You may not know her name, but you’ve definitely have seen her work. Cynthia Amrine, an illustrator for children’s books and school art, worked throughout the 50’s and 60’s creating deceptively simple illustrations for children. Her work is not overly stylized, it’s clarity of purpose reflects its audience. And yet, Amrine’s illustrations have taken on a lasting quality, not just because of her distinct style, but because her work was colorful, tactile, and absolutely iconic.


ImageIn 1965, Amrine worked with librarian Mary Joan Egan to publish Using Your Library: 32 Posters for Classroom and Library, a lavishly illustrated book of tear-sheet posters for educators and librarians to promote library usage in primary and secondary schools.

Due to the interactive nature of this book, there are only a handful of copies still in existence – we can only assume it is because those posters were torn out and used in school libraries across the country!



Amrine’s iconic children’s illustrations still resonate today people of all ages. A true iconoclast, Amrine created children’s artwork that didn’t talk down to them. Instead, her illustrations met children at their level, with bright colors, large text, and lively characters (credit Barry at dress head). Check out some of our favorite library posters images from Amrine, or browse some of her other illustrations on Flickr.


All images from Retro Library Posters (1960’s) on Flickr, from user Enokson, used under Creative Commons License.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Jean Hawkins-Koch

    How can I get a copy of Using Your Library: 32 Posters for Classroom and Library, by Mary Joan Egan and Cynthia Amrice

  2. Eileen Egan Mack

    I repeat Jean’s question: How can I get a copy?

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