Collection Statement

Children’s literature is itself a social cohesive drawing all adults to a common childhood connection. Instinctively, I was drawn to fables, hagiographies, fairy tales, stories, and novels particularly directed towards children. It didn’t take long to reach C.S. Lewis’s conclusion in that “a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” In 2010, I came across Maria Tatar’s Enchanted Hunters— covering the history of childre’s literature—and her annotated book of all fairy tales gathered by Hans Christian Andersen. It was then I realized that beyond the magic of the stories themselves lies another kind of magic: their creators who were crafted storytellers, their historical context, and most importantly, the social and physical history of each individual text. Understanding Carroll’s passion for photography and numbers brought Alice to life, while reading the numerous stage editions and the drafts of Peter Pan led me to appreciate the protagonist as a much more complex character than I had originally imagined.

October 12, 2012 marked the two-hundred year anniversary of the publication of Children’s and Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm. Canadian Dean Burry’s opera on the Brothers Grimm spread widely, and the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books (housed at Lillian H. Smith branch, Toronto Public Library) hosted a lecture by Maria Tatar, “Magical and Mythical: 200 Years of the Brothers Grimm.”

The accumulation of those experiences have led me to an appreciation for the bibliographic history of children’s literature, in particular the Osborne Collection. Since then, I have become an “enchanted book hunter” of rare copies of children’s books.

A second layer of interest in this collection centres around my understanding and appreciation of visual art. Studying the “golden age” of illustrations for children’s books has only deepened my desire to collect rare books containing coloured illuminations, illustrations, wood-cut prints or maps encompassed within the children’s literature canon (such as Middle Earth, Narnia, Neverland and other mythical places). I believe that illustrators such as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, and Kay Nielsen should have their artwork seen as often as the Grimm stories are heard.

My collection includes books for children, mainly published in the twentieth century, ranging from 1891 to 2014. Some are first editions, some are signed by the author, and most of them (in my own “special collection”) are hardcover or boxed. The majority of the rare children’s books I possess are illustrated. Some of the illustrations are in colour, others are woodcut prints, (specifically the Penny Histories, and J.A. Comenius’s Orbis Sensualium Pictus—recognized as the first illustrated children’s book and published in 1659). In my collection, I not only have children’s books, but also the biographies of the authors and pop-up reconstructions of their work. In addition, I have scholarly works exploring the theories on children’s literature: David Beagley, Jack Zipes, and Maria Tatar, in addition to various anthologies and annotated works.

In the final year of my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, I worked closely with the leading Canadian expert on children’s literature, Professor Deirdre Baker, on an independent year-long study, “Educating the Wizard in Children’s Literature since 1950” and “The Composition of Literary Magic.”

My most prized possession is Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, published in 1910. The story itself is my absolute favourite, and the books are a difficult find. I would love to come across the first edition from 1906 and the first edition of Peter and Wendy from 1911. I do owe various first editions of several texts, published in the United States and Great Britain. I have at least twelve different copies of Peter Pan, ranging from 1910 to 2014.

I would like to expand and fill the gap in my collection which is the lack of graphic novels and comic books. Although I keep up with contemporary children’s literature, I find myself behind on artwork produced for such creations, or contemporary representations of older children’s literature works. The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature is the first and only graphic novel in my possession containing contemporary artwork by artists throughout the world. I would like to develop a broader understanding of illustrated children’s books and to become an avid collector.

My interest in Book and Media Studies has sparked a bibliographic and readership oriented focus when collecting such books, and has reflected in the essays I have written for my classes and the focus on the book-history component and context to each book in my special collection. An exhibit of children’s literature will create a connecting, communal spirit on campus. It will also remind patrons of the love they once had for books as children which is a very humbling experience.

List of Titles in Exhibition

Reference Works

Baker, Deirdre and Ken Setterington. A Guide to Canadian Children’s Books. Toronto: McLelland & Stewart Ltd. 2003. Print.

Carpenter, Humphrey and Mari Prichard. The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1984. Print.

Carpenter, Humphrey and Mari Prichard. Classics of Children’s Literature. 3rd Ed. John W. Griffin and Charles H. Frey. Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Company. 1992. Print.


Birkin, Andrew. J.M. Barrie and The Lost Boys. London: Constable and Company Ltd. 1979. Print.

Cohen, Morton N. Lewis Carroll: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1996. Print.

Academic Works

Bernheimer, Kate. Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2007. Print.

Hollindale, Peter. Signs of Childness in Children’s Books. Stroud: Thimble, 1997. Print.

Lerer, Seth. Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History, from Aesop to Harry Potter . Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008. Print.

Marcus, Leonard S. The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick, 2006. Print.

Olsen, Corey. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.

Tatar, Maria. Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. Print.

Tatar, Maria. The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987. Print.

Tatar, Maria. The Grimm Reader. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2004. Print.

Townsend, John Rowe. Written For Children. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press. 1996. Print.

White, Donna R. J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in and out of Time: A Children’s Classic at 100. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow, 2006. Print.

Zipes, Jack. Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion: The Classical Genre for Children and the Process of Civilization. New York: Wildman, 1983. Print.

Zipes, Jack. The Irresistible Fairy Tale the Cultural and Social History of a Genre. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2012. Print.

Annotated Works

Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2002. Print.

Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2008. Print.

Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Peter Pan. Centennial Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2011. Print.

Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Brothers Grimm. Bicentennial Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2012. Print.


De Saint-Exupery, Antoine. The Antoine De Saint-Exupery Collection: The Little Prince, Airman’s Odyssey. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club, 2007.

