"BUT MICKEY IS A CLEVER LITTLE MOUSE": FINE FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST MICKEY MOUSE BOOK FOR A MASS AUDIENCE, 1931
DISNEY STUDIOS. The Adventures of Mickey Mouse. Philadelphia: David McKay, (1931). Octavo, original red cloth, pictorial endpapers, mounted cover illustration.
Beautiful first edition of only the second licensed Mickey Mouse book published—the first to be published for a national audience, and essentially the earliest obtainable Mickey Mouse title.
Although Bibo & Lang of New York published a licensed, staple-bound, 15-page Mickey Mouse Book in 1930 ("a small venture… a relatively small number was produced"), many Disney collectors regard this publication—featuring a single illustrated plot, rather than several disconnected tales, games and songs—as "the first Mickey Mouse book." The Adventures of Mickey Mouse was certainly "the first Disney book published and sold in great quantities… [It is also] interesting because it contains the first reference to Donald Duck," who would not debut on screen until 1934 (Munsey, 164). Priced at a Depression-friendly fifty cents and printed in appealing color, the book sold extremely well until the outbreak of World War II, and launched a series of successful Disney books for the David McKay Company. The front board calls this volume "Book I," but the story is complete in itself; "Book II" followed the next year. Without rare original dust jacket. Also issued in pictorial boards. Owner signature.
A few finger smudges to interior, light wear to original cloth as usual and only mild toning to extremities, mounted cover illustration bright and fine. A nearly fine copy.