Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2012 Issue

Aleph-Bet Offers More Children's Books

Alephbet101

There's a lot of nonsense here.

Aleph-Bet Books has issued their Catalogue 101 of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. That heading on the cover, “Nonsense Nonsense!,” is not the title of the catalogue. That is a 110-year-old book featuring the illustrations of Charles Robinson, but it might make a fitting title. Children's books are often filled with nonsense. Sometimes it's amusing good fun, the stuff for which authors like Dr. Seuss are noted. Other times, it's less benevolent, such as the racist material that once frequented children's books, teaching intolerance, even hatred to the young. As silly as it all appears, we may learn more from these books of our childhood, sometimes for good, sometimes not. Here are some of the latest titles from this selection of 600 books offered.

Item 529 is a first edition of the first Dr. Seuss book, Boners, attributed to “Alexander Abingdon,” illustrated by Dr. Seuss. It was published in 1931, six years before the first regular Seuss book, And to Think I Saw it all of Mulberry Street. This book is filled with quotes from schoolchildren, from their answers in the classroom or exams. For example, “A vacuum is an empty space where the Pope lives,” or “A senator is half horse and half man.” How about, “Milton wrote Paradise Lost; then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.” We could fill the rest of this review with funny quotes, but that would not be a review, so we must move on. However, what is even more notable about this book than the quotes is that it contains some of the earliest drawings by the doctor. They are distinctive, Seussian creations. Priced at $500.

Here is a book that may need a bit of explanation: Colonel Bogey's Sketch Book, by R. Andre, published in 1897. Col. Bogey may be best known by many for his march, featured in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. However, the march wasn't written until 1914, and the movie came out in the 1950s. To know the original Col. Bogey, think of the golf term for taking one too many strokes – bogey. The Colonel was an imaginary golfer, though he may have been inspired by an actual person. This book is a “history” of golf, starting with the prehistoric “Golfosaurian,” and proceeding to the missing “link.” Andre was an avid golfer as well as illustrator of children's books. Item 246. $2,750.

Item 192 is a first edition of the first Roosevelt Bear book: The Roosevelt Bears: Their Travels and Adventures, published in 1906. The Roosevelt Bears, more often known as “Teddy Bears,” were inspired by an incident from a hunting trip by President Theodore Roosevelt. Stuffed “Teddy Bears” became a major hit, which led to books such as this one by Seymour Eaton. After all these years, Teddy Bears are still one of the most popular of toys. $650.

Here is a little known fact about the Roosevelt Bears. They prefer to use Fleischmann's Yeast when baking. At least, that is the assertion of this 1907 item, The Teddy Bears Baking School. In this book, the bears cook for various Mother Goose characters, while the verse proclaims the virtues of their favorite yeast. There is no need to mention who was responsible for publishing this piece. Item 68. $125.

For those not old enough to remember the Roosevelt Bear era, but not that young any more either, there is Make Your Own Howdy Doody Puppet Show. Howdy is there with all his favorite sidekicks, Clarabell, Mr. Bluster, and Flub A Dub. This is an unused set of die cut pieces and instructions for making the puppets. If you can actually pull this off without getting the strings tangled, you officially qualify as a genius. Only Buffalo Bob could ever pull the strings on this puppet. Item 455. $450.

This is not great literature, but for decades, more students read these books than Shakespeare. Item 161 is Our Big Book, an early (circa 1940) version of the large folio edition of Dick and Jane. This large edition was designed to allow teachers to display these wonderful stories. It contains such memorable lines as, “Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh, see. Oh, see Jane. Funny, funny Jane.” And teachers could never figure out why Johnny didn't want to read. $1,850.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions