Drawn Together

DRAWN TOGETHER: a biography by Sybilla A. Cook

Berta and Elmer Hader were born in the late 1800s. They created a lot of magazine art and then book art and writings for children. They won the Caldecott Medal for THE BIG SNOW in 1949 and Caldecott Medal Honors in 1940 for COCK-A-DOODLE-DO and in 1944 for THE MIGHTY HUNTER.

They won accolades and support from adults and children alike during their long and diverse careers. Forty six of their own books were published and they illustrated another forty-five books for other authors. They were honored by their editors, their peers and generations of readers and admirers. That admiration continues today.

In the early 1920s the Haders created children’s pages for a number of magazines – paper dolls, action toys, finger puppets and peek-boxes. A nation of children spent many hours playing with the Haders' imaginative creations. A change in postal regulations banned these types of magazine inserts. The Haders were saddened by that, but then entered an illustrators contest sponsored by Macmillan in the late 1920s. Louise Seaman had arranged the contest because she wanted to create a “Happy Hour” series. Berta and Elmer won the contest with their illustration of THE UGLY DUCKLING. The Happy Hour series had them illustrating HANSEL & GRETEL, THE LITTLE RED HEN, and others. Their book writing career was launched.

The picture on the left is a sample of a one of a kind painting they added to every book they sent to a relative or friend. Each shows the Haders doing something appropriate for the book. This drawing is in the copy of the Lost in the Zoo book that was sent to Berta's mother. Every printed book also has a small cameo picture on the reverse title page.

The Haders' contribution to children’s literature was significant and important. There was a vibrancy and magnificence of detail in their work which lives on even though Elmer passed away in 1973 and Berta in 1976.

To learn more about the Haders, visit these websites: http://haderconnection.com/

Sybilla Cook is a personal friend of the Hader’s niece, Joy Hoerner Rich. Joy is dedicated to helping people re-discover her aunt and uncle’s myriad talents and accomplishments. Joy and another Hader devotee, Karen Tolley, have joined Sybilla in doing research for this biography.

This biography is published by Concordia University Publishing, 2016.

This book can be purchased by contacting Linda Church at 503-493-6370 or through Amazon.