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Berta & Elmer Hader Collection


Berta and Elmer Hader’s career as authors/book illustrators began with an illustrator’s contest sponsored by Macmillan in the late 1920s. Louise Seaman had arranged the contest because she wanted to create a Happy Hour series. Berta and Elmer won the contest with their illustrations of The Ugly Duckling. The Happy Hour series had them illustrating Hansel & Gretel, The Little Red Hen, and others. Their book writing and illustrating career was launched.

They truly worked together passing the same piece back and forth between them. Their prolific career lasted more than forty years. Most of their titles were printed in many different languages which brings their total number of books printed to well over 100.

Elmer also illustrated dust jackets, including four of John Steinbeck’s (Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, The Long Valley and Winter of Our Discontent).

Selected Books

These are selected examples of the Haders' books. Each one links to a record in our catalog with more information. For a complete list of all the Haders' books in our library, please see this list from our catalog.

The Big Snow

When the geese begin to fly south, the leaves flutter down from the trees and the cold winds begin to blow from the north, the animals of the woods and meadows, big and small, prepare for the long, cold winter ahead when the countryside is hidden under a deep blanket of snow. They gather food and look for warm, snug places in the ground, trees, caves or thickets, where they can find protection against the icy winds. It might have been hard for the birds and animals of the hillside to survive when the Big Snow came if their good friends, who lived in the little stone house, had not remembered to put food out for them. Here, in many beautiful pictures, the Haders show how winter comes to the woodland as the busy animals make their preparations.

PZ10.3.H117 Bi 1976
(Hader Special Collection; Children's Literature)

book cover image for The Friendly Phoebe

The Friendly Phoebe

"Willow Hill and the McGinty's home is the familiar setting for another beguilingly simple pet story by the Haders. This time a cute little phoebe comes to stay with the elderly McGintys and if you like birds at all- the phoebe with its small brown featheriness, and disarming habits, will steal your heart away. Calm as they are, the phoebe's adventures during its stay at Willow Hill have their own tiny fascinations and the tints and hues of the colorful pictures have a matching quality."--Kirkus Review

QL696.P2 H25 1953
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for The Cat and the Kitten

The Cat and the Kitten

"This is chiefly Timmy's story and a good one. Timmy was the one kitten that stayed wild -- and adventurous. And that's how Timmy was left behind when the family went South. This is the story of how he fended for himself -- and grew wilder and wilder-until a friendly policeman took an interest in him."--Kirkus Review

PZ7.H117 Cat 1940
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for Ding, Dong, Bell

Ding, Dong, Bell: Pussy's in the Well

After a long search, Tiger the Cat finally found a family who wanted him. One day, a dog chased him and Tiger fell into an old dry well. When the children rescued him, the cat was clinging to an old bundle, which turned out to be money! The town judge decided that the cat's owner should receive the money. Suddenly, everyone wanted Tiger--but he knew who his real family was.

PZ10.3 .H117 1957
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image from Quack Quack

Quack Quack: The Story of a Little Wild Duck

Caught and taken to a farmyard as a duckling, the duck eventually escapes and has many adventures before returning to his home in the marsh.
"This tells a story of an adventurous duckling that flies out to sea and comes down on an ocean liner. The pictures, especially those of birds in flight, are lovely."--Publishers' Weekly.

PZ10.3.H117 Qu 1961
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for The Little Stone House

The Little Stone House

The book tells the story of the Doe family, who live in a crowded city apartment. The family decides to build a house in the country, although everyone around them says it can't be done. How a house is built is explained through the family's joint effort in construction.

PZ7.H117 Lit 1944
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for Snow in the City

Snow in the City: A Winter's Tale

Watching the parade on Thanksgiving Day and coasting down the park slopes on sleds are just two of the things that Paul and his sister, Pamela, love about winter in the big city.

PZ7.H117 Sno 1963
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for Two Is Company, Three's a Crowd

Two Is Company, Three's a Crowd: A Wild Goose Tale

After befriending two migrating geese, a farmer and his wife find themselves surrounded by thousands of other tired, hungry and migrating geese. Grades 2-4.

PZ10.3.H117 Tw 1965
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for Squirrely of Willow Hill

Squirrely of Willow Hill

Despite their elaborate preparations for the winter, the animals and birds are delighted by a surprise banquet after a big snow.

PZ10.3.H117 Sq 1950
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for Little Chip of Willow Hill

Little Chip of Willow Hill

A baby chipmunk learns about the changes in nature and the seasons. Grades 3-4. Elementary Grade.

PZ10.3.H117 Li 1958
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for The Skyrocket

The Skyrocket

Tells the story of Roger's whirlwind adventure in a plane whose magical buttons do all the work.

PZ7.H117 Sky 1946
(Hader Special Collection)

book cover image for Big City

Big City

Big City is the story of a large metropolis that could be anywhere in our country.

PZ7.H117 Bg 1947
(Hader Special Collection)

Little White Foot: His Adventures on Willow Hill

The adventures of a mouse and his family.

PZ10.3.H117 Liw 1952
(Hader Special Collection)

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