“NOW I’M THE GRANDEST TIGER IN THE JUNGLE!”: FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF LITTLE BLACK SAMBO
BANNERMAN, Helen. The Story of Little Black Sambo. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, . 16mo, original half tan cloth, original pictorial paper boards. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First American edition, published the year after the first, of Bannerman’s “intensely amusing and imaginative little story” (Connolly, 31), featuring 27 full-page color-printed wood-engravings by the author.
“Bannerman wrote this story during a long railway journey to India, after having left two small daughters to be educated in her native Scotland. The author never intended the book for publication, but through the encouragement of her children and friends the manuscript was shown to E.V. Lucas who agreed to publish it… When first published in October 1899, The Story of Little Black Sambo was a revolutionary-style picture book… The format of the book encouraged its handling by young owners, and the pages alternated between text and illustrations in a manner very appealing and appropriate to its compact size… Very few copies of the original printing have survived” (Schiller, 381-6). The first edition numbered only 500 copies. After much controversy surrounding the priority of early American editions, scholarly consensus now holds this edition to be the first. Barton, 116-17. Hay, 30-31. “Christmas 1906” on front free endpaper.
A very good copy, with a marginal closed tear to page iv, edge-wear and moderate soiling to original paper boards.