname Mac at macneely@frontier.net

- Eulalie's granddaughter: Sally Burrows-Hudson at sallybh@iceer.org

- Information about Eulalie's miniaturized books seen in jdayminis.com: Jean at jday1@shaw.ca


Our Correspondence from Kay Vandergrift, Professor Emerita, Rutgers, March 8, 2008
I have finally cleared everything with Rutgers University about the disposition of the site. All of my major site will be taken down soon since I can no longer maintain it..

I would be very pleased if you would take the Eulalie page from my site and continue it in your web site. I have been retired for several years and have not updated any of the author pages, so it is badly out of date. Any changes are entirely up to you. Karen Hinz gave me the rights to her work, and I already did a number of revisions: so that is not a problem.

Athalie [Eulalie's daughter-see her miniature work in our Friends Gallery ] might be interested in knowing that, unlike many of the other author pages on my site which began as work by students in my classes, Karen contacted me and insisted that Eulalie should be included. I challenged her to put together the content and promised that I would do minor editing, scan images, and actually create the page. We worked together online for months and were in contact for a couple of years after that, but basically all I know about her is that she is a big fan and would want to have the information available.