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Rare Children's Books

For those looking to buy Rare Children's Books as gifts, it is hard to think of another type of book that appeals as much as a children's classic.


The nostalgia for a favourite book or character from childhood, whether it be A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh, Dr Seuss's Cat in the Hat or Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, combined with an admiration for the author or illustrator's art, ensures a delighted recipient!

Consult with our resident specialists Angus Robb or Roddy Newlands for more information.

Rare Children's Books

Collecting Rare Children's Books First Edition Children's books remain one of the most popular departments here at Shapero, both in terms of visitors to our Mayfair shop who are often drawn to and entranced by the classics of children's literature gracing our shelves, as well as those visiting our website or following us on social media.

From first editions of Beatrix Potter to signed first editions of Harry Potter, via a wealth of fine children's books illustrated by the great Edwardian and Inter-war illustrators such as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and Kay Nielsen, our selection of rare children's books guarantees something for everyone.

For more information about rare and valuable children's books, read our blog post here.


Please find below a selection of rare children's books available from our shop

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  1. First edition, first issue, [one of 500 copies]; 16mo; 16 colour plates by the author, one plate with pencil initials or flourish beneath, internally excellent, original pink boards lettered and illustrated in black with rounded spine, a superb copy.

  2. First Disney edition, first printing, gift inscription from Marge Champion to verso of front free endpaper; 4to (283 x 210 mm.); colour pictorial title, double-page plate of the whale, colour and monochrome illustrations, vignette line illustrations, pictorial endpapers; publisher's cloth-backed pictorial boards, pictorial wrap-around dust-jacket, some minor edge wear, a few tears, with loss to lower fore-corner of upper panel and foot of spine, but overall very good.

  3. First edition; 12m; half-title with advertisement for the Dumpy Books series on verso, 27 full-page colour illustrations after the author printed by Edmund Evans, usual minor finger-marking and occasional light soiling to leaves, overall internally very good; publisher's pale green cloth lettered and blocked in darker green, a little light rubbing and marking but an attractive copy, scarce to find in such condition.

  4. First trade edition, later impression with double endpapers rather than repeated single sheets; 16mo; frontispiece and 26 full colour plates, small, faint pencil marking to corner of upper front-free endpaper, otherwise fine: publisher's maroon boards, illustrated pastedown to fielded panel on upper board, two small superficial scratches to upper board, some fading to spine, nonetheless a near-fine copy.

  5. First edition thus, number XXI of XXV hors commerce copies, from an overall limitation of 250 copies; 16mo; comprising printed introductory booklet signed & numbered in pencil by Maurice Sendak, with additional pencil signature of printing historian Iain Bain, in original printed wrappers, 34 line block illustrations printed in brown ink on Arches paper, each with pencil limitation details and printed monogram of Alecto Historical Editions on verso, with tissue guard, each loose in separate printed card sleeve; together housed in original cloth drop-back box with inset illustration on upper cover and gilt label on spine, a fine copy.

  6. First edition; landscape 4to (220 x 280 mm.); pictorial title, 31 coloured full-page illustrations and monotone illustrations by Florence K. Upton, patterned endpapers, attractive coeval gift inscription to front pastedown, slight offsetting to title and verso of last leaf, overall internally excellent; publisher's cloth-backed pictorial boards, a few minor scratches and slight rubbing to extremities, a very good copy.

  7. First edition, first printing; landscape folio (c. 250 x 270 mm.); title vignette and full-page illustrations by the author, ink name to front pastedown, publisher's cloth, minor sunning to extremities, pictorial dust-jacket, Caldecott prize sticker to upper cover, price-clipped, rubbed at edges with a few closed tears, ink name inside front flap.

  8. First edition, first printing; folio; colour illustrations throughout; publisher's pictorial boards, slightly rubbed at spine ends but overall a fine copy, in the original dust-jacket with correct price and titles listed, a very good example.

  9. First edition, first printing, signed presentation copy from the author with original doodle of 'Lyle'; 4to; colour illustrations throughout; publisher's pictorial cloth, fine, clipped dust-jacket with small hole to fore-edge of lower panel, small closed split near head of spine, but overall a fine example.

  10. First edition, first impression; 8vo; publisher's blue cloth lettered in gilt, corners slightly rubbed, very slightly shaky, dust-jacket, slightly darkened, minor rubbing to extremities with small clean splits to some corners, overall very good.

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