Oh, Ms. Graham, you modern woman!

This is the last (for now) post about the subtle details in Margaret Bloy Graham’s drawing. I hope by now you know to scour her book for little bonus drawings – bugs, squirrels, great people sketches and sometimes even more…

We’ve covered her naughty side, her playful side and now … her subtle bits of picture book desgregation!

First up, take a look at Linda’s doll in the first picture from 1973’s “Benjy’s Dog House:”


That might not seem like a big deal, but I ask you when’s the last time you saw inter-racial doll ownership in a picture book? 

Look at this detail from a zoo scene in “Be Nice to Spiders,” a completely charming book from circa 1967.


We’ve got older multicultural friends sitting on a park bench, while behind them there’s an African-American girl with white adults.

Again, in 2007 this may not seem like so much. I’ve got an interracial love story in Qwikpick and I’m not sure anybody’s even noticed it.

But in the mid-60s, Graham’s pictures were mighty forward thinking and mighty cool. During a time when race relations were highly politicized, Graham used these books about a spider and a lonely dog to show how nice things could be.

Wasn’t Harry the Dirty Dog once questioned as racially insensitive? Well, these pictures seem to disprove that and to assure us that Graham’s heart was in the right place.

Plus, she is one heck of a great artist.

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