Play Books

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The Cow and the Silver Cream illus by Vernon Grant.
anon. /Vernon Grant, illustrator.
Keene, New Hampshire: J. A. Wright & Company, An All Wright Story for Little Folks, (1944); WRAPS with 4 sheets making 14 interior pages; 4.5x6.5.
This story really happened! In 1873 John A. Wright stopped to rescue a cow; later he noticed that the mud on a cow's legs had turned white and took some home to experiment with. A great fable, brought to life with Grant's clever illustrations, about our very favourite silver polish. These little booklets were distributed by stores, and this one has the printed address of Rudy's Meat Market in Portland Maine.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, no rubbing, top back corner has been bumped and then flattened out, otherwise flat pages. #19401
Doctor Dolittle's Look-Inside Book. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp (1968)
anon. /Jason Studios, illustrator.
Golden Press, #11033, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, 1968, very early printing, $1.50 sticker; matte full colour paper boards with ship with cut-out sails revealing pattern of boards of little books inside.
A curiosity with a photo of Rex Harrison on giraffe on the cover and two little books written by Vivian Bennet, Animal Scrapbook and Sea Adventure, slipped into slots on the right hand board page. When opened, the cut out sails become a window through which the chimpanzees may gaze.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or other marks, slight wear to bottom corners and spine end, both little books unread and clean, one with scuffed on top cover, the other in flawless condition. #13378
Friendly Farm.Schilling Co. 1945. A Panorama.
New York: Domesday Press, distributed by J. L. Schilling Co, (1945); full coloured boards fold out to a ten foot strip; each page is 10"xapprox 8.75"; the covers are oblong and fold around the inner pages, which are diecut to surround the animal pictures on the top edge; pages connected by blue muslin tape, with blue reinforced "spine"; except for the covers, 22 pictures are different front and back.
The design of this panorama allows for many different pictures: bees, a goose, a turtle, swans, workhorses, a squirrel, a guinea hen, and pigeons as well as the usual characters. The artwork is typical of this sort of book from the 40's, with detailed animals and rather plain backgrounds, but with a horse-drawn buckrake and haywagon. Unfortunately, we do not know the painter of these sweet pictures.
CONDITION: Good; edges of tape on spine quite badly rubbed, reglued tape on one board shows wrinkles, thus grade, otherwise clean and unmarked. #17520
Akron, Ohio, USA: Saalfield Co.; (1915); two thin card shaped cream coloured pages, with full colour on outside "cover" pages and on inner spread, the other pages in blue outline and type and white accents on the illustrations; approx. 10.6x5.5"
On both covers, a large and determined mother rabbit, with red shoes and a manic expression, attacks a carrot with her paring knife; inside, on plain pages, are an assortment of publisher pictures:  period drawings of clothed rabbits, on the center spread two copies from Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit (with a kindly mother!) and a naturalistic rabbit family.
CONDITION: Very Good; spine is rubbed through colour and split 1" at the bottom, exterior a bit toned, ow very bright, clean, unwrinkled and unmarked. #17528
What the Wee Bear Did by Nina Jordan. A panorama.
anon. /Nina Jordan, illustrator.
Whitman Publishing Co. (co. 1930) No. 678, an accordion (panorama) board book, comprised of six oblong 6x4.75" panels with illustrations on each side, thus 10 interior pages and two "covers"; on each "page" full colour plate of Wee Bear in his red jacket, the illustration bordered in blue with light blue bear drawings; the boards are joined with brown cloth which covers the red side strip, on one side except for center join which has cloth on both sides; board edges stained red.
Wee Bear just can't keep from giving everything a little taste!
CONDITION: Very Good; no names, top cover is lightly foxed and rubbed, and back cover is less so, with tiny indentation on date; wear to cover corners about 1/8"; edges clean, not scuffed; though a bit rubbed at "spine" ends, the cloth strips are sturdy and hold the panorama boards straight. #19021
ABC Fun: The Alphabet Party. Advertizing booklet.
