Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2012 Issue

For the “Children” from Aleph-Bet Books

The one hundredth catalogue from Aleph-Bet Books.

Aleph-Bet Books has reached a milestone. The Pound Ridge, New York, specialist in children's and illustrated books recently released their Catalogue 100. The format of their catalogues has been the same, at least for quite a while now. They offer 600 items, profusely illustrated with color photography, overwhelmingly both for children and illustrated. There are few catalogues quite as much fun to peruse. As adults, our tastes and interests diverge widely. As children, we all are entranced by the world of make-believe, whether that be talking animals, mystical lands, heroic adventures, or wizards and magic. Everyone likes children's books, whether child or not. Here are a few of this latest six hundred.

Item 51 is an unusual title for “Oz” author L. Frank Baum. Naturally, Baum is far and away best known for his Oz books, but he wrote many other books and series. However, outside of various fairy tales, he used pseudonyms for these other books so as not to interfere with his major works. After the release of The Emerald City of Oz in 1910, it was announced that the series would be discontinued. That freed Baum to use his name on other books he wrote. In 1911, Baum published the work here offered, The Daring Twins, under his own name. It is a mystery, amateur detective type of story, where 16-tear-old Phoebe Daring sets out to prove her brother, Phil, was falsely accused of thievery. The series was intended to appeal to both boys and girls in the 12 to 18 range, and using Baum's name was hoped to capture young people who had read the Oz books as children. There was a follow-up to this tale published in 1912, Phoebe Daring, and Baum wrote a substantial portion of what was intended to be the third book in the series. However, as finances became tight for publisher Reilly & Britton, it was decided to return to the proven best sellers, and by 1913, Baum was writing Oz books again. Priced at $500.

Here is another book with an Oz connection/non-connection. After the death of Baum in 1919, it was decided to keep the series going. Ruth Plumly Thompson was selected as “Royal Historian of Oz,” or perhaps we could simply refer to her the new author. Thompson would go on to produce 19 more Oz books between 1921 and 1939, five more than did Baum. She had only published one book prior to her appointment as Royal Historian, and wrote only two non-Oz books during her years producing the 19 Oz titles. John R. Neill was even more tied into the series than Thompson. Neill was an illustrator who took over the task of illustrating the books after the first in the series (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz). He drew the illustrations for the final 13 titles written by Baum, and was considered for the position of writer as well after his death. However, when that role was given to Thompson, he continued to illustrate the series, including all 19 of Thompson's titles. After Thompson's retirement, Neill finally took over the writing, writing and illustrating the next three titles in the series from 1940-42 (Neill died in 1943). However, Thompson and Neill collaborated on one non-Oz book, the second of two non-Oz books produced by Thompson during her tenure as Royal Historian. Item 527 is a copy of that collaboration, Curious Cruise of Captain Santa, published in 1926. It is a Christmas fantasy. $850.

Item 329 is a copy of a children's book beloved throughout the land and even the world, but most particularly in Massachusetts. Indeed, it is the official children's book of the state. It is the classic Make Way For Ducklings, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey. The book is highlighted by the trip of Mrs. Mallard, leading her eight ducklings, from the Charles River to Boston's Public Garden. The Boston police provide the necessary escort, stopping traffic along the way, so the family is able to safely make the trip to their new home. The ducklings have become celebrated heroes in the city, almost like its revolutionary patriots. In fact, a statue of Mrs. Mallard and her eight children was erected within the Public Garden. Offered is a 1941 first edition of McCloskey's duck tale. $18,500.

You are probably familiar with Dorothy Kunhardt's notable touch book Pat the Bunny. You may have a copy in the attic, though probably not a first edition. Item 302 is Kunhardt's follow-up, The Telephone Book. No, this is not one of those big books full of numbers dinosaurs used to use before you could look up numbers online. It is a book with movable parts celebrating that black thing with a hand dial that used to be plugged into everyone's wall. The handset can be lifted to make a “call,” and the book instructs youngsters to say, “Hello?” Unfortunately, it does not tell them how to send text messages. $1,200.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Potter & Potter Auctions
    How History Unfolds on Paper:
    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Starting 10AM CST
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 546. Christoph Jacob Trew. Plantae selectae, 1750-1773.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 70. Thomas Murner. Die Narren beschwerung. 1558.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 621. Michael Bernhard Valentini. Museum Museorum, 1714.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 545. Sander Reichenbachia. Orchids illustrated and described, 1888-1894.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1018. Marinetti, Boccioni, Pratella Futurism - Comprehensive collection of 35 Futurist manifestos, some of them exceptionally rare. 1909-1933.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 634. August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof. 3 Original Drawings, around 1740.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 671. Jacob / Picasso. Chronique des Temps, 1956.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1260. Mary Webb. Sarn. 1948. Lucie Weill Art Deco Binding.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 508. Felix Bonfils. 108 large-format photographs of Syria and Palestine.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 967. Dante Aligheri and Salvador Dali. Divina Commedia, 1963.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1316. Tolouse-Lautrec. Dessinateur. Duhayon binding, 1948.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1303. Regards sur Paris. Braque, Picasso, Masson, 1962.
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: McCarthy (Cormac). Cities of the Plain, N.Y., 1998, First Edn., signed on hf. title; together with Uncorrected Proof and Uncorrected Advance Reading Copies, both signed by the Author. €800 to €1,000.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Stanihurst (Richard). De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis, Libri Quattuor, sm. 4to Antwerp (Christi. Plantium) 1584. First Edn. €525 to €750.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Fleischer (Nat.) Jack Dempsey The Idol of Fistiana, An Intimate Narrative, N.Y., 1929, First Edn. Signed on f.e.p. by Rocky Marciano. €400 to €600.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Smith - Classical Atlas, Lond., 1820. Bound with, Smiths New General Atlas .. Principal Empires, Kingdoms, & States throughout the World, Lond. 1822. €350 to €500.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Rare Auction Catalogues – 1856: Bindon Blood, of Ennis, Co. Clare: Sotheby & Wilkinson. €320 to €450.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Mavor (Wm.)] A General Collection of Voyages and Travels from the Discovery of America to the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century, 28 vols. (complete) Lond., 1810. €300 to €400.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Mc Carthy (Cormac). Outer Dark, N.Y. (Random House)1968, Signed by Mc Carthy. €250 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Three signed works by Ted Huges - Wodwo, 1967; Crow from the Life and Songs of the Crow, 1970; and Tales from Ovid, 1997. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: The Garden. An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Horticulture in all its Branches, 7 vols. lg. 4to Lond. 1877-1880. With 127 colored plates. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Procter (Richard A.) Saturn and its System: Containing Discussions of The Motion (Real and Apparent)…, Lond. 1865. First Edn. €160 to €220.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Ashe] St. George, Lord Bishop of Clogher, A Sermon Preached to the Protestants of Ireland, now in London,... Oct. 23, 1712, London 1712. Second Edn. €130 to €180.

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