Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2017 Issue

Books for the Young from Aleph-Bet Books

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Books for children.

Aleph-Bet Books has released their Catalogue 116 of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. Those two types are rarely an either or – virtually everything here is both for children and illustrated. These catalogues are always filled with wonder, an opportunity for children to let their imaginations run wild. Of course, they are also mostly filled with messages and instructions from adults, and those run the gamut of values held by our elders. Many are positive, some filled with ugly prejudices adults can hold. No wonder we have ended up so divided. Here are a few of these books from which we taught our young in earlier times.

 

We begin with a tale of small events having large consequences: Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! It is a story of a little bug who sneezes, resulting in an outsized cause and effect. It ends up toppling a turtle, sinking a ship, and disrupting a parade. The author was Rosetta Stone. Who? That name sounds a bit suspicious. It is. It is rather obscure, but the author of this 1975 book was actually the inimitable Dr. Seuss. He wrote many books pseudonymously as "Theo LeSieg" ("LeSieg" being his actual last name of Geisel spelled backwards), but he only wrote this one book as Rosetta Stone. As with his LeSieg books, the master of children's illustrations did not illustrate this book, he only wrote it. Michael Frith, who soon after this book began doing much creative work for Jim Henson and his Muppets, was the illustrator. This copy is a first printing of the first edition in near fine condition. Item 268. Priced at $1,750.

 

This is the final book in one of the most beloved of children's series, the adventures of Curious George. George is, off course, the mischievous monkey who lived with the Man with the Yellow Hat. This one is titled Curious George Goes to the Hospital, and its background is different from George's other tales. Sending George to the hospital sounds like a bad idea, not a good place to get into mischief, but this book was a cooperative project with the Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston. The idea behind the book was to ease the way for nervous children who had to undergo hospitalization. In the story, George swallows a puzzle piece thinking it is candy. He becomes ill, goes to the hospital, and after an x-ray reveals the problem, undergoes surgery. While recovering, he manages to get into a wheelchair which he crashes into a food cart. It makes even the saddest of the children in the hospital laugh. This is a fine copy of the first printing from 1966 in the dust jacket. It is inscribed by "The Reys," those being H. A. and Margaret Rey. There is also a small color drawing of George holding a flower next to the inscription to one of the doctors. It is additionally inscribed by another of the doctors, who according to the previous owner (unverified), collaborated with the Reys in writing the book. Item 248. $6,000.

 

Item 182 began a short but enormously popular series of children's books. It is the first of the Pooh books, When We Were Very Young. It was published in 1924. This is one of the limited edition copies of the first edition, one of 100 copies printed on hand-made paper. It is signed by both author A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard. $9,500.

 

The Pooh books represented the gentlest and best of sentiments we could give our children. This next one is not so nice. The title is Pickaninny ABC, a 1905 Dean Rag Book. It is printed on cloth with illustrations by Vernon Edward Barrett. As an alphabet book, it includes illustrations for each letter, with a brief "stands for" comment. The illustrations are exaggerated, ugly stereotypical drawings of black people. Some of the sayings are unpleasant too, with "A" standing for Alabama Coon, and "W" for watermelon. Item 2. $1,200.

 

This one is even worse. Rather than just ridiculing a race, it was intended to generate hatred within its young audience. Item 196 is Der Giftpilz (the Poisoned Mushroom), by Ernest Hiemer, published in 1938. Hiemer wrote virulently anti-Semitic children's books on behalf of the notorious Nazi propaganda newspaper, Sturmer. This book displays hideous stereotyped Jews acting evilly towards clean-cut German youth. The Jews mistreat children and servants, torture animals, and bake matzoh with the blood of kidnapped Christian children. This copy has three three Dutch anti-Semitic stickers attached, reading "Make the Netherlands free from Jews," "Combat the Jewish influence," and "Whoever buys from Jews hates his own people." $6,000.

 

Item 91 is the first paper doll book printed in America. It was published in 1812 by J. Belcher of Boston, based on an 1810 British book. It tells seven stories of the travails of poor Henry, with cut-out clothes to be applied to Henry for each story. It begins with Henry being stolen by Gypsies, which is a story line we would not use today. He becomes a beggar, servant of a mean chimney sweep, drummer, sailor, and eventually a midshipman. His outfits match his various stations in life. $8,750.

 

Aleph-Bet Books may be reached at 914-764-7410 or Helen@alephbet.com. Their website is found at www.alephbet.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000

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