No publishing data on this copy. Probably a blank advertising sample: The Cotsen collection at Princeton has one of these with The Broadway Department Store text on the back. The book appears to be from around 1910. Three sheets of heavy card stapled making 10 interior pages. Cover with Mother seated with the many children in the background and her twins beside her, reading the poems, Alphabet Party text on verso, then two or three of each child's poems and illustrations per page, in green or red panels, plain back; 6.5x8.75"
The Alphabet Party: It was the Holiday Season and Ethel and Charles Bright were about to turn seven. Their mother proposed a toy party. Each little guest should meet her at the toy department of a big store, look over the toys, and make up a poem. The best poet would get the pick of toys. "After they got home, the children, with the help of their elders, made up their rhymes", and took the poems to read at the twins' birthday party. A very jolly red and green party book with great illustrations of 26 turn of the century toys: gramophones, wind-up lobsters, velocipedes, rubber elephants, racing cars.... Lively, bright illustrations and poems. Just the thing to encourage shopping and Christmas gift lists!
CONDITION: Good Plus, an easily erased light pencil name, two staples just beginning to rust, outside cover split to first staple, a little split at the top; darkening/even soil to back and margins; inside very fresh and bright with holiday colour. #19299
My Farm Book. Board Book.
London: Murrays Sales & Service Co, Cresta House, Treasure Hour logo, WP4, (ca 1965?) printed in the Netherlands,; six heavy card shaped boards with coloured pictures of a farm, most labeled, on a white background, two short comb bindings, 7.5x13.8"; np.d.
A little boy and girl  live on a large, cheerful, well kept farm.
CONDITION: Very Good, no names or other marks, darkening a little, faint rim of moisture damage around top of cover, visible in jpg. #19377
The Bad Boy and O. N. T. Clark's Spool Cotton, circa 1870.
No place or publisher, [US, circa 1870.] Yellow wraps. Cover: The Bad Boy and O.N.T. with seven labels, inside cover: "Use (label) on white spools/George A. Clark, sole agent [1824 - 1873]/It is/superior to all others/for hand and machine work/followed by ad for black thread"; rear cover: ad for Marshall's linen thread and Milward's Helix Needles, for which G. A. Clark was also a US agent. Paper wraps, three centered stapled sheets making covers, front and back ads, and 8 illustrated pages; 3.1x4"
Hilarious drawings by an uncredited artist. The bad boy licks all the labels off his sister's O. N. T. Clark's Spool Cotton and applies them in imaginative places! In "Big Brother gets his Girl's Picture" the brother is holding an envelope with the signature of the famous celebrity photographer Napoleon Sarony, 1821 - 1896, but opens it to find his beloved's face covered by a label. The Bad Boy's tricks are such a hit that at the end of the pamphlet, we see him writing away for more. The relationship, if any, between Clark and Sarony is puzzling. Clark died in 1873; Sarony started his photography studio around 1866, but was already well known as a lithographer, thus our [ca 1870] dating.
CONDITION: Very Good; 19th c name stamp on back, light soil in corner margins on some pages, shadowing caused by smaller object placed on top of it on front "cover"; staples nice. #19488
When the Circus Comes to Town Whitman late 20's early 30's
Racine, WI; Whitman Publishing Company, No. 2033, no date, (ca late 1920's?); folding panorama with five boards taped with sturdy brown cloth, top and bottom edges red, side edges continue illustration paper; oblong 11x10.25; thus 10 different scenes including title; deco illustrations, most on peach background, with light green outlines in blues, greens, orange and yellow, and red highlights.
A very stylish panorama with distinctive colouration and line, well constructed. A workman pastes circus sign on a billboard as children watch, then we see the attractions of the circus, one by one. Unattributed artist.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, the two paper covered edges (1st and last boards) have tips worn to card and light rubs, top left corner lightly bumped,, tiny dent in cover, very tight overall and clean, in remarkable shape. #19456
19765 Who Stole the Bird's Nest, Prang publishers.
anon. .
