A deluxe copy of a children's classic is a favorite gift at almost any point in childhood. As the child grows older and better able to appreciate a care for their books, some seek to introduce the book-collecting bug with a signed copy, a meaningful first edition, or a particularly beautiful volume. We've collected a few beautiful, rare, or signed editions below for inspiration. You can search Children's Books by category here...
by Charles Dickens, Illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
Natick, MA: Picture Book Studio USA/Neugebauer Press, 1988. Modern illustrated edition of the quintessential Christmas classic. Written in a mere six weeks at a low point in Charles Dickens's career, and published at his own expense in time for Christmas 1843, A Christmas Carol revived Dickens's fortunes, establishing a robust market for holiday gift books that survives to this day. "When this strain of music sounded, all the things that Ghost had shown [Scrooge] came upon his mind; he softened more and more." In 1990, illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger won the Hans Christian Andersen medal in recognition of her "lasting contribution to children's literature." A near-fine copy. Tall narrow folio, measuring 13.5 x 8.25 inches, black linen spine, original glossy color pictorial boards, pale yellow endpapers, original unclipped color pictorial dust jacket. Illustrated in color throughout text. Light edgewear to jacket. (Offered by Honey & Wax Booksellers.)
When We Were Very Young. WITH: Winnie-The-Pooh. WITH: Now We Are Six. WITH: The House At Pooh Corner. With Decorations by Ernest H. Shepard
London: Methuen & Co., Ltd, 1924-1928. First editions of each work in Milne's Pooh quartet. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, top edge gilt. First issue of When We Were Very Young without p. IX numbering, jacket with song setting advert only. The first three books are each signed by A.A. Milne on the title page. Each are fine in near fine dust jackets with light rubbing and wear. Now We Are Six is signed by Milne on the title page. Housed in a custom full leather box. Illustrated by Ernest Shepard. An exceptional set, most rare and desirable signed with all being first issue books and jackets. Although Alan Alexander Milne wrote novels,short stories, poetry and many plays for adults, in addition to his work as assistant editor for Punch from 1906 to 1914, it is his writings for children that have captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide and granted Milne everlasting fame" (Silvey, 461). Milne wrote most of these poems at the request of friend and fellow poet Rose Fyleman, who was planning a new children's magazine. "On a rain-blighted holiday in Wales, [Milne] escaped from the crowd of fellow guests to the summerhouse, and for 11 days wrote a set of children's verses, one each day... 'There on the other side of the lawn was a child with whom I had lived for three years [his son, Christopher Robin]... and here within me were unforgettable memories of my own childhood.' He added more verses when he got home, enough for a book, and allowed some to be published in advance in Punch" (Carpenter & Prichard, 351). Shepard, a Punch staff artist at the time, provided delightful line vignettes, resulting in "a wonderful marriage of verse and vision. His delicately precise and fresh drawings had an instant appeal" (DNB). When We Were Very Young is second issue, as usual, with page ix numbered. (Offered by Raptis Rare Books.)
Search for other editions of A.A. Milne's children's books...
by Ludwig Bemelmans
Simon and Schuster. Hardcover. B0006AOLTA 1939, First Printing. Dust jacket is wrapped- jacket price not clipped ($2.00)- jacket has no mention of "Sunshine" or other later stories- jacket has rubbed corners and edges- spine has rubbing with title still visible- sine ends chipped about 1/2 inch. Book is in good condition with rubbed corners and ends, clean, has a good binding, no marks or notations. Well kept, no smoky/musty odors or insect damage. True First Printing of the First Edition. Some glare in photo from jacket wrapper. Good. First Edition. (Offered by Ed's Editions.)
by Andrew Lang
London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1889. First Edition. Hardcover. Good. First Edition, First Printing. Good. Cloth shows light edge wear. Spine dulled, with a 1.25 inch split in the cloth at the base, and light chipping at the head. Previous owner bookplate to front paste down. Tissue guard present, though with several tears. Several hinges in text block lightly exposed. Foxing throughout. First edition of the first title in Andrew Lang's fairy book series. (Offered by Burnside Rare Books.)
Andrew Lang published 12 "Colored Fairy Books" and many others books for children; explore these other books...
by J.K. Rowling
New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998. First American Edition, Twenty-Second Printing. 8vo., 309 pp., VG/VG; brown and purple pictorial DJ, decorative gold lettering; mild wear to covers, price uncut "$17.95" to front flap, DJ protected by mylar; quarter-bound, red cloth spine, purple paper boards; text-block clean; interior all but pristine; SIGNED by Rowling to title page; shelved Case 2. Dupont. (Offered by Second Story Books.)
by L. Frank Baum
Slim 4to. Chicago: Reilly and Britton, 1908. Slim 4to, 256 pp. Light blue cloth boards with pictorial paste-on. Pictorial endpapers printed in yellow and black. Some small nicks and minor warping to lower cover, some wear and minor soiling to upper cover, slight general rubbing. Headcap and tail bumped, binding slightly shaken. Crease in ownership page. Very good condition for a title usually found in tatters. First edition, first state with light blue cloth and metallic gold pictorial paste-on, 16 inserted full-color plates, three titles listed on the verso of the half title, inserted black and yellow endpapers, and “The Reilly & Britton Co.” stamped in black on the backstrip (Hanff, 40-41). The fourth book in the Oz series. (Offered by John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller.)