bride of pendorric

book club edition, 1963, doubleday & co., new york
jacket painting by arthur shilstone

i'm becoming really enamored of these book club edition covers. they fit the gothic theme so well. of course it's set on the cliffs of cornwall as all good (revival) gothic romances are (cough, rebecca, cough). and her husband "roc" may be trying to kill her! dun, dun, dun...i might have to put this next on my 'to read' list.


funny bar book

funny bar book by ted shane
the do-it-yourself series, 1955, arco publishing co., new york
cartoons by VIP

i used to collect old bar books...barware actually...all midcentury. i've since gotted rid of most of it all. this is a really interesting guide to mixed drinks. it was originally published by true, the man's magazine. it's not surprising, since this book would be considered politically incorrect by today's standards. i think it's funny, as intended. the real treat though is the extensive list of dinosaur and little-heard-of mixed drinks...like the "blood and sand," which warns to not use the same ice twice, "except in scotland." i don't really get that joke, but that's okay. there is also a guide to "the common household hangover." the cartoons (illustrations) are all really individual as well, and really showcase the artist's style. very fifties (like the seven year itch), which is a wonderful thing.


alice schlesinger

one of my favorite illustrators is alice schlesinger. i love her almond-eyed children and she just has a way of capturing a moment that i find really special. i love all of her work. these are the books that i own which are illustrated by her. she's also a very interesting woman who was educated in austria! she has a wonderful legacy of making children happy with her art. see more here.

i'm suzy by dorotha ruthstrom
BIG tell-a-tales, 1966, whitman publishing co, wisconsin
lithographed edition
illustrated by alice schlesinger

little boy blue: finger plays old and new by daphne hogstrom
a golden book, 1966, western publishing co., wisconsin
illustrated by alice schlesinger

the big book of favorite songs for children selected & arranged by dorothy berliner commins
nursery treasure books, 1951, grosset & dunlap, inc., new york
lithographed edition
illustrated by alice schlesinger
music drawn by margaret brewster

the big book of mother goose
nursey treasure books, 1976 printing, grosset & dunlap, new york
lithographed edition
illustrated by alice schlesinger


peter pauper press

i've been collecting peter pauper press books for a long time...i first discovered them at this great book sale in lancaster county, pennsylvania. peter pauper press was devoted to publishing fine gift books, in smaller sizes with exemplary design and illustration inclusions and overall high quality production. these books are real treasures, and when i see one i get it. i find it very interesting that the press was started by a husband and wife team in the basement of their mount vernon, ny home. you can read more about the history of this press here. all the books i own appear to be letterpress printed. i own several titles by this press, including:
chinese proverbs from olden times by harry behn (not credited - 1956)
comic epitaphs from the very best old graveyards gathered and published by peter pauper press and illustrated by henry r. martin (1957)
simple new england cookery compiled by edna beilenson (said wife) and illustrated by ruth mccrea (1962)
the japanese tea ceremony interpreted by julia v. nakamura and illustrated by shiba sumitani (1965)
on friendship: a selection edited by louise bachelder with illustrations by eric carle (1966)
the hunting of the snark and other nonsense verse by lewis carroll and illustrated by AW...i would love to know more about this illustrator, but i haven't had any luck figuring out what AW stands for...anyone have any info? (not dated)
i've written more about the press and my collection on my other blog here. and this is a fantastic set on flickr.


the big treasure book of fairy tales

this was a lucky find. it didn't look that exciting to me at first. i think the cover really doesn't do it justice. the missing dust jacket has a lot to do with that i'm sure. the cover has grown on me though. i do like the two tone printing on a colored background. this cover is brown and cream on turqoise.

when i flipped through i couldn't help but feel i had hit the jackpot. look at the blue cat. the illustrations are really something special. i immediately knew that the illustrator was art seiden. whose work i love.

unfortunately the book isn't in great condition. some of the pages are missing. it's another library discard (so prevalent at church book fairs.) this book originally belonged to alta vista school. i meant to photo the front inside cover, because the type is amazing as well. all of the book is lithographed.

