the tall book of nursery tales
February 23, 2016
There's a book out there.....it is my most longed for item in the vintage book world. I've mentioned it several times before - it's called 'The Tall Book of Make Believe' and it's illustrated by my great love, Garth Williams. I've tried and tried to get my hands on it, but it's pretty darn expensive, and once I tried to bid on it on Ebay and got so flustered during the process that I forgot my password when I was trying to log in and I lost out on the final bidding process. Some day I'll get it.
But I wish, OH I WISH, you could have heard the gasp (which my family members heard from upstairs and other rooms in the house) when a friend sent me this book that you see here - 'The Tall Book of Nursery Tales' - she knows full well about my obsession with the other book (she actually owns it, the lucky girl) and she saw this guy here with the nursery tales and thought of me, bought it for me, and sent it to me. I was pretty much in tears at her kindness and thoughtfulness and generosity.
And it's a fabulously beautiful book in its own right. Take a peek.
What's fun about the Tall Book series (oh yes, there's a few, and I didn't realize that there's a Christmas version and I think I shan't rest until that one is in my hands as well!) is that they are indeed TALL. Just over a foot (12 inches) long.
The illustrations in the nursery tales book are by Feodor Rojankovsky, who has illustrated some glorious classics like this one. The pictures have a rustic, vibrant and richly colored, Old European folk art flair that I find completely enchanting.
Check out the cute way the table of contents is laid out, up above.
The other neat thing about the books is that the art spans the length of the book - if you scroll down a few photos, you can see how some of the art covers the entire vertical length of the story book, which is really really cool and gorgeous. You know how with so many books, especially in certain fairy tale books that aren't specifically created as picture books I find, sometimes you're wishing for more pictures? There's NO skimping with the amount of art created for these books.
These treasures are all out of print, and you have to hunt to find them used, and you have to hunt often to find a decent price, but hunt and find you should. These books are TREASURES. I hugged this book to my chest like it was a long lost child. I will treasure it FOREVER and someday read it to my grandchildren. I am forever in debt to my darling friend! And I WILL someday own the 'Make Believe' edition as well. But this is not a consolation prize, this is a perfect jewel of a book in its own right.
Have you see these books?? Do you OWN one of them? Can you believe how cool they are? The 'Nursery Tales' book is very reasonably priced, for the used book market, you can find a used copy for around $20.
Really. I REALLY wish you could have seen my reaction, you guys, when I opened this up! I think my husband and daughter thought I was having some kind of fit or attack.