November 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

"Collecting Children's Books: Art, Memories, Values"

Collecting-Childrens-Books-Nov.-2015-Front-Cover copy.jpgPublished this month from husband-and-wife team Noah Fleisher and Lauren Zittle is a sweet, beautifully illustrated book titled Collecting Children's Books: Art, Memories, Values (Krause Publications, $26.99). It surveys children's literature from 1900 to the present first with brief historical essays on the best books of each era, followed by spreads that highlight major authors, including Seuss, Sendak, Dahl, Carle, Milne, Disney, Rowling, and many more, and peppered with favorites and recommendations. Get ready for a grand tour down Memory Lane! 

In the introduction, Fleisher, who is by day the public relations director for Heritage Auctions in Dallas, relates how his journey into children's literature began after the birth of their daughter in 2006. As it is for many families, Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon became the springboard for his love of the genre. We learn later that a "very rare true first edition" of this title with its dust jacket recently sold for $800 on eBay.

While the authors do list prices of editions recently sold at auction, the book is not intended to be a price guide, rather, it is meant, Fleisher writes, "to give you a sense of what you can find out there." A first edition of Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline's Christmas? $168 at PBA Galleries. A first edition (with a fourth-edition jacket) of Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal? $395 on eBay. A second printing of Shel Silverstein's Falling Up? $531 at Heritage Auctions.

Collecting Children's Books is great fun to peruse--perhaps with child or grandchild on one's lap--and for anyone interested in beginning a collection in this area, it's the perfect introduction.

Image Courtesy of Noah Fleisher.