the big treasure book of fairy tales retold by evelyn andreas
first edition (?), 1954, grosset & dunlap, inc., new york
illustrated by art seiden
the endpapers are my favorite. the s. s. fairyland, puss in boots, the medallions on the cabin. i could go on and on.
**i'm thinking this may not be the original cover, but a library rebind. the illustration seems off as well and is most likely not seiden's. i couldn't find any other references to this book with photos to be sure though. anyone have a copy we can compare?**


arabian nights

illustrated by mamoru funai

i love this edition of arabian nights, the illustrations by mamoru funai are amazing. i've always loved sinbad. you know the patrick wayne sinbad, eye of the tiger and all that. there was a philadelphia premiere back in the day which i attended. patrick wayne was there, and it was wonderful, except i don't remember any of it except for what my parents have shared with me. although i must've seen this movie a million times. well, i digress. the book itself is a wonderful collection of (abridged) stories, including the aforementioned "the story of sinbad the sailor," as well as, "scheherazade" and more of the popular tales. not only did mamoru funai do a wonderful job illustrating this book, but i really feel that the illustrations capture the spirit of the stories remarkably well. the type on the cover is also pretty snazzy nifty. i'm definitely going to search out more companion library copies...there are quite a few...hopefully they're all designed as well as this one is.


a dog came to school: a davy book

this is a wonderful book by lois lenski. one of the things that i like most about it, is that the only colors its printed with are blue and red. the illustrations are also really interesting.

this was an old library copy, and the stamps have been crossed out. it belonged to the new eagle library. there are also acid stains from glue used to attach the original dustcover, which is now lost. i have to say, i really don't mind these marks. it's all the history of the book, which is what i like to see.

i'm a fan of lois lenski, but i have to say that her children all look deranged. like in this illustration, i imagine they are going to eat that poor puppy. barbarella robot dollie style. chomp chomp :)

first edition, 1955, henry z. walck, inc., new york
illustrated by lois lenski

the library card pocket is still attached. this would be a wonderful spot for hiding secret cryptic messages, don't you think? may 1st, 1978 is the last legible borrow. my dad's birthday, i was 7 years old...he was 32.

**hello things magazine readers!! thank you for visiting...and thank you things magazine for the kind mention.**


diminutive books (part 2 of 2)

i used to have a real thing for old tennyson tomes...i'm not sure why. i have quite a few really wonderful old tennyson books as a result, which is fine by me. these are two, which i'm including here just because they are teeny.

enoch arden: and other poems, includes the interesting "lady of shalott" which was like porn for pre-raphaelites. it actually is a wonderful poem. what i love about this little book though is the red embossed leatherette cover, it's quite charming.

lancelot and elaine, is an excerpt from idylls of the king. this also has an embossed leatherette cover and is a redcroft edition. i'm not sure how that differentiates it from the latter though. the glue on both book's spines has long gone bad and yet these are wonderful books. i got them at this fantastic thrift store that thought old books weren't wanted. lucky me, i think i paid 2 dollars each. quite a steal i suppose.

enoch arden and lancelot and elaine (redcroft edition) by alfred lord tennyson
little leather library corp., new york
not dated (circa 1920)


diminutive books (part 1 of 2)

the child's evergreen miniature library, not dated, fisher & brother, philadelphia
illustrator not credited
when i was a kid my grandmother used to show me this little book and tell me it was for "little people," and that it was commissioned by general tom thumb. now i wonder what planet she was on when she said that. maybe i had some crazy childhood mis-memory or something. anyways, it is a truly spectacular diminutive book. the whole book is letterpress printed and the page edges are gilded. the spine is broken, which reveals the word, "the fatal blo." pretty strange stuff.
the best part is the back which reads, "The publishers take great pleasure in announcing to the public, this beautiful Juvenile Library of gems. Each one of the bijou volumes is separate in itself, and the whole constitutes one of the most tasteful series of books ever published. They are admirably calculated for presents; especially for SUNDAY SCHOOLS. Although containing the highest lessons of morality and piety, there is within them nothing of a sectarian character. The Historical volumes of the series have been compiled from the most authentic sources, and are reliable as historical narratives. The Child's Evergreen Miniature Library need only to be examined to be admired; a discerning public will not fail to be pleased with it. Good morals, Historical Truth, Bible Christianity, and pure Poetical Sentiment are its characteristics."
simmer down now! pretty heavy, i think. haha. perfect for kids, right? i'm guessing it's victorian.



