“THIS HERE HILL IS FULL OF ANIMALS; RABBITS, GROUNDHOGS, RACCOONS, DEER, PHEASANTS, SKUNKS AND ALL”: RABBIT HILL, 1944, SIGNED BY AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR ROBERT LAWSON
LAWSON, Robert. Rabbit Hill. New York: Viking, 1944. Octavo, original buff patterned cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $1250.
First edition of Lawson’s enchanting tale of the animals who live on Rabbit Hill and their new human neighbors, winner of the 1945 Newbery Medal, signed by Lawson on the half title.
“The only individual to win both the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, author-illustrator Robert Lawson holds a unique position in the history of American literature for children. His works are significant not only because of the recognition the received, however, but also because they support the notion that art both reflects and informs the values of an era. A successful commercial artist and etcher, Lawson became internationally known during the 1930s as an illustrator of children’s books following his collaboration with Munro Leaf for The Story of Ferdinand in 1936. He assumed the dual role of author-illustrator in 1939 with the publication of Ben and Me” (Kirkpatrick, 459-60). Rabbit Hill was the fourth book that Lawson both wrote and illustrated. “The demands of commercial art and his prize-winning work as an etcher made Lawson a master of line— fluid and expressive— emphasizing his talent for visual storytelling characteristic of American art and attuned to American aesthetic sensibilities” (Silvey, 396). See Bader, 146-47. Pencil ownership signature to bottom of half title.
Book fine, light wear to extremities of bright dust jacket with a one-inch closed tear at spine foot fold and a half-inch chip to bottom of rear panel. A near-fine copy, scarce signed and in such excellent condition.