This cute coloring book was published by Watkins-Strathmore in 1961. I’m pretty sure, although I can find no documentation, that this must be the same Lois Ehlert who illustrated many popular children’s books beginning in the 1980s, including Color Zoo (1989), a Caldecott Honor Book. She would have been 27 in 1961, and it seems unlikely there would be two children’s book illustrators named Lois Ehlert. There are random, uncredited drawings in some of my old coloring books that I’m certain are early Eloise Wilkin and also Fern Bisel Peat, so it wouldn’t surprise me if these were the work of a young Lois Ehlert. I like this quote from her web site:
My mother, a good seamstress, shared her fabric scraps with me and taught me to use her sewing machine when I was about eight years old. My dad had a basement workshop, which supplied me with scrap lumber and nails. So I always had a ready supply of art materials, but not necessarily traditional ones like paper and paint. In fact, colored construction paper was pale in tone compared to my bright cloth scraps.
And hey — my book has a drawing of a sewing machine. Wouldn’t these make wonderful embroidery patterns?
Click images to enlarge.