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Out of Print Clothing Celebrates Classic Children’s Book Titles

In the past,  Out of Print Clothing has celebrated the contemporary literature canon by featuring the original artwork that adorned the covers of such iconic  tomes as The Great Gatsby,  Lolita, Catch-22, The Color Purple, and Pride and Prejudice. Now, the bibliophiles behind the brand are paying tribute to some of the children’s books that have been read to generations of tucked-in children right before bedtime.  Whether you’ve read these to your own children or you fondly remember enjoying them as a little tyke, these children’s book cover tees are bound to tickle your nostalgic bone.

I have a soft spot for the The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Cover T-Shirt ($28 at OutofPrintClothing.com) since Eric Carle‘s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (along with The Grouchy Ladybug)  was my son’s favorite book when he was in Pre-K and Kindergarten. I still remember how my son’s eyes would widen as I read about the caterpillar’s desire to fly and how he giggled whenever I read about the creature “crunching and munching” everything he encountered. This snug-fitting, 100% cotton, scoop-neck tee features the artwork that appeared on the original 1969 edition —  the whimsical caterpillar created using Carle’s signature collage style, which involves layering pieces of hand-painted paper.

The Charlotte’s Web Book Cover T-Shirt ($28 at OutofPrintClothing.com) will probably also make you recall your own reading adventures as a kid, how you fell in love with Wilbur and swore off bacon (at least for a few months!),  and maybe even begged your mom for a pet pig (a request she probably denied in the most polite, ginger, considerate way she could).  This heather gray tee features the illustration that appeared on the cover of the first edition of Garth WilliamsCharlotte’s Web, first published in 1952.

Another book that continues to  live on decades after it was first released, is 1956’s Harry the Dirty Doga husband-and-wife collaboration between New York-born writer Gene Zion and Canadian illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham, whom Zion wed in 1948. In this endearing tale, a pet dog runs away from home in hopes of avoiding his bath, wandering through the backyard and the nearby town and winding up so heavily soiled that he’s practically unrecognizable, returning home and begging to be scrubbed clean. The illustration that appeared in the original tome covers the Harry the Dirty Dog Book Cover T-Shirt ($28 at OutofPrintClothing.com), albeit in updated colors added by the original artist for the book’s 2002  reprint ( the original artwork was black-and-white). 

Last, there’s the Harold and the Purple Crayon Book Cover T-Shirt ($28 at OutofPrintClothing.com), a purple  scoop-neck tee made of 100% cotton featuring the artwork that appeared in the 1955 edition of Long Island-bred author and illustrator Crockett Johnson‘s classic Harold and the Purple Crayon. This tale, which was later turned into an animated cartoon narrated by Sharon Stone for HBO Family, details the adventures of Harold, a curious child who creates imaginary universes with the assistance of his purple crayon, drawing books, staircases, flowers, dragons, ships, and more, and watching them all come to life.

Storytelling and style converge thanks to Out of Print Clothing, reminding us of why we need to keep these literary gems alive for future generations. By wearing one of these tees, you’re not just indulging your inner child, but you’re celebrating the joys of reading.

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