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Nister - The A B C Surprise Book

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The A B C Surprise Book


458 Printed in Baveria c.1899

Small 4to (7 3/4 x 9 3/4")

Very Good condition with all movables complete and working. Six pages of tab-operated mechanical that reveal two pictures that correspond with the letters of the alphabet.

An unusual example of Nister work as this is a very interactive book. While this book has invited the physical activity of the children in its interactive parts, the book has survived in a very good condition. The pictorial cover is in excellent condition with smooth edges. It depicts four small children playing soldiers. The only boy is the "general" wearing a paper hat and lifting his wooden sword high while his soldiers, three little girls, hold tightly to their weapons of an umbrella, a cane and a broom. "The Nursery Army Grand" is by Ada Dennis while most of the illustrations are pen-and-ink drawings by E. Stuart Hardy.

One delightful feature is that the front inside cover sheet has an original book plate prize sticker, "Burlington School, Needlework Prize given to Gladys Pomeroy, the 9th day of July A.D. 1900."

The end-papers are original in good condition. Most pages have been neatly reattached at different times. New end sheets have been attached at some point with the fly sheets for protection. The original cloth spine has only slight wear at the pull edges. The title page shows a small child holding an apple with a toy boat at her foot - a good introduction to the ABCs.

There are 16 pages including 6 movable scenes (slats) each having 8 small colored pictures representing each letter of the alphabet. The word pages are in good condition, some with slight edge wear and showing the usual yellowing of age. However, the words, letters and drawings remain clear. The lower inside corner of the first page has been neatly patached.

The alphabet slats are bright and in fine working order. The pulls have been carefully replaced with some evidence of small tears on the paper edges around them which have been neatly repaired. There are still some slight smudges where little fingers have turned the pages. Hardy's sepia drawings and the delightful poems by Clifton Bingham add to the appeal as well as the letter designs and colorful pictures for each letter that change with the sliding pulls. A complex, unusual example of the Nister "charm" and in better condition than would be expected of a truly interactive "Novelty for the Little Ones." The attraction of the interactive parts is still appealing today.

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Product Code: N-90