COUSIN TOBY (1939)
COUSIN TOBY (1939) PORTRAYED CHILDREN and showed Clare ‘s rare ability to draw one of the most challenging subjects in Art–children. Quite as daunting as the furry features of quickly moving felines, Clare could capture the delicate softness of children’s features and figures, something not accomplished by the Great Masters, who usually depicted children as shrunken adults.
During the last years of her life, Clare would be working on her last opus, a drawing book on infants and children, hoping this could contribute to the work of other artists as her DRAWING CATS had contributed a missing resource on how to draw cats.
COUSIN TOBY came after BARKIS and was always one of my personal favorites because of its wonderful watercolors of young children and its timeless story about the introduction of a new baby into the family. In a way, this book was my only experience of having small brothers and sisters.
The New York Herald Tribune attested:
“Lovely as MITTENS or BABETTE…a day in the lives of a boy of five and a girl of six babysitting a toddler cousin, Toby…The expression of their wide-eyed faces…brings an unaccountable lump into the throat of anyone whose children have grown up…”