Skiing was really picking up steam in the 1940s and 1950s with ski areas popping up anywhere anyone had a chain saw for clearing trails and an old diesel engine to power a rope tow. So you start to see a lot of fiction popping up at this time that centers around the sport. Especially children's novels. Here are a couple of great examples. The first one, The Ski Patrol, by Roy J. Snell was published in 1940 by Goldsmith Publishing and is about a bunch of American kids on a ski trip in Finland where they end up hunting bears and Nazis. "Gee-wiz, what did we get ourselves into?" Here's the cover.
Another good one from a decade later is Avalanche Patrol, written by Montgomery M. Atwater and published by The Junior Literary Guild and Random House. The opening page says it all:
"Well, hotshot, how does this sound to you? A paid ski vacation at Snowhole?"
The question fired at Brad Davis casually and without warning made the young forester blink. He had been yanked out of his class, whisked from college to Forest Service headquarters, and now this from his uncle.
"Ski vacation... Snowhole."
The name of the area doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, but the title page is classic.
Another great one sitting on my shelf is a little coffee table book, Learn to Ski, illustrated by R. Osborn in 1942. Couldn't find the publisher. It's mostly sketches of life in the lodge and on the train into the mountains. There's also a nice series of a skier praying and then wiping out. Good stuff.
Finally, I came across some books illustrated by an artist named Giovannetti who specialized in sequences involving a rodent named Max who spends most of his time riding bikes, smoking cigars and sleepwalking into his wine cellar. Hardly children's illustration, yet they were my dad's books when he was a kid. The first sequence is from the book, MAX, published in 1954 by Macmillan, and the second is from the 1956 edition of Max Presents: Portraits, Sketches, Vignettes and Pictoral Memoranda of Men, Women, and Other Animals, Conceived by MAX, Supervised by MAX, Selected by MAX, Arranged and edited by MAX, Commentary by MAX, minor assistance, such as drawings, etc., from Giovannetti. Head on down to your local independently owned bookshop and ask for it by name.