FIRST EDITION OF MAGGIE ROSE: HER BRITHDAY CHRISTMAS, 1952, ILLUSTRATED BY MAURICE SENDAK, FROM THE COLLECTION OF SENDAK'S CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
SAWYER, Ruth and SENDAK, Maurice. Maggie Rose. Her Birthday Christmas. New York: Harper & Brothers, (1952). Octavo, original pink cloth, original dust jacket. $750.
First edition of this book about a young girl who dreams of throwing herself a joint Christmas Eve/birthday party, beautifully illustrated by Maurice Sendak. From the collection of Sendak's close friend and neighbor.
One of Maurice Sendak's earliest illustrated books, Maggie Rose: Her Birthday Christmas tells the gentle story of a little girl from a poor but happy family in rural Maine. Determined to be able to afford better things, Maggie saves so that she can host a Christmas Eve/birthday celebration. When Maggie's savings gets stolen, Maggie's family comes together to ensure that her efforts won't be wasted. Hanrahan A5. 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.
Book with just a couple tiny rubs to cloth and mild toning to spine ends, dust jacket with faint dampstaining to spine ends, and mild wear and toning to extremities. A near-fine copy. Scarce.