Wednesday, March 18, 2015


THE MYSTERY AT REDTOP HILL is a Whitman Tween Age Book ("In-Between Books for In-Between Readers") by Marjory Schwalje and illustrations by Charles Geer. It's copyright 1965 by Whitman Publishing Company. I had no idea that the term "tween" had been around for more than fifty years!

Nancy, Tod and Steve are the protagonists in this mystery. I am sure it's good, but I have not read it.

I found this in a second-hand shop in Laconia, NH. Like I said, Redtop, schmedtop. I didn't care about the mystery, or the kids. I just fell in love with the illustrations. They were slapdash, confident and showed enormous life and skill.

Charles Geer (1922-2008), born in Long Island and educated at Dartmouth College, served in the US Navy during WWII. Afterward, he attended Pratt.

He illustrated many books, and enjoyed painting. He moved to Rockland, Maine, where he painted watercolors, and enjoyed sailing. He even built a couple of boats. Sounds like a guy I would like to hang out with!

Here are some of his illustrations from THE MYSTERY AT REDTOP HILL. This isn't quite half of them. And there are a good number of full page, gatefold illustrations. Lots of energy in these drawings and it made me a Charles Geer fan.


A day with a camera said...

hello mike,
i have an original charles geer watercolor -- it's not a book illustration, but rather a chaotic street scene from new york city dated 1959. he was friends with my parents during the 50s and early 60s. do you have any idea if there are any collectors out there who'd be interested in this?
thanks ~ kristin

David Newkirk said...

Now look for other Geer-illustrated books those of us who grew up in the 60s loved: _The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald_ and _The Mad Scientists Club_. They're just plain wonderful.

Unknown said...

One of my favorite illustrators, I always loved his angular elbows. I still own the book mentioned, and it is written at about a 4th grade level. It reminds me of summer.

Unknown said...

To "A day with a camera" I am interested in original Charles Geer artwork if this is still available. - Let me know! thanks, Bill

Scotty 'Bud' Melvin said...

Would love to see the NYC chaotic scene painting!

Daniel said...

I've revisited this site many times, thanks to these postings.

I spent my early childhood on a joint forces airbase in Japan; Charles Geer illustrations formed my mental images of what America was supposed to look like.

These days I tour blue roads by motorcycle when I have time, and the small towns I encounter appeal to me pretty much to the extent that they evoke that same feeling.

Thanks for these scans.