Collecting Children’s Literature
A list of high spots from Peter (Slovenly) to Potter (Harry) By Helen YoungerHelen Younger has been a dealer selling first editions of collectible and rare children’s and illustrated books since 1978. With her husband Marc she owns Aleph-Bet Books in Pound Ridge, New York. She has been a member of the ABAA for more than thirty years.
What are the top collectible children’s books? In our current issue, Helen Younger of Aleph-Bet Books considers her 1992 list of high spots of children’s literature and discusses why book collectors need to take a fresh approach to rare children’s books. Her revamped list is based on thirty years of bookselling in her specialty area of children’s and illustrated books.
1848 English Struwwelpeter or Pretty Stories by Heinrich Hoffmann. (Slovenly Peter the first English-language edition.) First German edition was 1845.
1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Two volumes, Boston: John P. Jewett.
1855 Little Red Riding Hood (pop-up). London: Dean & Son. Number 1 of Dean’s New Scenic Books. An early pop-up with 8 pop-up plates.
1863 Water Babies by Charles Kingsley. London: Macmillan.
1865 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. London: Macmillan.
1865 Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge, illustrated by Thomas Nast. NY: James O’Kane.
1868–9 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Two Volumes, Boston: Roberts.
1869 A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Moore. NY: McLoughlin Bros.
1870 In Fairyland, illustrated by Richard Doyle. London: Longmans, Green & Co.
1871 At the Back of the North Wind by George Macdonald. London: Strahan & Co. First Edition in Book Form.
1874 Beauty & the Beast, illustrated by Walter Crane. London: George Routledge (plus his numerous other toy books published from 1865–1876).
1876 Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens. Hartford: American Pub. Co.
1877 Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. London; Jarrold and Sons. Two volumes. First American edition published in 1890.
1878 House That Jack Built by Randolph Caldecott, [plus] the 15 books in the set. London: George Routledge.
1878 Under the Window, illustrated by Kate Greenaway. London: George Routledge.
1881 Uncle Remus His Songs and Sayings by Joel Chandler Harris. NY: D. Appleton.
1883 Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
1883 Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Cassell & Co.
1884 Heidi by Johanna Spyri. First English Edition (Heidi's Early Experiences and Heidi's Further Experiences). Two Volumes. First German edition 1880–1881.