Welcome to Old Children's Books, selling children's literature and picture books online since 1994. We stock more than 10,000 scarce, collectible and out-of-print books, for readers, teachers and collectors.
Note: If your book dates before 1965, or is an older trade book, scroll down to the blue Help Me Find a Book.
Whoops! Flat Stanley is looking for a book! His own book, first issued in 1964, with illustrations by Tomi Ungerer. He won't find a nice copy! It's a very rare book.
Every day we receive emails from people searching for childhood books. If we recognize your book, we'll help you find it, but be sure to look at the links below and the comments from other viewers. Searching for a Book Online:
Our Old Children's Books Search:
First, it's worth trying our ownAdvanced Search.About 3/4 of our children's books, 7,500 or so, are on this site. Although only about 500 have pictures, almost all contain plot descriptions and Keywords (tags). These can be searched using the Description and Keyword field or the simple search on the website.
We are specialist children's booksellers. There are better sources on the net for inquiring about most children's books, especially readers, series, modern, or mass market books. Please try the links below before contacting us:
It's in there somewhere: ABE Books Advanced Search Abebooks Advanced Search.
For best results use only: Title, Author, Date Range, and Keywords. You will be able to limit your search further once you reach the results page. This is the best book search engine on the net, from a huge Canadian company originally started by booksellers.
Millions of books of all kinds from dealers all over the world, some not found in libraries.
Most of the English language books ever published: WorldCat WorldCat.org lists entries from catalogues of libraries in English speaking countries around the world. You should limit your search at least to Format:Book, and Audience:Juvenile. You can do this on the advanced search page or once you arrive at the results, using the left hand column, as with abe. Often you can find more about the content of a title by going to an individual library holding. (Because you won't get as many duplicate titles, Worldcat works better for common titles than Abe or Amazon.)
Pictures are best:
Once you have narrowed down a possible title, try Amazon.com or Google.com Images for a picture. The colour option on Google is working better and better. It's a real help. Amazon and Google pictures are not accurate though, so use the "Seller Supplied Pictures" (not the Stock pictures) on Abebooks for specific editions. (Look in the left hand column to limit your search to these.)
A few words can help:
If all you can remember is a few words, try Google.com.
Put the words in quotes.
Use only one or two, essential, easily-spelled, keywords.
Try this sample Google search: "I think I can" train
Remember that one?
Selling One or Two Books.
Probably the easiest place for an individual to sell books like those above is on www.Amazon.com. Look up your book, click on the picture, then look in the blue box for "Have one to sell?" and click on "Sell yours here." Amazon's instructions for selling are very clear. As a non Amazon Pro seller, you will now (2/2013) be able to list a book not found on Amazon. Please follow the directions so Amazon's mixed-up duplicate listings don't get any worse than they already are. You can probably do much better than the "Pro's"!
For pricing your book, it is easier and more accurate to use the Abebooks.com Advanced Search to find a price. Then double check on Amazon because prices there are sometimes higher. Amazon's Search is really not set up for out of print books.
Condition, especially the presence of a jacket if called for, and publication data are extremely important, but just record what you see, don't try to grade or ascertain edition and printing. The more care you put into describing your books, the more likely you are to sell them. Note: We do not purchase books online, sight unseen. Please do not offer them to us. Thank you. If you have a collection or several rare books you are interested in selling to us, especially if you live in the Northwest, please look on http://oldchildrensbooks.com/buying-and-pricing-childrens-books
Finding and Valuing an Older Book.
We are happy to assist you in finding a half-remembered book from the mid 20th c or before. Our email address is on the Contact Us page. We do not run a formal Book Search and we will not order books for you, but we'll try to point you in the right direction. For a more modern book read the suggestions above.
We never value a book over the net, nor do other reputable booksellers. If you have an older book which seems to have value, you might want to look at our page Buying and Selling Children's Books.
Look through the suggestions below. If the process seems too complicated, we are pleased to recommend an very experienced children's specialist bookseller who does formal book searches and keeps a want list for customers.
The latest possible year of publication, i. e. before (date).
Your estimate as to the range of possible publication dates.
Picture book or children's novel
Source: Library? School? An older family book?
- Anything at all you remember about the book:
Phrases or refrains,
Bits of plot.
-Illustrations: the quickest way to ID, the hardest quality to describe.
Separate plates or in text?
Other illustrators the pictures call to mind?
Choose your search words carefully:
Unusual words really help: wallaby works better than bear as a search word.
Names which could be spelled in various ways are hard to search; Peatie Peety Petey Peetie Peaty
Words which could be hyphenated or not also take time, especially with older books which may follow different conventions: dog house, dog-house, doghouse
Avoid abbreviations, they could be spelled out or not: Dr/Doctor. Mr./Mister Co./Company Inc./
Avoid possessives, although sometimes it doesn't matter.
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Many, many thanks to all the wonderful readers who help to ID these books!