The Art of Children’s Books

Who would ever “Bette” that Bette Midler would be in the Middle of this?


Children’s picture books are illustrated by some of the most amazing, talented artists of our time.  Naturally, as a children’s book lover, I am a children’s book art lover, as well, and as such, began collecting original art from children’s books many years ago.

Funny story: Back in 1991, the book FOR OUR CHILDREN came out.  It featured artwork donated by many celebrated illustrators with a collection of 20 song lyrics.  The profits and royalties went to benefit the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

One of my favorite children’s book illustrators, Tomie de Paola, created the art which accompanied a Bette Midler song.  The original art was auctioned off in California, also to benefit the charity.  At this time, my friend/business partner and I still owned our bookstore and had someone in California attend the auction and bid on the piece on our behalf.  To my delight, we got it!! To my dismay, we later found out we had been bidding against Bette Midler, who had also sent a representative. It seemed she wanted Tomie de Paola’s artwork of her song Blueberry Pie for her then baby girl’s nursery.  I felt terrible, and went to great lengths to contact “her people” to say she was welcome to the piece at the same amount it cost me – I wasn’t looking to make a profit – just truly felt she should have it.  I was told by her assistant that she would relay my message – which I doubt ever happened – but, at least I tried.  So, this great piece hangs in my house to this day!


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No, the answer was Oliver and Company, the 1988 full letgnh animated film. Billy Joel played a scappy dog and Bette played the poodle Georgette. The movie was set in New York