Sledding, Sleighs and Sleds in Storytelling and Illustration

BOBSLEIGH: (British) a mechanically steered and braked sledge, typically for two or four people, used for racing down an ice-covered run

SLED: another term for sledge

SLEDGE: (British) a vehicle on runners for conveying loads or passengers over snow or ice, often pulled by draught animals. e.g. “a dog sledge”

SLEIGH: a sledge drawn by horses or reindeer, especially one used for passengers.

TOBOGGAN: a long, light, narrow vehicle, typically on runners, used for sliding downhill over snow or ice

Illustrations of snowy landscapes quite often feature yellow skies.

‘Town Mouse and Country Mouse’ short stories written by Barbara Hayes Illustrated by Philip Mendoza (1898-1973) Once Upon A Time magazine 1970
Sledding and Digging Out The cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post magazine, January 28, 1961
Martta Wendelin 1893 -1986 Finnish
Arthur Thiele (1860-1936)
Woman’s World Magazine Jan 1920
Sleigh Ride (1950’s) by Eyvind Earle
Les quatre lapins et les echarpes fantasticques by Matsuko Watari illustrated by Iku Dekune
Austrian Christmas picture book c1960
In Animalville 1939. 'Care to ride?' asks Cappy Kitten.
In Animalville 1939. ‘Care to ride?’ asks Cappy Kitten. Also used on the cover of 1942 To Storyland Stories and Verses Childrens Coloring Book.
Postcard by Gino Boccasile, circa 1949

A young boy who is in a new town and doesn’t have much, but with the help of a loving community he discovers the joys of his first snowy day.

On the day it snows, Gabo sees kids tugging sleds up the hill, then coasting down, whooping all the while. Gabo wishes he could join them, but his hat is too small, and he doesn’t have boots or a sled.

But he does have warm and welcoming neighbors in his new town who help him solve the problem!

Frosty The Snow Man, a Little Golden Book illustrated by Corinne Malvern, retold by Annie North Bedford, published in 1951 by Golden Press, New York
Farmer’s Wife Magazine Feb 1923 G Gardner Rickard
Vintage Christmas card. Horse pulls sleigh through the snow
Winter-time illustration by Gyo Fujikawa for A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, publisher Grosset & Dunlap, 1957.
The Children’s Book of Trees Leonard L. Knott (1949) back cover
Suchard Velma, the exquisite eating chocolate, anonymous illustrator, c1915
Illustration by Racey Helps for ‘Happy Landing’ in Collins Children’s Annual 1958
William Roger Snow 1888 for The Three Bears. (He used a number of pseudonyms and in this case he was going by Richard Andre.)
Louis Wain ‘Bringing Home the Yule Log at Christmas Time in Catland’ c.1910
For ‘Across Africa In The Rainy Season’ in The Wide World Magazine May 1920 illustration by W.H. Holloway
Pauline Baynes… (The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, C S Lewis, 1954)
Louis Wain, The Tabby Toboggan Club 1898
Edward Willis Redfield (American, 1869-1965)
Cover by American illustrator Harrison Cady for People’s Home Journal February 1928
Arthur Getz (1913 - 1996), sledding 1955
Arthur Getz (1913 – 1996), sledding 1955
The Youth's Companion May 1928 cover art Perry Mason Co Boston Massachusetts
The Youth’s Companion May 1928 cover art Perry Mason Co Boston Massachusetts
‘The Royal Sleigh ride’ by Otto Edelman (1839-1926 ) Dutch painter
Carl Kronberger (Austrian, 1841-1921) Nobody At Home
Carl Larsson, watercolor, Sweden, Kersti on a sleigh
Anton Franciscus Pieck (19 April 1895 – 24 November 1987) sleigh
Anton Franciscus Pieck (19 April 1895 – 24 November 1987)
Julian de Miskey (1898-1976) 1928
Julian de Miskey (1898-1976) 1928
Beatrix Potter illustrated this snowy scene of Santa and his sleigh with rabbits looking on
Christmas and Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter sled
Beatrix Potter sled
Germany circa 1905, Happy Saint Valentine postcard sled
Germany circa 1905, Happy Saint Valentine postcard
Lennart Helje, Swedish Artist b. in Lima, Sweden
Paulina Garwatowska – The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
Uwe Hänstch – The Snow Queen
Uwe Hänstch – The Snow Queen
Miriam Story Hurford 1936
Leonid Zolotarev – The Snow Queen
Leonid Zolotarev – The Snow Queen
Charles Robinson for a story called “The Remarkable Rocket” from “The Happy Prince and Other Stories” by Oscar Wilde (1913). She might easily be mistaken for Jadis or The Snow Queen, but this is the “Russian Princess”.
Ute Simon – The Snow Queen
Anton Franciscus Pieck (19 April 1895 – 24 November 1987) sled ride
Anton Franciscus Pieck (19 April 1895 – 24 November 1987) sled ride
Ilonka Karasz 1949
Edna Eicke, The New Yorker – March 1, 1952

From the author of the multi-award-winning and bestselling How To Bee comes an intense and thrilling new adventure.

‘We’re gonna starve if we stay here,’ Emery said. ‘If we’re gonna go, best go now.’
And he said it like going was something easy. Like all we have to do is walk away.

Ella and her brother Emery are alone in a city that’s starving to death. If they are going to survive, they must get away, upcountry, to find Emery’s mum. But how can two kids travel such big distances across a dry, barren, and dangerous landscape? Well, when you’ve got five big doggos and a dry-land dogsled, the answer is you go mushing. But when Emery is injured, Ella must find a way to navigate them through rough terrain, and even rougher encounters with desperate people…

The Call of the Wild, Cover by Roberto Lemmi 1966

Header illustration: Ronald Lampitt for Ladybird Artists’ Advent Calendar, ‘Sledges’