Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2006 Issue

Children's Books from Aleph-Bet


The Flight Brothers and Air Babies, some early children's airplane books.

L. Frank Baum, most noted for his "Wonderful Wizard of Oz," continued to write Oz books for the remaining 19 years of his life after the first was published. It was not his original intent, but Baum had a winning formula and needed the money. However, his death did not end the series. It was turned over to others. Eventually, 40 Oz books were published, and the most prolific author was not Baum, but Ruth Plumly Thompson. She wrote 19 of them, compared to Baum's mere 14. Item 13 is a first edition, first state copy of her 1931 entry, Pirates In Oz. It is illustrated by John R. Neill, who illustrated all of Thompson's Oz books and all but the first of Baum's. $1,000.

Item 53 is a most intriguing book, Air Babies, by Elvy Kalep. The characters are cherubic faces on the bodies of airplanes (think "Thomas the Tank Engine"). These little airpersons have exciting adventures, and their pictures are easily worth the price of the book. Aleph-Bet notes that this 1936 edition is the longer, rather than the more common abridged version. It includes an introduction from the famous flyer, Amelia Earhart. It was just a year later that Ms. Earhart would disappear, never to be heard from again. $425.

Here is a much earlier airplane book for children. From 1912, the title is The Flight Brothers, and we can guess on whose name that is a play. It is the story of two young boys who fly all over the world in their biplane. The author of this fantasy based on the latest technology was Mrs. L.R.S. Henderson. $750.

You may find Aleph-Bet Books online at www.alephbet.com or call them at 914-764-7410.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Manhattan Gay Scene Guide 1969, Summer Edition,</i> Mattachine Book Service. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Harvey Milk, 2 autograph letters signed, to Pat Mormon, during US Navy service, 1954. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>“The secret of life is in Art,”</i> autograph quotation dated and signed, 1882. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Daniel Abraham, original art for <i>Stonewall Romances,</i> pen, ink & gouache, 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Antonio Lopez, 9 men’s fashion studies, graphite, 1974. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Susie Gaynes & Amy E. Bartell, <i>March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights,</i> 1987. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Paris is Burning,</i> photo offset poster by Anne Dutlinger, signed by film director Jennie Livingston, 1991. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Toyen, pen & ink illustration from <i>Marquis de Sade: Justina cili prokletí ctnosti,</i> 1932. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Untitled (Genet with Dog),</i> mixed media collage. $8,000 to $12,000.

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