First printing of the seventh – and final – book in the Harold series of mid-century meta-picture books.
"Harold [...] is an example of a trade children's book which can be used in schools by an imaginative teacher." – Ursula Nordstrom, Johnson's editor
The last Harold book is a reflection of publishing history: in 1962, Harper & Brothers merged with a publisher of textbooks, Row, Peterson and Company, becoming Harper & Row. According to his biographer, Johnson's editor Ursula Nordstrom "was optimistic that the merger would giver her books an entry into the elementary and high school markets" (Nel). 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." Quite scarce in collectible condition.
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 & Row, 1963. 5.75'' x 4.5''. Original purple and brown pictorial paper boards. In original unclipped ($1.95) purple and brown pictorial dust jacket. Illustrated by Johnson in brown and purple on every page.  pages. Jacket with light toning to spine and top edge of rear panel; book beautiful.
Fine in near-fine jacket.
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