Dream Blocks children’s poems by Aileen Cleveland Higgins. Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.
‘Dream Blocks’ forms a collection of delightful children’s poems, written by Aileen Cleveland Higgins. Some long, some short – some whimsical, educational, and even moral, the verses are sure to delight any children who come across them. They include: ‘The Big Clock’, ‘A Rainy Day’, ‘The Sick Rose’, ‘A Prayer’, ‘Summer’s Blessing’, ‘The Moon Path’, and many others. The poems are also accompanied by the beautifully delicate illustrations of Jessie Willcox Smith.
Jessie Willcox Smith was born in Philadelphia. After school, she briefly holds a job as a kindergarten teacher but unhappy with teaching, she returns to Philadelphia and enrolled at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, and soon switched to the more intensive Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. She joined Howard Pyle’s class at the Drexel Institute, alongside Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley. Howard Pyle set up Smith and Oakley to collaborate on the 1897 illustration of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline. The group of female illustrators grew and to become known as the Red Rose Girls - a synonym of the Golden Age of American illustration, a time when magazines were richly illustrated. The four member-women lived together from 1897 to 1911. Two group members, Smith and Cozens resided together from their days at the Red Rose Inn until their deaths. Jessie Willcox Smith received great respect and achieved financial success. Along with her companions, she was a member of the prestigious Philadelphia Plastic Club, an organization of women artists. Her illustrations graced the covers and pages of such publications as Harper’s, Scribner’s, Collier’s, Woman's Home Companion, Century, and McClure’s. Smith’s career lasted until 1933, when her eyesight began to fail. Smith died in 1935.