i wanted to post the other two tell-a-tale books in my library.

slowpoke at the circus by kay richardson
a tell-a-tale book, 1973, western publishing, wisconsin
illustrations by
ruth ruhman

two stories about wags by betty biesterveld
a tell-a-tale book, 1960(?), western publishing, wisconsin
illustrated by
dan and norma garris

**edit: i actually just realized that i have one more tell-a-tale book (a big one), but i'm saving it for a special post next week!**


peppermint and if i could be

vintage childrens' books are just the best. it's also my most dreaded section at book sales. at the church sale where i picked these up, i had to peek around a family of 500 with a kid screaming to his mother, "can we sell this on ebay?" now i'm not against selling a vintage book, at all. but i did find it kinda annoying. i'm just sayin'. on the other hand, if there are a zillion (i'm overinflating numbers here in case you couldn't tell) kids looking at the books. that's ok. i'm the imposter. me and a whole bunch of school teachers.

lucky for me the family of 500 were more interested in contemporary hardback picture books. i was immediately drawn to poor little peppermint. she's cute, but i fell in love with the title font.

peppermint by dorothy grider
1966, western publishing co. , wisconsin
a whitman tell-a-tale book
illustrated by raymond burns

you can see the font more clearly on the endpaper. although on the cover the coloring is white with pale pink bubbles. i'm also quite smitten with the "illustrated by." overall this is a super cute book. it has a sort of surprise ending, which i won't give away here. i have other tell-a-tales books, and i find them all rather charming.

if i could be, author not credited
1953, whitman publishing, wisconsin
illustrated by lore e. winship (?)

interestingly, an earlier whitman title. this is a short paperback book. the boy on the cover reminds me of my brother a bit. i would've guessed this book was from the '40s were it not for the date. it's super cute! short and sweet.


good old holland and alpine wildflowers of rocky mountain national park

my mind is set on travel today, and these are two wonderful examples of tourist books (pamphlets really).

i love holland, my mother lives near maastricht. i have an aunt in amsterdam as well. i've been many times, although not for a long time. i always miss holland, and i am always looking for books about holland, preferably old travel books. that's how i found this gem. the letterpress cover is amazing!

the inside is really cute as well. it includes all sorts of short snippets of information about holland.

good old holland author not credited
printed by n.v. joh. enschedé en zonen and firma h. tulp
published by the economic information service, the hague

at the end there is a list of items exported from the netherlands...there are some interesting items listed, such as: electric household articles, medicines (incl. quinine), corduroy, pig iron, breeding cattle, phosphate fertilizers, and tin in blocks. a list definitely reminiscent of another time.

alpine wildflowers of rocky mountain national park by bettie e. willard and chester o. harris

1970, rocky mountain nature association

i located this in the travel section as well. i plan on using this as a possible resource for my illustrations. that and the cover is really cute. pretty snazzy for a nature association i think!


ikebana of japan and japanese flower arrangement: ikebana

i am always on the lookout for old craft books, and old books relating to japan. some of the best craft books have been long out of print, and i find that books about japan from the '50s-'70s tend to have fantastic type and design overall. that and brad (my husband) is a japan fan. these two books combine those interests.

ikebana of japan: moribana style
20 arrangements in full color by houn ohara
1969, shufunotomo co., tokyo
photographs not credited

i remember as a kid being totally fascinated by ikebana. apparently 1969 was a big year for this art form (it carried into the '70s apparently.) both these books were published that year. most of all i value these treasures for their color photography. you just don't find color or photo styling like this anymore.

1969, the hamlyn publishing group, london
photos by janet march-penney

i doubt i'll be picking up the art of ikebana, although you never know. i can tell you that i've flipped through both of these books numerous times soaking up the goodness. these scans really don't do them justice. houn ohara's book has a kodachrome quality to it that's to die for.