Boston: L. Prang & Company, [1864-65 Huntington Library], "Prang's Album Pictures, for sale in all bookstores, books for children, valentines, etc" surrounds logo on back, stiff slick white card cover encloses an attached pull out panorama of 12 delicate lithographs; 4.35x2.5".
Though this lovely lithographed strip would stand just as decoration, it tells a story as well: First the yellow breast discovers her eggs and nest are missing, then she goes from animal to animal asking about her nest, then the birds and animals converge on the school demanding justice, and Mary Green and Alice Neal sympathize. But "a little boy hung down his head/and went and hid behind the bed/for HE stole that pretty nest/ From poor little yellow breast! And he felt so full of shame/He didn't like to tell his name.... No adult moralizing here at all. There were six little books in this series that were also published together in a box as the Christmas Stocking Library.
CONDITION: Good Plus: small name on the front of the card folder which rubbed on corners; spine is split for 2" and is rubbed but functions well and has not been repaired; the panorama is in beautiful shape, some margin foxing on two pages. #19765
19607 Dollies to Paint illus Brundage.
anon. /Frances Brundage, illustrator.
Akron, Ohio: Saalfield Publishing Company, shiny wraps with the four dolls having just arrived and sitting on their luggage, blank inside the wraps, four coloured pages of dolls and clothes to copy onto the b/w outline pages; 8.5x12.5"
An interesting idea in that each of the four dolls has a coloured sheet with clothes on it, and there is a black and white copy of the sheet for the child to colour and cut out. If all went according to plan, which is doubtful, the child would be left with a nice book to look at of four dolls and their clothes, in addition to the paper dolls she had coloured and created to play with.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, 1" split at foot of spine, unused, uncut, unwrinkled or handled, no other flaws. #19607
The Jingle Bell Book, McLoughlin Bros.
anon. .
Springfield, MA: McLoughlin Bros. Inc. (1948); large blue cloth backed board book with a cover picture of a toy filled nursery and little girl driving her brother around with a jingle bell harness; 5 large jingle bells are attached to the inside of the bottom board and show through holes in the top board, on the inside, the pages are shorter, so that the bells are displayed above every page; the front and rear paste downs inside have a design of bells and flowers; oblong 11x8.5"; 6 interior boards and thus 12 pages, each with a painting of a bell related nursery rhyme or carol and the text printed on the top.
Ding Dong Bell; There Was an Old Man Who Said Well; Ride a cock-horse, Oh, Who is So Merry, So Merry, Heigh Ho!; Mary, Mary; Oh, Ring the Bells! For this fair time of Maying; The Wedding Bells were Ringing; Twinkle, Twinkle, little Star; Over the River and Through the Wood; I heard the Bells on Christmas Day; Ring out the Old, Ring in the New; Real Jingle Bells. Quite a noisy and jolly book to read aloud!.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or other marks, no tears, spine cloth is smooth, clean, and only lightly rubbed, corner tips lightly rubbed. because of the construction of the book, the top of the spine is slightly pinched (thinner). It seems that someone attempted to wash the three inside bells: their finish is roughened, there is a stain at each base and some evidence of moisture which does not extend to the back cover but does show lightly on the front; the top area of the endpapers which is not covered by pages has darkened. #20200
21437 Playtime Whitman2932 Mallet ill
anon. /anon, probably Beatrice Mallet, illustrator.
Whitman Publishing Company, No. 2032, "Made in U. S. A., (late 1920's), panorama, orange board covers with three little children, a darling shocked headed doll, and a toy horse going to bed; a little golfer on the back; red all around, accordion-fold red-taped boards making 8 boards, 16 pictures in all, each different; each page 10 x 8; total 128" x 10", double sided.
Cute details in these paintings of round faced children, somewhat like Chloe Preston's children but without that wild self-confidence. In view of the mouths and the three upright eyelashes, these paintings are almost certainly by Beatrice Fox Mallet, an English artist who married the French humorist artist Herve Mallet in 1919. Little stories on each page in attractive calligraphy tell of the children's daily occupations: reading, gardening, blowing bubbles.
