Play Books

21908 Parabaik Myanmar Burma Tattoo Pattern Book

Parabaiks like these were produced as sample tattoo books. From the British museum, manuscript similar to ours: "The manuscript is a digest of tattoo designs for a potential client to choose from, and would have been used by the tattooer to advertise his range of work." The traditional tattoos had religious or magical powers and both protected the wearer and gave him strength.

This book has 27 different tattoos, black outlined coloured drawings surrounded by text, some on double spreads and some single pages: elephants brandishing swords, goddesses riding tigers, magical birds, and creatures bearing magic squares and circles, fish, chicken headed snakes, and circles of lizards and many animals with human or goddess heads.

Yes, this is a strange book for a children's site, but in fact it was sold to us as a "Victorian colouring book" (true!)

PUBLICATION DATA: None. Probably 1890 to 1928, perhaps produced for the tourist trade. Not an early 19th c book because of the colour work, but the very fine lacquer work suggests that it is turn of the century, probably before the suppression of tattoos by the British in the 1930’s. BINDING: Leporello, 10.2 x 16.5 cm, 4.1 x 6.5” making 72” fully opened, with 18 "pages", (2 of them pasted to decorated black lacquered wooden boards), thus 16 images on one side and 18 images on the other. The images are carefully hand coloured in several shades of green, yellow, and purple, and the edges of the rough mulberry? paper are stained in black. The boards have fine incised work in red, grey blue, and golden yellow, with lines and colours placed close together (for example, each gold "brushstroke" in our jpg is actually six fine lines). One board shows a woman in a courtyard among buildings with others looking out the windows, all very linear; the other board has elaborate curved coloured lines with a fantastic bird in the center cartouche.
CONDITION: Very Good; no marks, or tears; the black lacquer is a bit dulled. I have not attempted to clean it. The photos of the boards are lightened so that details are more visible. There is a half inch by quarter inch chip in the black on one back corner and a small bump and crack on a front corner tip. The bird has a dull scratch near its head. The pages are Fine, bright, unwrinkled, and extremely clean; the folds are not rubbed or torn at all and the corners are sharp.
Sleeping Beauty Pantomime Toy Book. McLoughlin.
/illustrator not credited.

Constructed with 4 pages of text on front and back (poem and story); inset in these is a one sided full colour proscenium with orchestra players below and empty theater boxes, inset in this is a booklet of eight pages and within each spread of this booklet both a smaller and larger strip, making 13 pages of bright and detailed full chromolitho illustrations as the pages and strips are turned. Delightful!

New York: McLoughlin (early 1880's) card covers with pale blue, gilt, and red line borders to full illustration of princess asleep, on back pantomime players with portraits of the five pantomime books, 7.5 x 10"; 8 pages of text plus chromolitho insert.
CONDITION: Good; Dec. 10, 1883 prize for speaking inscription to Elma Schwinn; tight, but spine paper is cracked with missing chips, both boards show horizontal crease all across which is evident on the inside of the top board, corners moderately rubbed and bumped, small spot on Beauty; text pages clean and toned; half inch closed margin tear on proscenium page; booklet is a bit loose at bottom, but chromolithos are fine, unwrinkled and bright.
The Cow and the Silver Cream illus by Vernon Grant.
/Vernon Grant, illustrator.

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.

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.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, no rubbing, top back corner has been bumped and then flattened out, otherwise flat pages.
Doctor Dolittle's Look-Inside Book. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp (1968)
/Jason Studios, illustrator.

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.

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.
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.
Friendly Farm.Schilling Co. 1945. A Panorama.

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.

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.
CONDITION: Good; edges of tape on spine quite badly rubbed, reglued tape on one board shows wrinkles, thus grade, otherwise clean and unmarked.

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.

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"
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.
What the Wee Bear Did by Nina Jordan. A panorama.
/Nina Jordan, illustrator.

Wee Bear just can't keep from giving everything a little taste!

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.
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.
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.
My Farm Book. Board Book.

A little boy and girl  live on a large, cheerful, well kept farm.

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.
CONDITION: Very Good, no names or other marks, darkening a little, faint rim of moisture damage around top of cover, visible in jpg.
The Bad Boy and O. N. T. Clark's Spool Cotton, circa 1870.

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.

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"
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.
When the Circus Comes to Town Whitman late 20's early 30's

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.

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.
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.
19765 Who Stole the Bird's Nest, Prang publishers.

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.

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".
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.
22512 Stick'em Animal Cotouts Platt & Munk, (1939)

Cheerful animals in stylish garb, by an unknown artist. Going to the circus, tucked in bed, swinging high, and having a picnic. A lovely large printing of this book in gift condition.

