Harold and the Purple Crayon
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“BUT, LUCKILY, HE KEPT HIS WITS AND HIS PURPLE CRAYON”
JOHNSON, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1955. 12mo, original half black cloth, pictorial paper boards, original dust jacket. $6500.
Very rare first edition of the first book in Crockett Johnson’s beloved Harold series.
Crockett Johnson—a pen name for David Johnson Liesk—was “a cartoonist whose simplest, sparest and boldest outlines produced unforgettable, gently humorous and always endearing caricatures… His natural gift for drawing and writing from a young child’s viewpoint enabled him to craft more than 20 juvenile books,” including this, his most popular one. “With the fewest of lines, Johnson depicts Harold as a toddler clad in sleepers, his chubby hand gripping a fat plum-colored crayon. From page to page, the thick, firm, purple mark delineates Harold’s actions against the stark white background so effectively and ingeniously that the crayon is as much a character as Harold. The same economy that informs Johnson’s art permeates his text; he writes so concisely of Harold’s moonlight stroll that his style perfectly echoes the clarity of his boldly outlined cartoon illustrations” (Silvey, 355). Gift inscription.
Book with one minor faint rub to rear board. Bright dust jacket with light wear to spine and edges. A lovely copy in near-fine condition of a rare children’s first edition.