Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time Well Spent

I don't have a picture / jpg of it yet  (but I will get one soon) -- of a book that I spent ... oh ... half an hour or so checking to find out exactly what it was and how many were out there.

I went book hunting the other day just to break the monotony of entering data and figuring out what needs packing for the Sacramento Book Fair and found a funky little picture book / toddler book with thick cardboard pages held together by a plastic comb binding.  It was a book in the Chubby Playskool Playbook series (of which I see others available, but could find no actual listing of how many titles were ever published). For some reason, the book called out to me (pick me! pick me!) and I plunked on top of my pile knowing that it was funky, but not thinking too much of it.

The thing is, it was in a grab-bag batch of books and I couldn't see more than the front cover as it was at the top of the group held together in a plastic bag which had been stapled shut.  I couldn't see the information on the back cover of the book so I really knew nothing about it except that it was funky and it was calling me.

So today, I decided to do a quick check on it. 

I turned it over to see if there was any info regarding publication date, etc. & found in small letters: designed by Eric Carle.

Well.  I don't know if you're familiar with Eric Carle, but he's the author / illustrator of a ton of books. Winner of loads of children's book awards -- author of A Very Hungry Caterpillar.  He works with lots of colors, shapes, ideas and generally has books that just don't fit into the regular scope of pat, rather drab picture books.

On the inside front cover of this book is some copyright information. Published 1964.

For Eric Carle, that's EARLY.

In fact, it was VERY EARLY.

Now, I've got a bit of work to do.  First thing I do is check all the regular databases to see how many are available for sale.

I find one.


I check the Library of Congress for info on it.

It's not listed.   I check under Eric Carle. Still not listed, though I find that he did publish two or possibly three titles that were 1963 or 1964.

Hmmm again.

Now I think I need to start looking more carefully and in other places. 

First place is the official Eric Carle Website of course.


Well - that happens. Some books fall through the cracks. Some, the author doesn't want to acknowledge. Some are just plain forgotten.

I have a feeling that this book is one of the later.

At any rate, I found out what I need to know -- and it really only took me a half an hour.

It was time well spent.   Even if it meant I have even less time to get my piles of work done for the fair.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Wow, this sounds like an intriguing find. Maybe the folks at the Eric Carle Museum in Massachusetts could help you out with some bibliographic information. They might even like to buy it!