Have you every judged a book by it’s cover? Steven Kellogg

Have you every judged a book by it’s cover? Steven Kellogg

When visiting the library or bookstore as a child did you identify with a subject on the book cover?  Or did you hunt until you found an illustrator’s artwork that you recognized?  I never had a set plan but whenever I saw a book illustrated by StevenKellogg, it always went into the “to be checked out” pile of books.

Yankee Doodle

This is the book that started my love for Steven Kellogg’s illustrations.  It was a selection in the “children’s book-of-the-month club” and I loved it.  All the pages are filled with details about the American Revolution.  I would spend hours pouring over each page, hunting for the little dog that followed the little boy from page-to-page.  My mom held onto that book till I had kids and gave it to them.  My oldest son became just as fascinated with the book.

Give the Dog a Bone

My youngest son fell in love with Give The Dog A Bone.  The funny thing is I picked this up for a bargain and had to have because it was illustrated by Steven Kellogg.  Well, even from an early age my youngest loved all the dogs in the story.  We would spend many afternoons counting the dogs on each page, singing the tune of “This old man he played…” and talking about the illustrations.  It became a well-loved book.

Paul Bunyan 20th Anniversary Edition (Reading rainbow book)

The next book of Steven Kellogg’s we added to our library was Paul Bunyan.  In school the boys learned about “tall tales“.  Who better to teach them then the creative storytelling with wonderful illustrations than, Mr. Kellogg?  In the story, Paul travels from one side of the country to the other side with his faithful companion, Babe the blue ox.

If you are not familiar with these stories than you might know him best from his books about Pinkerton, a great dane.  Pinkerton was modeled after Mr. Kellogg’s own dog, Pinkerton.  One of the funniest is called Pinkerton, Behave!.  My youngest son and I enjoyed the fact that even though Pinkerton did his obedience commands differently, in the end, he did them his way which was the best way.

Whether Mr. Kellogg is illustrating for his own stories such as The Island of Skog or for others such as Library Lil by Suzanne Williams, it’s hard to miss the wonderfully fun and colorful characters surrounded by lots of animals illustrated by Steven Kellogg.

Are you familiar with Steven Kellogg’s work?  Let me know in the comment section which story or stories of Mr. Kellogg’s that you have enjoyed and/or shared with your kids.  Below is a treasury of Steven Kellogg’s books which has several of the stories mentioned in this article.

Pinkerton & Friends (Dial Books for Young Readers)

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