FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, OF THE BAT-POET, INSCRIBED BY SENDAK TO A NEIGHBOR AND CLOSE FRIEND
(SENDAK, Maurice) JARRELL, Randall. The Bat-Poet. New York: Macmillan; London: Collier-Macmillan, (1964). Octavo, original blind-stamped brown cloth, original dust jacket. $1200.
First edition, presentation copy, of this children's story about embracing individualism, inscribed to a close friend and neighbor: "For Elizabeth From Maurice Sendak May '75."
"In this story about a young bat who cannot sleep during the day and follows his own individual and isolating creative lights, Jarrell offered his young readers what many consider to be one of the best statements about the plight of the artist in his search for creative independence on the one hand and his longing for acceptance on the other" (Children's Books and Their Creators, 352). Hanrahan A60. The former owner of this inscribed book was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. Andrew first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's mother, Betty, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing). Sendak often referred to Betty as "Elizabeth" in inscriptions as he felt that "Betty" was too common a name. The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections. Tiny bookseller ticket.
Book with only a couple tiny spots of soiling to text and a bit of toning to cloth, dust jacket with light wear and toning to extremities and minor repair to spine head. An extremely good inscribed copy.