"THE FEW THAT SURVIVE ARE EAGERLY SOUGHT BY COLLECTORS": THE FIRST DISNEY BOOK AND FIRST MICKEY MOUSE BOOK, 1930 FIRST EDITION OF MICKEY MOUSE BOOK
DISNEY, Walt. Mickey Mouse Book [cover title] Hello Everybody! New York: Bibo and Lang, 1930. Quarto (9 by 12 inches), original green pictorial paper wrappers; pp. 16. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $3800.
First edition, second issue, of the very scarce first Disney-licensed publication, and the first book to feature Mickey Mouse—"the book was a small venture, and a relatively small number was produced"—including the story of how Mickey met Walt Disney and got his name, a board game (with all pieces intact), and a scored song "Mickey Mouse (You Cute Little Feller)," in original pictorial wrappers.
"The first Disney book was called Mickey Mouse Book (subtitled Hello Everybody) and was published in New York in 1930 by Bibo and Lang… The story for the first book was written by Bobette Bibo, the eleven-year-old daughter of one of the co-publishers [she designed the game as well, according to the title page]. Charlotte Clark, the woman who made the first Mickey Mouse stuffed dolls, sold the book for a short while along with her dolls. The book was a small venture, and a relatively small number was produced. Today the few that survive are eagerly sought by collectors" (Munsey, 163).
This first Disney book includes two short stories, "The Story of Mickey Mouse," which tells the story of how "mouse number thirteen" met Walt Disney and got his name, and "Mickey Mouse March"; a Mickey Mouse board game, "originated by Bobette Bibo, age 11 years," with all game pieces still intact (designed to be cut out from pp. 7-10; the game board and pieces were printed on thicker card stock); a three-page score for the song "Mickey Mouse (You Cute Little Feller)" for voice and ukelele, by Irving Bibo; a three-panel comic strip; a four-panel comic strip on the rear wrapper, and additional illustrations by Walt Disney Studios throughout. The first-issue song contained the lyrics "When little Minnie's pursued by a big bad villain/ We feel so bad then we're glad when you up and kill him"; the lyrics were changed in subsequent issues. Though the lyrics are second-issue, the book contains the first-issue copyright of "Walter E. Disney," as mentioned in Munsey; "subsequent books have been copyrighted 'Walt Disney Enterprises' and 'Walt Disney Productions, Ltd.,' until December 1938 and, after that date, 'Walt Disney Productions'" (Munsey, 163). Munsey, Disneyana, 163.
Interior generally clean, mild soiling and toning to pictorial wrappers, light rubbing along spine and edges. An exceptionally good copy of this rare first Disney title.