FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, OF MR. RABBIT AND THE LOVELY PRESENT, INSCRIBED BY SENDAK TO A CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR AND WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING OF MR. RABBIT
(SENDAK, Maurice) ZOLOTOW, Charlotte. Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present. New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, (1962). Oblong octavo, original pictorial paper boards, original dust jacket. $950.
First edition of this story about a little girl and her rabbit friend trying to find a birthday gift for the girl's mother, inscribed to Sendak's close friend and neighbor: "For Elizabeth, Maurice Sendak. Oct. '91," with an original drawing of Mr. Rabbit standing with his hands on his hips.
"A rhythmical text, warm with wise simplicity and full color pictures so beautiful you'll want to frame them, make this the season's most distinguished picture book" (Commonweal). This book was named a Caldecott Honor Book for 1963. Hanrahan A52. 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). In inscriptions, Betty is often referred to as "Elizabeth"; Sendak felt that her name was "common" and didn't suit her. 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 about-fine, corner-clipped dust jacket with only light wear to extremities. A near-fine inscribed copy with original drawing.