Monday, April 7, 2008

Jane Flory - An Introduction

Jane Flory was a classic children’s book author/illustrator, whose career began in the 1940s and continued into the early 1980s. At the start of her professional life, Flory was part of a group of artists that helped define the look of the modern children’s book in America. These were books that were colorful, with a sense of play, optimistic and accessible.

In Flory’s first works, the pictures were as important as the story. Filled with lighthearted caricatures as well as cheerful graphics, Flory’s books were meant to entertain very young children in addition to creating a new generation of readers. With names like, “The Little Caboose”, “The TOO LITTLE Fire Engine” or “Snooty, the Pig Who Was Proud”, these spirited books were the type that young children would want to read over and over again.

In the early 1960 Flory took on more ambitious projects, writing and illustrating longer novels for an adolescent audience. Flory’s transition to novelist resulted in a body of work that was acclaimed, translated into several languages and presented her worldview. Books of this period often took place in historic settings addressing issues of self-esteem as well as hope and aspiration. Her stories were always empowering and encouraged.


Jane Trescott Flory was born to Leroy Charles and Hazel Trescott on June 29, 1917 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

At the age 24, she married Arthur Louis Flory (1914-1972), a printmaker and faculty member at the Tyler School of Art. Together they had three daughters - Cynthia, Christine, and Erika. In 1980, Flory married Barnett R. Freedman, but continued to write under the name Jane Flory.

Flory was educated at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now University of the Arts) receiving her college degree in 1939.

After graduation, she worked as a free-lance writer and illustrator of children’s books. In addition, Flory served as the director of evening division at Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) for 16 years (1958-1974).

In the latter part of her career, she mentored and collaborated with children’s book author and illustrator, Carolyn Croll. Croll met Flory when she was a student at the Philadelphia College of Art.

During the last years of her life, Flory spent her days making quilts. She lived most of her adult life in or near Philadelphia.

Jane Flory died on November 25, 2005.

Covers - Early Books

Covers - Later Books

Books by Jane Flory

1944 - Snooty, the Pig Who Was Proud, Whitman Publishing
1944 - How Many?, Holt
1945 - What Am I?, Domesday
1945 - The Wide Awake Angel, Grosset
1945 - Laura Harris, Away We Go (illustrator), Garden City Books
1946 - The Hide-Away Ducklings, Grosset
1946 - The Cow in the Kitchen (with husband, Arthur Flory), Lothrop
1946 - Fanny Forgot, Whitman Publishing,
1947 - Once upon a Windy Day, Whitman Publishing
1948 - Toys, Whitman Publishing,
1948 - The Powder Puff Bunny Book, Capitol Publishing Co.
1949 - The Lazy Lion, Whitman Publishing
1949 - ABC, Whitman Publishing
1949 - Timothy the Little Brown Bear, Rand McNally
1950 - Farmer John, Whitman Publishing,
1950 - Mr. Snitzel's Cookies, Rand McNally
1950 - The Too-Little Fire Engine, Wonder Books
1951 - The Pop-up Runaway Train, Avon
1952 - Count the Animals, Loew
1955 - Surprise in the Barn, Whitman Publishing
1957 - Jeremy's ABC Book, Behrman
1960 - Peddler's Summer, Houghton
1962 - A Tune for the Towpath, Houghton
1963 - One Hundred and Eight Bells, Houghton
1964 - Clancy's Glorious Fourth, Houghton
1966 - Mist on the Mountain, Houghton
1968 - Faraway Dream, Houghton
1972 - Ramshackle Roost, Houghton
1974 - We'll Have a Friend for Lunch, (illustrated by Carolyn Croll), Houghton
1974 - The Liberation of Clementine Tipton, Houghton
1974 - The Golden Venture, Houghton
1977 - The Unexpected Grandchildren, (illustrated by Carolyn Croll), Houghton
1979 - The Lost and Found Princess, Houghton
1979 - It Was a Pretty Good Year, Houghton
1980 - The Bear on the Doorstop, (illustrated by Carolyn Croll), Houghton
1982 - The Great Bamboozlement, Houghton Mifflin