Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2019 Issue

Children's Books from Aleph-Bet Books

Children's Books.

Aleph-Bet Books has published a new catalogue of Children's Books & Illustrated Books. These are the books that have fascinated children for ages, and which adults have used to mold and propagandize them. Most pointed children in the right direction, or simply entertained them, but there are some very ugly ones here too. Children don't naturally hate, they need to be taught. Here is where children were taught racism and Nazi beliefs, along with morality, generosity, and good behavior. It all depends on your teacher. Here are a few of them.

 

Kids, did you ever wonder what your toys do when you're sleeping? No, they don't just sit there on the shelf or floor or wherever you left them. They come alive and partake in all sorts of fantastic adventures. I'm not sure whether this is a concept that will excite children's imagination or terrify them. Toys really aren't supposed to behave this way. Item 14 is a story of anthropomorphised toys by E. L. Shute, published in 1904. The title is What the Toys Did! Perhaps this isn't quite so scary because this story in verse is supposed to be little Freddy's dream, not real. E. L. Shute and her husband were good friends with the better known author, Lewis Carroll, and he gave some of her books to his “child friends.” Priced at $475.

 

We all know of Helen Bannerman's Little Black Sambo, for better or worse. She meant no harm, couldn't have foreseen what it would come to represent. Her Sambo was actually a native of India, not of Africa or an African-American. Unfortunately, the success of Sambo led her to write some more “Little Black” books, including Little Black Quibba. Unpublished was another book she wrote, left incomplete and in loose notes when she died. Strangely, this one uses the name “Quibba” again, but the title is The Story of Little White Quibba. Ms. Bannerman died in 1946, but her daughter, Day, completed the book and had it published in 1966. It is essentially a retelling of the Sambo story except the heroine is now Caucasian. All of this leads to the eternal question about Ms. Bannerman's otherwise harmless stories – why on earth did she have to make race a part of them? Item 25. $200.

 

This may be a happy book, but there is terrible tragedy behind the story. The title is Buch der Erfullten Wunsche (Book of Wishes), the author Tom Seidmann. That wasn't exactly a pseudonym, though it somewhat hides the author/illustrator's identity. She was born Martha Gertrude Freud, married Jankew Seidmann, and adopted the first name “Tom.” You could easily have confused her gender. Ms. Freud was the niece of the much better known Freud, Sigmund. This book is very rare, which can readily be explained by its publication date – 1929. This was Germany, and Freud-Seidmann was Jewish. Her books were soon removed from bookstores on that account. That same year, Jankew Seidmann killed himself, and the deeply depressed Freud-Seidmann died of an overdose of sleeping pills the following year. This was her last book. Item 128. $3,500.

 

As bad as things were in Germany in 1930, they would only get worse. This next one is entitled Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jud auf seinem Eid by Elvira Bauer. Published in 1936, when the situation had gone from bad to worse, though still having far worse to go, the title translates to “Trust No Fox in the Green Meadow and No Jew on his Oath.” The title was based on a quote from Martin Luther. Bauer was an 18-year-old art student and kindergarten teacher and Nazi supporter. What became of her is unknown, as obviously she did not seek credit for her work after the war. The publisher was the newspaper Der Sturmer and its owner, Julius Streicher, who was executed after the war for crimes against humanity. This is an extreme example of children's books being used to teach hate and racism to children. The ugliness of this book is beyond description. It is filled with every hideous stereotype and hateful lie imaginable, with artwork to illustrate the point. After God cursed the lazy, whining Jews in Egypt, their father, the Devil, took them to Germany, apparently the actual route of the Exodus. They are dishonest, greedy, sexual predators, constantly cheat good upstanding Germans, killed Christ, are all going to Hell, and on and on. The book was considered too crude even for official Nazi publishers, but was satisfactory for Streicher's standards. This book was used with children as young as six and one can see how some would turn out messed up. Item 205. $3,500.

 

If you are one of the many Winnie The Pooh fans, or a collector, you may be fortunate enough to have a first edition. They aren't particularly rare, though expensive in top condition (children don't treat their books well). You might even have a signed edition. Here is the best, and unless you are one of no more than 20 people, you don't have this one. Item 191 is a first edition of Winnie The Pooh by A. A. Milne, published in 1926. What distinguishes this from ordinary run of the mill (or of the press) copies is it was printed on vellum. Only 20 copies were so printed, this one being No. 9. It also has a full vellum binding. The book has been signed by both A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard. $57,500.

 

Aleph-Bet also has a copy of the 1926 limited first edition of Winnie The Pooh on handmade paper. There were 350 numbered copies of this version printed, this being No. 235. It is also signed by both Milne and Shepard. Item 190. $16,500.

 

For those of you with fond memories of Dick and Jane, here is a book you won't come across often. This copy is large, meant to be opened for display. It may not quite be an Audubon double elephant folio, but even one elephant is an impressive size. This is Big Book: Our New Big Book, published in 1951. It was meant to be opened and put on display in classrooms. However, you will find something different about this book. Their names are not Dick and Jane. Rather, they are John and Jean. Sally has become Judy. Why? Beats me. Perhaps their names were changed to protect the guilty. This edition was not meant for public schools. Instead, it was intended for parochial schools. I don't know why they had to have different names in parochial schools. They were still the same annoying dumbed down children we all came to “love.” Do parochial school kids not know who Dick and Jane are? Here is the good news. Spot and Puff still have their “real” names. So, you can still be inspired by “Run, Spot, Run,” even if the speakers are John and Jean. Item 101. $1,850.

 

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

  • 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.
  • 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
    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: 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
    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: 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
    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: 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
  • Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Piccolomini's De La Sfera del Mondo (The Sphere of the World), 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Vellutello's Commentary on Petrarch, With Map, 1525.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Finely Bound Definitive, Illustrated Edition of I Promessi Sposi, 1840.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Rare First Edition of John Milton's Latin Correspondence, 1674.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Giolito's Edition of Boccaccio's The Decamerone, with Bedford Binding, 1542.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of the First Biography of Marie of the Incarnation, with Rare Portrait, 1677.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Aldine Edition of Volume One of Cicero's Orationes, 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Bonanni's Illustrated Costume Catalogue, with Complete Plates, 1711.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Important Incunable, the First Italian Edition of Josephus's De Bello Judaico, 1480.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Jacques Philippe d'Orville's Illustrated Book of the Ruins of Sicily, 1764.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Incunable from 1487, The Contemplative Life, with Early Manuscript.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Ignatius of Loyola's Exercitia Spiritualia, 1563.
  • 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.

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