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Phoebe Erickson

Phoebe Erickson wrote and illustrated children’s books, amongst which was this edition of Black Beauty. It was an adaptation, adapted (and much shortened) by Eleanor Graham Vance for Random House in 1949, "prepared under the supervision of Josette Frank, Children's Book Adviser of the Child Study Association of America." Eleanor Graham Vance wrote poems for children, as well as some intriguing sounding articles: "Are Parents Mice?" is one she turned in for the Home Journal. When faced with the wrath of my teenage daughter, occasionally, yes, I am, though my aim is generally to be a reasonably chilled out sheepdog.


Moving back to what this piece is supposed to be about, Phoebe Erickson was brought up on a farm. Her books reflect her rural upbringing, and her feeling that children should be educated gently, without the point being hammered home - I read that there are steel traps in the illustrations for Daniel 'Coon, which is an interesting mental picture, certainly, though I've not yet been able to find any illustrations from it. Phoebe Erickson's version of Black Beauty is certainly notable in one respect: Ginger, that well known chestnut mare, is in her version, bay.


Random House, New York, 1949, 62 pp.

Purnell, London, 1949

Publicity Book Services, London, 1953