Gay Purr-ee

Gay Purr-ee 01
Gay Purr-ee, Adapted by Carl Memling. Pictures by Hawley Pratt, Harland Young and Herb Fillmore. 1962. This Little Golden Book is based off the UPA motion picture, which was released in the same year. I was taken aback by this book since I never knew that they had even made a book for the film. And strangely enough, this is not the only one. There was another LGB published, but features Mewsette's storyline. Click here to check it out.

Hawley Pratt was Friz Freleng's layout artist for many years, working at Warner Bros. and DePatie-Freleng. I should say that Hawley should not be confused with Pete Hawley, who was a well-renowned illustrator. Harland Young is still alive and paints for a living. Not sure if Herb Fillmore is still alive, but I did find a few prints of his paintings (scroll down a bit).

The colors are a little washed out on this book, thanks in part to both age and my terrible scanner. I'm currently scouring the market for a decent one.

Gay Purr-ee on IMDB.
Gay Purr-ee on Wikipedia.

Here are some scans of the book for you to enjoy:

Gay Purr-ee 02

Gay Purr-ee 03

Gay Purr-ee 04

Gay Purr-ee 05

Gay Purr-ee 06

Gay Purr-ee 07
Oh man, I love those trees. Nice work on this page.

Gay Purr-ee 08
I love that guy there. Tell me that all French gardeners dress and look like this, please?

Gay Purr-ee 09

Gay Purr-ee 10
This is a nice page here. Love the layout and deep colors.

Gay Purr-ee 11

Gay Purr-ee 12

Gay Purr-ee 13

Gay Purr-ee 14

More fun vintage goodies like this can be found at The Retro Kid. I've got another LGB ready to upload and post about probably later on tonight. Stay tuned. You'll dig it. Very fun.


  1. Beautiful!! Oh how I loved that animated movie. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey Ward,

    This is a very timely post for me, as I've been tracking down Hawley Pratt books lately (this one is on my list to get). 2 recent acquisitions were Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw... amazing books with some seriously beautiful artwork.

    From reading your post, Pratt was the layout artist and not the painter... that's good to know! I see big similarities in books done by he and Al White and he and Norm McGary. I assumed he was the painting genius behind them, but now I'm guessing McGary and White may have had similar painting styles. Can you confirm this?


  3. Agreed - love those trees. That cityscape on pg3 is killer too.

  4. I just love the drawings - and the page layouts. So, here's a question, how do you determine the illustrators transition from the 50's to the 60's? What do you think the defining style definitions are for the two periods?

    I love both! Kids books in those eras are absolutely wonderful!

  5. Hi Ward, my name is Kim Fillmore-Depenbrok, and Herb Fillmore is my father. Dad died in 1999 and I heard Harlan past away last year or the year before, I can't be sure. I am always delighted when I find things on the web about my father. He and I, spent the last 30 years, promoting him and his work, it is always amazing that the notoriety comes after someone has passed away. Herb would be amazed that the limited edition prints, books, and other illustrations are popping up all over the web. He did almost all the illustrations for McDonald's Happy meals and books, and some of Dad's originals were purchased by Corporate officers of the McDonald companies. The herbfillmore.com website is up and running and is still is a work in progress. I have so many memories and stories about my Dad, Harlan and the old days that if you have any questions I would be happy to share if I can. Thanks for your posting, it was a real thrill.