By Mabel Law Atkinson
This past week, while scanning part of the “mountains” of documents received from Walt and Erline, I encountered five charming hand-crafted books of pictures and poetry by Erline’s mother, Mabel Law Atkinson:
1. Illustrated Jingles for Walter and Willie
Mabel created the book in February and March, 1948, while a patient in Woodcroft Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado. She dedicated it to her two grandsons, Walter LeGrand Whipple Jr. and William Loren Whipple.
Might this have been her first venture into “publishing” a book?
Like the other four titles, all are written/drawn on 8 1/2- x 11-inch (28 x 22 cm) drawing paper, with covers of construction paper in plastic covers. They are bound by three split brads.
2. Through Childhood’s Eyes
Dated 1948, this title bears the dedication:
To My grandchildren, Whom I love as my own, This booklet is dedicated.
In 1948, Walter and Willie were still her only two grandchildren.
3. As a Small Boy Sees
Written between December 27, 1948, and January 11, 1949, it bears the dedication:
To the memory of The beauty loving soul Of my first born son Melvin Boyd, This booklet is dedicated.
Melvin had died in a car accident at Fort Ord, Monterey, California in 1942. (He and his father were working in the San Francisco shipyards to support the World War II efforts.)
4. In the Magic Garden
The only indication of a date is the handwritten dedication:
Dec. 25, 1950 Merry Christmas Walter, William and Weldon From Grandma
5. Memory Fragrance
It includes the dedication:
To my brothers and sisters Who share these memories with me This volume is dedicated.
A handwritten dedication to Erline and LeGrand is dated December 25, 1950.
In addition to the above five titles, there are at least five additional “Hand-made Books Illustrated in Color“?