Bauer, John A, Holger Lundbergh, and Elsa Olenius. Swedish Fairy Tales. New York: Skyhorse Pub, 2010. Print.

Kick, Russ, ed. The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature. New York: Seven Stories Press. 2014. Print.
This book is much newer than the rest adding a contemporary touch to the exhibit. In addition, it is an artistically oriented book (in terms of subject-matter) and it incorporates East Asian Artists as well as American ones.

Demers, Patricia. From Instruction to Delight: An Anthology of Children’s Literature to 1850. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Norwalk: The Easton Press, 1962. Print.

Hallett, Martin. Folk and Fairy Tales: An Introductory Anthology. 4th ed. Peterborough: Broadview, 2009. Print.

Hallett, Martin. The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book. London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd. 1986. Print.

Hallett, Martin. The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature. Ed. Russ Kick. New York: Seven Stories Press. 1969. Print.

Seuss, Dr., Janet Schulman, and Cathy Goldsmith, and Seuss. Your Favorite Seuss: 13 Stories Written and Illustrated by Dr. Seuss with 13 Introductory Essays. New York: Random House Children’s Books, 2004. Print.

Rare Books and Special Collections of Children’s Literature

Barrie, J.M. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London: Hodder and Soughton Publishers. 1910. Print.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. A Little Princess. Illustrated by Ethel Franklin Betts. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1935. Print.
Illustrations in colour by Ether Franklin Betts. Author is English born, American. This book is one pertaining to a female audience, written by a woman for young girls. The book’s gender dynamic sets it apart from other works, as well as crossing borders between American, Indian, and English heritage.

Clemens, Samuel L. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Illustrated by Henry Muheim. Akron, Ohio, New York: Saaefield, 1941. Print.

Collodi, Carlo Lorenzini. Pinocchio: The Story of a Puppet. Illustrated by Charles Folkard. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Limited New York: E.P. Dutton & Company. 1926. Print.
Dark blue, golden illumination, colour plates, 128 pages, hardcover. Originally published in 1883 in Italian.

Comenius, Joannes Amos. Orbis Sensualium Pictus. 3rd ed. 1672. Sydney University Press, 1967. Print.
This book is the first illustrated children’s book. It is a Latin-English dictionary with wood cut prints. The first English edition appeared in 1659, translated as Visible World by Charles Hoole (1610–1667), a London schoolmaster who dated his preface January 1658. According to the head librarian at the Osborne Library even facsimiles of this book have become quite rare and expensive. I myself have obsessed about this work and completed a bibliographically oriented blog project on it: Author is Dutch.

De Musset, Alfred. The White Blackbird. Trans. Julian Jacobs. London: Rodale Press, 1955. Print.

De Saint-Exupéry. The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Collection. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club. 2000. Print.

Ende, Michael. The Neverending Story. New York: Penguin Books. 1979. Print.

Foster, Bruce and Lucy Kee. Harry Potter: A Pop-up Book. Insight Kids: Pop Edition. 2010. Print.

Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1959. Print.

Guest, Edgar A. Rhymes of Childhood. Chicago: The Reilty & Lee Co. 1924. Print.

Jacobs, Joseph. The Fables of Aesop. London: Macmillan & Co. 1979. Print.

Kingsley, Charles. The Water Babies. Illustrated by Frederick C. Gordon. Vignette Ed. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company Pub. 1981. Print.
One hundred illustrations by Frederick C. Gordon, title in gold, ornaments on hardcover, 308 pages. Originally published in 1862. This book is the oldest in my collection. The author is from England.

Knowles, James. King Arthur and His Knights. New York: Dlithium Press Children’s Classics. 1986. Print.

Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia. New York: C.S. Lewis Pte Ltd. 2005. Print.

Milne, A.A. The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-The-Pooh. New York: Dutton Children’s Books. 2001. Print.

Nesbit, E. The Phoenix and the Carpet. Illustrated by J.S. Goodall. New York: Random House. 1948. Print.

Perrault, Charles. The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault. Illustrated by Edmund Dulac. London: The Folio Society. 1998. Print.
Illustrated by Edmund Dulac, boxed, hardcover, dark red, illuminations and ornaments in green and gold). The author is French. His collection of fairy tales was published in the mid-1600s for the French court specifically. His collection is the first to include tales such as “Puss in Boots,” “Cinderella,” and “Bluebeard.”

Perrault, Charles. Tales From the Arabian Nights. Translated by Sir. Richard Burton. Illustrations by Léon Carré. Pennsylvania: The Franklin Library. 1980. Print.

Perrault, Charles. The Penny Histories. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World. 1969. Print.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. New York: Portland House. 1987. Print.

Sabuda, Robert. Peter Pan: A Classic Pop Up. Little Simon: Pop Edition. 2008. Print.

Snicket, Lemony. The Bad Beginning. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 1999. Print.

Spyri, Johanna. Heidi. London: Octopus Books Limited. 1980. Print.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. London.: Milner and Company Limited. Print.

Tolkien. J.R.R. The Hobbit or There and Back Again. Boston: Houghton Miffin Company. 1966. Print.
Author is English, Medievalist professor, war veteran, and member of famous writing club known as “The Inklings.” This copy of the Hobbit is bibliographically the most interesting and expensive.

Verne, Jules. Around the World in Eighty Days. Illustrated by Edward A. Wilson. Norwalk, Conneticut: The Heritage Press. 1962. Print.

White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 1952. Print.