First printing of the second book in the Harold series of mid-century minimalist meta-picture books.
HAROLD'S FAIRY TALE
"Without telling readers over secen Harold 'made himself small' (a flat statement of a magical act) we let them get the 'joke' by themselves. Readers under seven, who can't be expected to understand relativity, will know perfectly well that Harold made himself small (and by magic) without being told. Readers who are exactly seven let's not sell any books to." – Johnson, on the magic and physics of HAROLD'S FAIRY TALE
This follow-up to HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON presents something of a modernist rewrite of ALICE IN WONDERLAND's size transformations, in which Harold shrinks himself using not a drink concoction, but his purple crayon. Besides becoming immediate bestsellers, the minimalist Harold books – simultaneously simple and profound – have become an influential favorite of many other artists and authors: in his 1982 acceptance speech for the Caldecott Award for JUMANJI, Chris Van Allsburg explicitly thanks "Harold, for his purple crayon"; Maurice Sendak praised the "supreme inventiveness" of Harold; Rita Dove names Harold in her poem "Maple Valley Branch Library, 1967." A lovely copy.
Read more: Nel, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature; Sendak, Horn Book Magazine, May-June 1994.
[New York]: Harper & Brothers, 1956. 5.75'' x 4.5''. Original quarter black cloth, pink and purple paper boards with brown lettering. In original unclipped ($1.50) pink, purple, and brown pictorial dust jacket. Illustrated by Johnson in black and purple on every page.  pages. Housed in custom purple cloth clamshell box with gilt-lettered goatskin spine label. Lower corner of jacket clipped. Just a touch of rubbing to book extremities; jacket similarly with only shallow rubbing to spine ends and very light shelfsoil.
Near fine in very good plus jacket.
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