The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection Exhibit Features Illustrations by H.A. Rey

News item published on: 2020-09-14 13:36:00

New Year Card for 1948 illustrated by H. A. Rey.  The illustration depicts the constellations in the night sky reimagined by the artist. The text reads: “The Stars are somewhat in a mess but let’s keep trying nonetheless!” A male and female figure are sketched in the lower, right-hand corner of the card alongside their black dog. Below the small sketch reads: The Rey’s, 42 Washington Square, New York 12.” All images are black and white contrasted against pink paper. The artwork measures 7ins x 9ins.

The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection is currently exhibiting rarely seen works from renowned children’s book illustrator, H. A. Rey. The exhibit, The Imaginings of H. A. Rey: Illustrations and Musings of the Artist (1937-1971), will be on display through March 2021 in the Brooks Reading Room in McCain Library and Archives.

Visitors to the exhibit will see original illustrations, historic photographs, book dummies, paste-ups, edited typescripts, letters and ephemera related to the works of H.A. Rey. Included are the lesser-known, yet equally charming, characters Rey created over his long, artistic career; such as Katy No-Pockets, Cecily G. and The 9 Monkeys, Raffy and the 9 Monkeys, Pretzel, Zozo (the character who later became Curious George), Billy’s Pictures, Zebrology, How Do You Get There?, How The Flying Fishes Came Into Being: A Story in 8 Pictures, Tommy Helps Too, Elizabite: The Story of a Carnivorous Plant, Whiteblack the Penguin Sees the World, and Spotty.

In addition to Rey’s characters, he also illustrated New Year’s cards for friends and family from 1927-1972. Each illustration reflected that year in the life of H.A. and Margret Rey. Visitors can view a selection of these New Year’s cards and samples of original artwork.

The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection is the largest repository of H. A. and Margret Rey holdings in the world. To view the exhibit or any other Rey materials, visit the Brooks Reading Room in McCain Library and Archives room 305, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Brooke Cruthirds, assistant curator for the de Grummond Collection, at or 601.266.6182.