Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

More Children's Books from Aleph-Bet Books

Children's Books.

Aleph-Bet Books has released their Catalogue 113 of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. It follows their typical format – almost 600 books and ephemeral items, most all both for children and illustrated, each described and pictured in color in the catalogue. These books were once meant for people who collected children, but today they're more suitable for those who collect children's books. Here are a few samples.

 

We will begin with some refreshing honesty. Item 548 is P. L. Travers' Mary Poppins From A-Z, published in 1962. Travers was an actress and writer in her native Australia, but moved to England at the age of 25. Ten years later, her first book was published, Mary Poppins. She wrote many more books, but by far the best known is Mary Poppins and its sequels and related books such as this one. What is particularly interesting here is this copy is accompanied by a couple of letters Travers wrote to Blanche Campbell, owner of a Los Angeles bookstore. Travers sold the film rights to Mary Poppins to Walt Disney, but she was not pleased with their interpretation. She was particularly displeased with Disney's mixing animation with the real characters. Holding nothing back, she writes, "Well, you can guess how I felt about the movie – not very good, far from the book and I hate the admixture of cartoon and human and I felt Dick van Dyke quite miscast and wrongly elevated to being a partner with Mary Poppins in creating Mr. Disney's own version of what he calls 'magic'..." Disney ignored her complaints. Travers does end on a practical note: "Anyway it sells books and that is all that I care about." Not entirely true, as Travers refused to sell Disney the rights to any further Poppins' stories. Priced at $900.

 

Here is an early example of books and modern technology being entwined, long before the advent of electronic books. Item 284 is Man in the Moon Stories Told Over the Radio-Phone. The radio-phone? Is that an early cellphone? No, it is actually what they were calling the recent invention in 1922 now simply known as radio. The author, Josephine Lawrence, had written a series of stories for the Newark Sunday Call, and had been asked to read them over the city's new radio station. The reading ended up being handled by William McNeary, and the stories became very popular in early radio. This book collection of 18 stories was published in 1922, and to illustrate it a man noted for his newspaper cartoons was hired. That man was Johnny Gruelle, remembered today not for his cartoons but for his book and doll character, Raggedy Ann. $600.

 

Not all children's books are harmless fun. Racism and bigotry found its way into many titles in the first half of the 20th century. Many of the authors probably didn't even realize how demeaning their stereotypes were. Item 2 is Picaninny ABC, a book published in London in 1905, illustrations by Vernon Edward Barrett. "A" is for Alabama Coon, "M" for minstrel, "U" for Uncle Tom, "W" for watermelon. The big-lipped stereotypical illustrations are grotesque. $1,200.

 

Item 56 is a compilation of six previously separately published short tales, together under the title Twinkle and Chubbins, Their Astonishing Adventures in Nature-Fairyland. The author of this 1911 book was officially Laura Bancroft, except "Laura Bancroft" did not exist. That was one of several pseudonyms used by L. Frank Baum, who wrote his most notable books, the Oz series, under his actual name. In the stories, Twinkle regularly finds himself in unusual places, similar to Dorothy's adventures in Oz. This book was illustrated by Maginel Wright Enright, Frank Lloyd Wright's sister. $4,000.

 

Next up is the story of Bobbity Flop and a family of humanized rabbits. The eldest bunny has behavioral problems, which leads to various adventures. If this sounds to you a lot like Peter Rabbit, you aren't the first to think that. The timing, 1912, was just a few years after Beatrix Potter's similarly themed tale had its great success. Author Jessie Pope was a prolific writer of light verse and children's stories. However, she became both a popular and unpopular writer during the First World War. She wrote poems that were strongly pro-war, treating it almost as if it were sport in which all young men should cheerfully participate. The reality of that war, and the fact that Ms. Pope was not a particularly good poet, consigned her to obscurity as the years went on, while others no less famous in their day have had more lasting reputations. By the way, the illustrator of this rabbits' story was Augusine MacGregor. Mr. MacGregor? Item 455. $175.

 

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

  • 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
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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