CONDITION: Near Fine; no names or other marks, all is sturdy and clean, corners sharp, cloth on spines' ends perfect, amazing condition really. #21437
Teddy by Sara Ball; Zug 1990; board book.
Ball, Sara.
Munich: Zug, 1990, 1st printing. Board book cube, 2.5x2.3"; 14 pp.
A neat little cube bound at the top: each opening of reveals a small bear in a different outfit. As far as we know, the first appearance of Teddy.
CONDITION: Good; no names, clean inside; binding quite tight but cloth on one corner pulled out, (could be reglued), outside a little soiled and corner rubbed. #6980
The Magic Window.
Burrows, Peggy. /Arthur von Frankenberg and Seymour Fleishman, illustrator.
New York: Rand McNally & Company and Philips Publishers, 1954, 1st printing or year of publication, yellow boards with girl and boy using book, endpaper paintings of same pair reading seen from the outside, 7.3x8.7; np.
Not our usual but lots of fun; in a neat envelope made by the previous owner and postmarked Nov. 5, 1954 are two Magic Windows of red cellophane which will change the objects viewed in the pictures.
CONDITION: Very Good; window cards creased on edge, extrems bumped and rubbed, spine a bit faded with bumps at ends and half inch tear, pages flat and clean. #16416
Camping Spree of Kiddies Three, Dods/Margaret Evans Price,ill Stecher (1916)
Dods, Helen. /Margaret Evans Price, illustrator.
Rochester, N. Y.: Stecher Lith. Co.; No. 42; (1916); heavy lithographed full coloured card in large WRAPS with rounded corners as issued (good idea), the front has the children marching along with supplies, the back has them standing and waiting with their ax, pan, and wood; the verso of the cover is the title page, and on the back, a boy fishing; three stapled lighter card interior sheets, making 12 interior pages, 6 coloured full page coloured illustrations and 6 in half tones, red and blue; approx. 13.8x7.2 inches.
A resolutely cheerful poem about family camping, quite fun, with sweet pictures in lovely colours.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names, spine rubbed, 2 tiny abrasions, a few light margin smudges; the general effect is very clean, tight, and completely unwrinkled. #19055
The Lonesome Gnome by Hudson.
Hudson, Arthur K. /Constance Whittemore, illustrator.
H. R. Squibb & Sons, (1932), printed by the William Bradford Press, NY; softcover booklet with little gnome sitting on log on cover, center staplebound, coloured line drawings illustrate every spread, 5.5x8"; np.
Lots of health advice and plugs for Squibb Dental Cream in a long poem with a table of the vitamin content of common foods (and Squibb products) on the last page.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or other marks, light, even soil or darkening to covers, interior bright and clean. #19455
John Agee. /JA, illustrator.
New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1993, stated 1st printing; shiny cover with orange background on front, man with piles of title boxes is about to step into a manhole; 8.2x11.2"; np.
On the title page, beachcombers wander across shell strewn sand, and when we lift the flap of a nearby shell, we see that it is little green Martians in a spaceship. The book goes on like that!
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names, slight bump to corner, flaps have been lifted but all very clean and neat; unclipped 10.95 #18783
Uncle Ben Reading Skill Text. Merrill.
Johnson, Eleanor and My Weekly Reader Editors.
Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill, Inc.; green and white covers with Uncle Ben and Monkey, 8.4x11.25 inches; 88 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, tiny embossed University library stamp in upper corner, no other signs, paper toned, tiny bumps to corner ends. #19157
Take the Children, written and illustrated by Dorothy King, Morrow, 1945, 1st pr
King, Dorothy N. /DNK, illustrator.
New York: William Morrow, 1945 1st printing of this book; in paper boards with painting of children waving from the SS Homeland and a blue back; not spiral bound as with later printing; sad sun on front endpaper and happy sun on rear endpaper with no free endpapers as issued, doubled pages; six card children are stored on the deck and can be fit in their homeland pages; in A jacket identical to boards; oblong 9.25x6.75 inches; np.
