Alphabet books

Alphabet books from all eras. We include some counting books as well.

Little Pets Linen ABC.
ABC (anon).
/anon, illustrator.

A first primer, with three examples of each initial letter sound in the small pictures "Quaker, Quail, Quiver" and CVC words and sentences to practice on, ending with a simple story. The front cover gives an interesting message about the value of learning to read!

New York, McLoughlin Bros., no date, (c. mid 1880's?), no number or series, 3 folded sheets making ten interior pages, front cover with young child and baby pulling on a book, another book already destroyed on the floor, and, on the back cover, a rather bizarre scene with a blonde man in Japanese costume holding a little girl in a trailing dress, the four interior alphabet pages are full colour very bright chromos perhaps inspired by earlier woodcuts, the other pages are the primer's text; on fine linen cut on straight of goods; 5.75"x8.25".
CONDITION: Good; faded, flecked front cover, small pencil initials on back and number on front corner, top corners are bent but not creased, no fraying, interior coloured pictures very bright.
An American ABC/Petersham.
ABC - Petersham, Maud and Miska.
/Maud & Miska Petersham, illustrators.

O is for Old Glory. Q is for Quakers. R is for Redskins. S is for South America and Simon Bolivar. A little essay on each.

New York: Macmillan, 1941, stated 1st; blue cloth boards, orange-red endpapers, in jacket with huge eagle protecting a sleeping boy and a little girl; 8x10"; np.
CONDITION: Very Good in Very Good Plus jacket; gift inscription from Feb. 1942 on endpaper; all is clean, straight, and fairly tight, but Maurice unfortunately turned the pages from the bottom and loved this book, thus there are light wrinkles to the bottom page margins; in clean flat jacket with small sticker stain on front, and small nick in spine, smooth edges, no chips or tears; unclipped $2.00.
B is for Bear.
ABC Bruna, Dick.
/DB, illustrator

A large letter on one side and a large clear picture on the other, just right for someone actually learning the alphabet.

London: Methuen & Co. 1967/1967, 1st printing UK; red boards, yellow teddy, yellow endpapers; 21x 21.5 cm; np.
CONDITION: Very Good; yellow cloth spine evenly soiled, slight splay, printer's error on pig page, otherwise tight with pages and boards clean and flat.
Adam's ABC.
ABC Fife, Dale. (Robertson, Don)
/Don Robertson, illustrator.


Coward, 1971/1971, 2nd; 10.3x8.3, np.
CONDITION: Very Good without jacket; EX-LIBRARY with few marks.
7580 Navajo ABC; a Diné Alphabet Book. Tapahanso/Shick.
ABC Tapahonso, Luci. (Schick, Eleanor])
/Eleanor Schick, illustrator.

A for arroyo, B for belt, C for cradle board. An alphabet that serves as an introduction for young children to cultural aspects of the largest Indian nation in the United States..

Simon & Schuster, 1995,1st printing. 8.75x11.4; c 54 pp.
CONDITION: Fine in Fine jacket; as new; unclipped, 15.00
Bilder-ABC No. 42.
ABC. (anon)
/anon, illustrator.

A little Sunday School Prize book, probably from a German American community, with a medal pasted on a blank page, "Little Cross Crown System, For Increasing Sunday School Attendance Official Seal" along with the purple ribbon, laid in, which must have come with it. The coloured lithos of shaded fruits, vegetables, and common household items are really quite beautiful.

No publication data,(c. 1915?) paper cover with illustration of boy teaching a group of children sitting on a log, paper is pasted to stiff card back, 4 folded pages, making 16 interior pages, printed on one side only (8 coloured pages); 4.25"x6.3".
CONDITION: Very Good; lightly soiled covers, two tiny chipped spots on front of about 1/16", interior is pristine.
The Antic Alphabet.
ABC. (Lencek, Lena)
/LL, illustrator.

The alphabet people have skinny little legs and arms and imaginative coloured fabric costumes, stripes, flowers, stars, dots. They dance on backgrounds of all colours.. vibrant raspberry, turquoise, orange.

