New York: The Viking Press, 1954. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing, octavo size, 125 pp., with original pencil sketch on the front endpapers, inscribed by William Pène du Bois. Very good + / good +. Item #CNJWEM022
William Pène du Bois' (1916-1993) demonstrates his expertise in both writing and illustrating in this charming volume; Pène du Bois won the Newbery Medal for "The Twenty-One Balloons" in 1948, and, for books he illustrated, he was the runner-up for the Caldecott Medal twice. Pène du Bois brings a delightful visual interpretation to stories of imaginative, far-off lands, with elements of science mixed with the fantasy.
"The Giant" tells of the difficulties of a boy who stands seven stories high, and how, with the help of the narrator, he finds his place in the world; the book is replete with Pène du Bois' spontaneous and playful illustrations, showing the creative ways that El Muchacho interacts with a landscape that simply cannot contain him.
In addition to the lovely illustrations that fill the book, this volume has an original pencil sketch by Pène du Bois on the free endpapers, of a giant cat (in keeping with the theme of the story) stomping through a town, with the inscription "Run for your lives! / Joby(?) Giant / with love for Barbara / Billy Pène du Bois"; a unique example of Pène du Bois' effortless and playful style of illustration.
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter red cloth with grey cloth boards, front board with dark grey pattern of a fingerprint, grey lettering on the spine, doublespread title page with black-and-white illustration, black-and-white illustrations, many full page, by William Pène du Bois throughout; octavo size (9.5" by 6.25"), pagination: [1-8] 9-124 , with original pencil sketch on the front free endpapers and inscription by Pène du Bois. In a paper dust jacket, with a black-and-white illustration and red lettering on the front panel, white lettering against a pink spine, a list of books by Pène du Bois on the rear panel, a description of the book on the front flap, and author bio and photograph on the rear flap; the dust jacket is unclipped with the original price of $2.75 on the front flap.
___CONDITION: Volume better than very good, the cloth covers clean, the corners straight and unrubbed, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the head and tail of the spine sunned, the tail showing slight evidence of old damp with rubbing, still overall near fine. The dust jacket is good plus, unclipped, with light overall soiling and edgewear, most noticeably to the head and tail of the spine, the spine sunned and with small chips.
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