The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

August 11, 2013

August 11, 1908

Don Freeman (August 11, 1908 to January 1, 1978) was an American illustrator and author. The children's books he wrote and illustrated, sometimes in collaboration with his wife Lydia, include Pet of the Met (1953) about a mouse named Mr. Petrini, who turns pages for some musicians at the opera house, and his enemy, Mefisto, who is a cat. This was one of many children's books. However, I don't think Freeman deserved the prose in his article in Twentieth Century Children's Writers (1989). Here is a sample of his write-up there: "He sees his themes and subjects with an artist's eye from which comes a flow of pictures followed by a stream of words." 

His books for adults appear to precede his children's books, but have a similar light touch. We find this description of It Shouldn't Happen, (1945).  "When boot camp slowly changes Pvt. Albert C. Bedlington Jr. into a dog, it takes him a while to learn where he can work in the Army."

We note, a
mong the other authors Freeman did illustrations for, William Saroyan (My Name is Aram, 1940) and The Human Comedy (1943). He did the illustrations for Thurber's The White Deer.(1945, by then Thurber couldn't do his own wonderful drawings.). And many others. Here is the cover of a book he wrote and illustrated, Space Witch (1959), about a child who changes her broomstick into a rocket ship, and takes her cat into outer space.

Front Cover
Don's son Roy Freeman maintains a nice website . His emphases are different than mine: he describes his father first as "Painter, Lithographer, Author, Illustrator." You should go there to get the correct picture of Don Freeman. 

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