Janina Domańska (28 July 1913 – 2 February 1995) was a Polish artist, author and illustrator. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, later moving to the US in 1952, where she later married writer Jerzy Laskowski. Domańska is best known for her self-illustrated children’s books. She won the Caldecott Medal for her book If All the Seas Were One Sea in 1971. Janina became one of the authors at Greenwillow Books, now an imprint of HarperCollins Publisher. She died in Florida, but her home and studio was in New Fairfield, Connecticut. From 1995 to 2002 my out-of-print bookshop was in New Preston, Connecticut. While there I purchased much of the estate of Ursula Nordstrom who “discovered” Maurice Sendak. Most of those items I “horse-traded” with Maurice, and they are now in the Rosenbach Museum. Sometime after Janina’s death, the attorney for her estate asked me to work with him in cleaning out her books. A pleasurable experience, she had multiple copies of many of her books, which I have happily placed over the years with new generations of readers. The items presented here I kept for my own collection, but it is time they move on to a proper repository.

Following a shakeup at Macmillan in 1974, legendary children’s book editor Susan Hirschman went with William Morrow, naming her new imprint Greenwillow. Many from her Macmillan staff joined her. At age 81, well-known author Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893–1986), who had published with Macmillan since the 1920s, also followed her editor to the new imprint, Greenwillow, which was named from her poem “Under the Greenwillow.” First published in 1971 by Macmillan, Under the Green Willow, was illustrated by Janina Domanska. Greenwillow Books is now an imprint of HarperCollins.

ABOVE – some ephemera from Janina’s home and two special copies of Under the Green Willow.

First published in 1971, and reissued for the 10th anniversary of Greenwillow books. in 1971 Under the Green Willow was an Honor Book at the Children’s Spring Festival Book World. This title was republished at Greenwillow in 1984 in celebration of Greenwillow’s tenth anniversary. A special edition of 300 had this limitation page for presentation to friends. I have two copies — NUMBER ONE given to Janina and signed by the staff. For comparison I also have copy 51, and you can see the “s” was not scratched out on this page.

Immediately below is the original artwork for a page from The First Noel illustrated by Janina. The artwork measures 11 by 12 1/2 inches, and the illustration is essentially full size for the book, which was published in 1986. Signed by Janina in 1986, there is a Greenwillow stamp on the rear.

glare from my lights on the dust jacket protector — below you can see a note to Janina from Susan [Hirschman] with Christmas greetings.

below showing the illustration with the page in the book.

The above special items I am offering as a lot for $385 plus post.

Below are some additional items from Janina’s estate, priced separately.

ABOVE — Poster measuring about 22 1/4 inches by about 17 inches with an illustration from The Tortoise and the Tree, adapted by Janina Domanska and published by Greenwillow Books in 1978. Professional shrink wrapped on a foam type board, there are two tears in the plastic wrap (only) Presented by Susan, Ava, Libby, Ade – “For Janina — with love & thanks from Greenwillow!” – $135 plus post.

BELOW – 1976 THE CHILDREN’S BOOK COUNCIL, INC. poster – POETRY by Janina Domanska (signature is printed with poster) – in a metal frame with glass, measuring about 17 1/4 inches by about 22 inches. – $115 plus post.

Oversize edition (measuring about 15 inches by 18inches) of If All the Seas Were One Sea, etchings by Janina Domanska. Originally this title published in 1971, this is from the “Macmillan Predictable Big Books” printed in 1990. From what I can ascertain, this edition was made for school use to be read aloud from the front of a classroom – Two copies available – $40 each plus post.

Not illustrated: 1] LOOK THERE IS A TURTLE FLYING, by Janina Domanska, first printing 1968, very good (pictorial boards) with a chipped dust jacket – laid in is a note, “Oh Janina it is so BEAUTIFUL. Thank you! Love, Susan” – $15; and, 2] another fine copy of THE FIRST NOEL, first printing 1986 – unread from the author’s estate – $15.


A view inside our Out-of-Print Bookshop
In Historic Walpole, New Hampshire  —  Established 1980