A Very Merry Christmas to You

I'm making this a yearly thing:

The First Noel

I've posted this for the past two Christmases, but again, I say it's worth posting again: The First Noel, a small Golden Book illustrated by the brilliant husband-wife team of Alice and Martin Provensen, 1959.

You can view the book in its entirety HERE.

The First Noel: pp. 5-6

The First Noel: pp. 15-16

The First Noel: pp. 17-18

The First Noel: pp. 21-22

The First Noel: back cover

Normally I don't scan an entire book, but I did so for this particular one because 1) it's not really that long, 2) the illustrations are amazing, and 3) the story.

This book was done during what I consider a highpoint of creativity for The Provensens. Around the same time, they illustrated the equally beautiful Homer's The Illiad and the Odyssey from 1956.

Merry Christmas!

(And a very Happy Birthday to bro-in-law Von!)


  1. Very nice book - and glad to see you are posting the real reason for Christmas. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Happy Holidays Ward! Thanks for all the goodness you post all year long!

  3. Hi Ward. A belated holiday's greeting to you and your family. Again, a great post. I collect the Provenson's work and was unaware of this book until you first posted it a few years ago. I went searching for a copy and eventually got one on Ebay. Terrific stuff and I agree with you- a career high point. It would be interesting to have a discussion about career ebb's and flows. I had to cut down on my book collection a few years back which forced me to take a hard look at the merit of keeping this or that and found myself taking note of periods in a artists output that did less for me then others. I kept almost all of the early Provenson material - from about 1948 thru to the early - mid sixties. Kept Fairy tales from 1972 and as well the Glorious Flight. I'm a completest so it was hard but again I found having a collection that spanned a particular artists career over decades literally spread out in front of you gave rise to thinking about again, the evolution of there work and what examples spoke to me more then others.

  4. Ward,
    Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed looking at all the pages.

  5. Oh, I had this book when I was little. i wonder where it's gone.