San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994, 1st printing; white boards with proscenium and brightly dressed alphabet people dancing, seen from behind on the back, endpapers with little bright alphabet people design, in jacket identical to boards; oblong; 9.25x7; np
CONDITION: Fine in Fine jacket; as new; unclipped 11.95.
Alphabet of Many Things.
ABC. (Rojankovsky, Feodor)
/FR, illustrator.

An alphabet to interest a small child, with many examples of each letter, all in colour.

New York: Golden Press, 1970, 1st printing, letter line, a Big Golden Book; laminated full colour illustrated boards, with toy horse on wheels on back and the same horse made of letters on front; decorative colour alphabet endpapers, 9.4x14.75"; np.
CONDITION: Very Good; extremities worn through to card, all else very bright and clean.
The Z was Zapped.
ABC. (Van Allsburg, Chris)
/CVanA, illustrator.

Begins with a black and white picture of "A" with rocks tumbling around it, on verso," The A was in an avalanche" and so on through 26 graphic catastrophes. Just the alphabet book for a Van Allsburg collector.

Houghton Mifflin, 1987, 1st printing. 9.25x11.2; c 52 pp.
CONDITION: Near Fine in Very Good jacket; in dw w one inch tear on spine and other smaller margin tears; unclipped 15.95.
17466 Sleepy ABC Brown illus Slobodkina
Alphabet - Brown, Margaret Wise.
/Esphyr Slobodkina, illustrator.

A lovely book with wonderful deep colours. The text from each letter is repeated on a page at the end and makes a touching goodnight poem.

New York: Lothrop, Lee, and Shepherd, 1953, 1st nap; dark teal boards with moon and a sleeping child flying under the stars, hot pink titles, green and pink quilt endpapers; (replacement jacket identical to boards); 7.9x9.4"; np.
CONDITION: Good Plus without the original jacket; faded school stamp eps, no other signs, (trade edition with pictorial cover); creases and edges rubbed to white, corners to card, professionally recased, previous 3/8" chips on spine ends mounted on dark blue, very light soil to bottom board, endpapers in nice shape, pages perfectly flat and clean; comes with an older ($2.00) jacket with very nice colour, 1" tear, no chips..
21851 ClaussPrimer
/G. E. Atherton, illustrator.

An alphabet/Mother Goose advertising booklet, with two large red letters and their full pictures and rhymes on every page, the drawings rather stiff but nicely coloured. Each traditional rhyme works in a Clauss product: Old woman, old woman, shall we go a-shearing?/Speak a little louder, sir. I am hard of hearing./Old woman, old woman, the shears were made by Clauss (fancy script)/Thank you, kind sir, you may leave them at my house. 

Fremont, Ohio: The Clauss Shear Company, nd (circa 1908 from pictures); The Blade Printing and Paper Company, Catalogue Printers, Toledo, Ohio, stamped "From Welton Stanford Hardware, Schenectady, N. Y." (in business under this name from 1907, Clauss under this name 1899-1919); paper cover with little girl on a high brick wall looking down at fallen Clauss shears and paper dolls that she has apparently cut out of her book, on the back a King seated on scissors and Clauss is King, with artist name; stapled good quality coated paper, 5.5x8.5"; 14 interior pages.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or other marks, spine lightly rubbed with 3/8" split at foot, light soil to covers, interior pages unwrinkled and clean.
20574 Walt Disney's A B C  cloth book
Walt Disney Productions

Bright little figures and big coloured letters, with almost all the Disney figures, arranged two letters per figure (G galloping H horse = Goofy galloping on a horse.)

A Dean's Baby-safe Book, Made in Great Britain, Dean's Rag Book dog logo, no number, copyright Walt Disney Productions, [1963]; bright full colour covers, on front a bright train with characters in the open cars, on back, Y yellow dog, Z zoo yellow giraffe, inside pages are white with coloured figures and letters, 6 interior pages; oblong 7.75x8".
Good Plus; no names or marks, nice and bright, sharp pinking on top edge, lightly frayed on bottom, no wrinkles, small pale spot on top edge of fifth page and 2 other small spots, large stain on rear cover about 1" square, reaching illustration, inaccurately sewn.
In the Garden ABC Raphel Tuck, Father Tuck's "The Field and Farm"
/illustrator not credited.