USA: The Platt & Munk Co, Inc (Copr 1939) No. 0128A; yellow card covers with two birds and a dog and cat in colourful clothes, white card with instructions on back; oblong 11x9"; 4 pages and 4 pages of stickers.
CONDITION: Near Fine; no names or other marks, paper quite bright, sticker pages uncut, tiny bumps to extrems.
19607 Dollies to Paint illus Brundage.
/Frances Brundage, illustrator.

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.

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"
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, 1" split at foot of spine, unused, uncut, unwrinkled or handled, no other flaws.
22263 Bayard, Pierre Belves, illus.,Pere Castor Panorama. 1946
/Pierre Belvès, illustrator.

From 1944 to 1947 Pierre Belvès, also an artist and an educator, created 16 short friezes for Paul Faucher (for Père Castor). This one, Bayard, opens like a book, showing two knights facing, then opens again from the center, revealing a long frieze with three scenes from Bayard's life. On the back are the two knights, the title page, and a page of text telling the story of this medieval knight and giving some hints on watercolour and gouache. These friezes would make a nice small collection. Most are hard to find including this one.

Paris: Flammarion, Père Castor, 1946, 1st (and only?) printing; single page size 21 x 24 cm, open frieze oblong 64 x 24 cm or 33 x 9.5"; 8 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or colouring, toned, on front "cover" slight rubbing to matte surface when held slanted to light and minor foxing and spot visible on white margins., flat and clean.
Teddy by Sara Ball; Zug 1990; board book.
Ball, Sara.

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.

Munich: Zug, 1990, 1st printing. Board book cube, 2.5x2.3"; 14 pp.
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.
The Magic Window.
Burrows, Peggy.
/Arthur von Frankenberg and Seymour Fleishman, illustrator.

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.

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.
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.
Camping Spree of Kiddies Three, Dods/Margaret Evans Price,ill Stecher (1916)
Dods, Helen.
/Margaret Evans Price, illustrator.

A resolutely cheerful poem about family camping, quite fun, with sweet pictures in lovely colours.

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.
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.
The Lonesome Gnome by Hudson.
Hudson, Arthur K.
/Constance Whittemore, illustrator.

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.

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.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or other marks, light, even soil or darkening to covers, interior bright and clean.
John Agee.
/JA, illustrator.

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!

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.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names, slight bump to corner, flaps have been lifted but all very clean and neat; unclipped 10.95
22597 Take the Children by Dorothy King
King, Dorothy N.
/DNK, illustrator.

Originally written in 1945, as children who had been evacuated during World War II were returning home. In a realistic story, six European children lose their name tags on their voyage home from North America. The child reader can help return the little figures to their home country pages. An amusing subplot runs through, of the children exploring the ocean liner and then growing increasingly tired of their trip. The country pages have pictorial maps and illustrations; all but the French and English children are in traditional clothing.

More images available.

Copyright 1951 by Dorothy K. Werblow, printed in USA (1st was Morrow 1945 hardcover); blue heavy card with the children looking out from the bow of the S. S. Homeland, card folds around the pages with the spiral wire running through the card and pages, the six child figures can be stored in the bow on an inner page, or can fite in a page with paintings of their homeland.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; no names or other marks, 1"x 1/4" damage to front bottom corner, small rub on spine foot, otherwise spiral and holes are neat, children are perfect, pages are clean, and there are no tears in any of the slots.
21503 Little Mischief Makers Levering
Levering, H. B.

"A Story in 3 Parts: 1.They Play Pelicans. with the help of some flypaper and pillow feathers. 2. They Raid the Pantry and get sticky jam all over themselves.. 3.Their Adventure with Billy." 


"And so through kindness, nothing more, they let the goat come in the door." Funny, cheerful little children in the style of Beatrice Mallet. 

Rochester, NY; Strecher Litho, Co. (1917); heavy smooth paper, rounded corners, on the front the brother and sister sit down to a meal with the goat, on the back the two, in disguise, chat with another pelican, 10 interior pages; 10x8.75".
CONDITION: Very Good; no names or other marks, 1/4" split at rubbed spine bottom, 2 small light margin stains .
Lowe, V. R.

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.

Racine, Wisconsin: Whitman, 1934; SOFTCOVER, linen wraps, with photo of Sammy and his dog and car on front, ocean liner on back,
CONDITION: Very Good Plus without jacket; clean and flat, slight rubbing and flaring to corners.
14230 Topsys & Turveys by Peter Newell.
Newell, Peter.
/PN, illustrator.

Read each page rightside up then turn it upside down for the rest of the story. Surprisingly, the illustration changes too.

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
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
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..