Boy in the field

Illustration of a boy and his dog resting in a field
When I was a boy, this illustration made me fall in love with fields. (Illustration by Russell Harlan for The Bible Story: The Book of Beginnings, Volume One)


To me, fields are places of quiet reflection. Some time ago, I wrote about the origin of that association, in my childhood. I mentioned a children’s book with an illustration of a boy in a field. I discovered the book online and ordered a copy. It arrived, today.

Distorted by time

Paging through it, I remembered every illustration. But, there were differences in the details. I remember the boy lying in an open field of tall, golden grass, but as you see, the grass is short and the landscape domesticated and green. (On top of this, I somehow added a straw hat, whilst completely forgetting the sleeping German shepherd!) How memories are distorted by time!

Through grown-up eyes

I see why the illustration made such an impression on me, in my youth. It has an idyllic Norman Rockwell quality. Even though it’s just an average children’s book illustration, I’ve become instantly sentimental about it. So, it feels strangely sacrilegious to analyse it, too much. I am just happy I get to see the image, once again.


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