All charming scenes of children and animals in nature in the summer... except the last, XYZ Father Christmas is near, Goodbye to the flowers, Winter is here.

Raphael Tuck and Sons Ltd, Father Tuck's "The Field and Farm" Series; 1895-1901, #5518; shiny illustrated boards with little girl watering her flowers, on the back a girl is adorning her donkey with a wreath of flowers, inside, four coloured illustrations and sepia picture in text; oblong 8.5 x 6"; np.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, small erased number and crease on back corner, light crease on spine.
21898 In Town ABC Raphael Tuck Publishers, Field and Farm Series
/illustrator not credited

Some glimpses of turn of the century dog breeds in this ABC: poodle, bulldogs, terriers, dachshunds, young Saint or Landseer puppy and some sweet kittens, too.

Raphael Tuck and Sons Ltd, Father Tuck's "The Field and Farm" Series; 1895-1901 #5522,; shiny illustrated boards with boy in a blue suit and his dog looking in a toystore window, on the back a mother rocking her baby; oblong 8.5 x 6"; np.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or other marks, small erased number and long crease on back.
ABC Fun: The Alphabet Party. Advertizing booklet.

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!

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"
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.
22579 Child's First Alphabet Book
not credited

Two ABCs bound together with a memorable Rountree cover plate and many funny endpaper drawings by Lang Campbell, including Uncle Wiggily. Both alphabets have the look of thinner reproductions of prewar chromolithographs (which, if true, would have been Graham & Matlack.)

Bird and Animal ABC: Spreads of six or seven wonderful coloured illustrations of letters/animals in their habitats, followed by spreads with little drawings and information about animals in the same letter groups.

Nursery Rhyme Book ABC: More elaborate turn of the century style lithos, full illustrations with Frances Brundage style children, also with six or seven letters/rhymes followed by larger line drawings with green touches.

All in all a large book in nice condition. More images available.


Newark and New York: Charles E. Graham, 1920s ;Child's First Alphabet on top board, no general title page.: Bird and Animal ABC and Nursery Rhyme Book ABC are bound together. tan and gray laid paper design boards with pasted on plate of a mouse being chased by a huge buttterfly,(from Harry Rountree's Story of Simple Samuel); illustrated endpapers with little character drawings by Lang Campbell (both artists uncredited); in both books, coloured spreads with borders alternate with spreads of dark brown line drawings; 10x12"; np.
Very Good: no names or marks, clean boards and pages, hinges intact, spine ends have little splits for about 1/4 and spine has apparently been reglued, neatly, from split on bottom edge, paste-on plate a bit rubbed with two very small dents, corners worn to card.
19624 ABC Petits Contes by LeMaitre, ill JOB
LeMaitre, Jules.
/JOB (Jacques-Marie Gaston Onfray de Breville), illustrator

Nearing the end of his life, LeMaitre, a beloved French writer for children, worked on a collection of child-tested stories that would form an alphabet, some original, some adapted from Anderson, Perrault, and others. World War One delayed the publication of this volume, so this beautiful book was published after the author's death. What a pleasure to see a book illustrated by JOB for little children!

Tours: Maison Alfred Mame & Fils, 1919, 1st; #40840 Tours Imprimerie Mame; red cloth backed paper boards with elaborate letters and animal drawings, grey endpapers, a story of several pages for each letter, each illustrated in colour; 9.75x12", 24.5x30cm; 54 pp.
CONDITION: Good Plus; owner name fep, no other marks, boards darkened and rubbed to card on bottom edge and upper corners, with some light margin soil; pages unwrinkled and generally clean with intermittent light margin soil; binding a bit shaken, but holding well and not open to net. Please inquire about postage for this large book.
Celestino Piatti: ABC der Tiere. (frieze cards)
Piatti, Celestino.
/Celestino Piatti, illustrator.

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.

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.
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..