Helen Sewell

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Helen Sewell
Born27 June 1896
Died24 February 1957 (aged 60)
EducationPratt Institute

Helen Sewell (June 27, 1896 – February 24, 1957) was an American illustrator and writer of children's books. She was a runner-up for the 1955 Caldecott Medal as illustrator of The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh and she illustrated several novels that were runners-up for the Newbery Medal.

Some of her papers were donated to the University of Minnesota.[1]


Sewell was born in Mare Island, California;[1] her father was William Elbridge Sewell, who later became Governor of Guam.[2] She studied at the Pratt Institute, including classes with Alexander Archipenko.[1] Her first book was published in 1923, The Cruise of the Little Dipper and Other Fairy Tales, written by Susanne Langer,[1] and she continued to illustrate throughout her life, including some works for adults. Sewell was the first illustrator of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1932 to 1943), replaced by Garth Williams in 1953 and subsequent editions.[3][4] She died on February 24, 1957, in New York City.[1]

Works illustrated[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Helen Sewell Papers" (finding aid). Children's Literature Research Collections. University of Minnesota Libraries. With biographical sketch.
  2. ^ Leon-Guerrero, Jillette (August 9, 2010). "Guam Leaders from 1899-1904: 12. William Elbridge Sewell". Guampedia. Guam: University of Guam. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  3. ^ "Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House Books" (gallery). Purple House Press (purplehousepress.com).
  4. ^ "Bibliographic Description" Archived 2013-09-21 at the Wayback Machine. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Quote: "Site created November 14, 2004 by Sharon Swanke for Christine Jenkins' "History of Children's Literature" class at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign."

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