In a pretty realistic story, six children lose their name tags on their trip home on an ocean liner, and they need the reader's help in getting home. This book is said to reflect the urgency of repatriating children after the confusion of World War Two. I had the 1945 version as a child, the 1951 version would not have had the little Russian figure. Probably influenced me... see the interesting comment below.
CONDITION: Very Good in Very Good jacket; no names, bright, clean boards with rubs to extremities, all nice and clean inside, with three of the children showing creases on their necks and 1/16" tears to the sides of their slots; in jacket with light edgewear all around, more on spine top, 2" tear on crease; unclipped 1.50. #19053
Lowe, V. R. .
Racine, Wisconsin: Whitman, 1934; SOFTCOVER, linen wraps, with photo of Sammy and his dog and car on front, ocean liner on back,
An unremarkable story, but about thirty interesting photos of children and others in text from different countries around the world, some beautiful images on browning paper.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus without jacket; clean and flat, slight rubbing and flaring to corners. #14799
14230 Topsys & Turveys by Peter Newell.
Newell, Peter. /PN, illustrator.
New York: The Century Co, (1893), early reprint of first edition; olive glazed boards and spine with coloured panel of little maids/tramps; plain endpapers, heavy smooth paper, col title page and 4 reversible one sided contents pages, 31 col plates; oblong 6 3/4 x 9"; 31 pp
Read each page rightside up then turn it upside down for the rest of the story. Surprisingly, the illustration changes too.
CONDITION: Good Minus; edges of boards rubbed through to card and about half of spine color cracked off to cloth tape, leaving red imp, slight occasional page soil but interior is basically flat, tight enough, and clean, no names, covered in archival film jacket #14230
Workbook for Engine Whistles. Alice and Jerry. (1957)
O'Donnell, Mabel and Helen Gilson.
Evanston: Row, Peterson, and Company, 1957, 1955, 1943; softcover, with all around illustration of country train station, Hastings' Family Tree on inside back; 8.2x10.8 inches; 128 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, unused, toned paper, no wrinkles or tears, tiny corner bump and foxing on upper front. #19156
Celestino Piatti: ABC der Tiere. (frieze cards)
Piatti, Celestino. /Celestino Piatti, illustrator.
Zurich and Stuttgart: Artemis Verlags (1965) one of five hundred copies, printed in Switzerland; card envelope enclosing folder with 22 pictures from the ABC; Hans Schumacher, ed.
These pictures, by poster artist Celestino Piatti, will make a striking frieze. (Contains the extra Vicuna and child and a double sized giraffe, as well as the original German text.) Diese 22 einseitig bedruckte Blatter umfassende Mappe, die im Inhalt der Kinderbuch-Ausgabe entspricht, wurde in 500 Exemplaren gedruckt und darf nur komplett abgegeben werden.
CONDITION: Good; card envelope darkened, soiled and all bumped; folder has become very creased in several places from incorrect insertion, all pictures have tack holes in top corners and are slightly toned, still pictures are clean and wonderfully bright.. #14289
19568 The Tale of Peter Rabbit Animated! Julian Wehr
Potter, Beatrix, unauthorized edition. /Julian Wehr, illustrator.
New York: Grosset and Dunlap, (1943), green boards constructed so that one long board with small inverted pleat in the middle. the red spiral binding attaching along the center edge of this pleat; board has picture of Peter in the garden on the front and Peter with a butterfly on the back, green pictorial fixed "endpapers," 4 animated pictures in which several elements move with a tab, many black and green pictures in text; in jacket identical to boards; 8 3/4"x8 3/8", np
A long way from Beatrix Potter, but lots of fun. Each animation has interesting details.
CONDITION: Very Good in Very Good jacket; no names or other marks, boards and pages clean and flat; ends of coiled spine compressed with half inch tears at top and one inch paper crack at bottom; clean, very bright jacket has two half inch tears and no loss of paper; moveables fine; unclipped $1.00. #19568