FIRST EDITION OF I'LL BE YOU AND YOU BE ME, 1954, ILLUSTRATED BY MAURICE SENDAK, FROM THE COLLECTION OF SENDAK'S CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
KRAUSS, Ruth and SENDAK, Maurice. I'll Be You and You Be Me. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954. Quarto, original half black cloth, pictorial paper boards, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $500.
First edition of this book for young children about love and friendship, beautifully illustrated by Maurice Sendak. From the collection of Sendak's close friend and neighbor.
"This collection of odd rhymes and sayings has everything; it tickles the funny bone while making grown-ups sense in a child's turn of phrase more than the surface meaning of the words. Predominant are themes of friendship, wishing, and the imaginative turnabouts that make real things real by making them what they are not… Tiny as Maurice drawings are, they pack their own particular wallop. Good things come in small packages" (Kirkus). Hanrahan A12. The former owner of this 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). The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, limited edition books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections. Small pencil notation near price on dust jacket flap.
Book near-fine, with only mild toning to binding. Dust jacket near-fine, with only minor rubbing and toning to extremities. A handsome copy.