Janet LaSalle's Better Living illustrations
Cover to When Children Start Dating, illustrated by Janet LaSalle. 1951.
I found two booklets that were part of this "Better Living" series at a flea market several months ago. There were many other booklets in the series, but these two were the only ones worth buying because of the artwork. The name "Janet LaSalle" seemed familiar to me, and when I got back home I realized that I had two books that she had illustrated: Billy's Neighbors and Sound, both of which are featured by Eric in The Retro Kid (thus, I really haven't had the interest in scanning them—maybe later). What I find fascinating about these black & white illustrations is that the look and style are vastly different from the work found in those other books I just mentioned. Whether it may be that the color work was done later (1951, 1952 for the b&w compared with 1957,1962 for the color) and her style evolved, perhaps, I'm not sure—her work in "Billy" and "Sound" is bold and vibrant, with energetic poses and strong use of color. Her characters are looser, more free. Here, she's refined with delicate poses and precise composition. Both styles are excellent—it's a matter of apples & oranges in preference, if you ask me. All it tells me is that Janet had quite a range in styles, and she was highly skilled in whatever style she worked in.
More from When Children Start Dating:
Very angular and stylized linework, Janet's work here features some great thoughtful moments in teenage dating (and children minding their manners in the other booklet). I love her approach to rendering faces as there's just enough emotion through minimal detail. Sign of a great artist.
From Your Children's Manners, 1952:
There's plenty more that I scanned in (total of 19), and you can see the rest of it HERE.