Literary annuals, compilations of poetry and prose by well-known authors, began to be published in England in the early 1800's. The Forget Me Not, published in 1823, is thought to be the first of its kind. A few years later, publishers also began offering children's annuals for sale, aiming for the lucrative Christmas market. Some children's annuals, such as the St. Nicholas, were popular well into the 1940s. Blackie's Children's Annual was a British publication, first issued in 1904. This particular volume is dated 1924. It was donated to the library through the Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library.
Arthur Rackham was one of the most famous and successful children's book illustrators of the early Twentieth Century. Noted for his mastery of line and his exact sense of color, Rackham produced exquisite drawings that mingled delicate images with the grotesque. He achieved his first great success with his illustrations for The Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, 1900, which was soon followed with commissions to illustrate Irving's Rip Van Winkle, 1905, Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, 1906, and many other books of a fantastical nature. This rare copy of Ingoldsby Legends, donated to the library anonymously in 1996, has 36 plates of pen and ink drawings, some of which are in color. It also contains a drawing of the Devil on the title page, signed by the illustrator
Although best known for his series of picture books about the fearless little red-headed Parisien girl named Madeline (Madeleine , the first in the series, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1939), Bemelmans was also a successful novelist and nonfiction writer, in addition to being a regular contributor of articles to such popular magazines as The New Yorker. His grandson authored this lavishly illustrated biography, which provides a lucid chronological account of Bemelmans many-faceted career. Included are family photographs and reproductions of Bemelman's art-magazine cover illustrations, paintings, sketches, & doodles.
"Watty Piper" was the pseudonym of Mabel Caroline Bragg teacher, school administrator, and author of dozens of books for young children, all of which were published by the Platt & Munk Co. Her best loved book was The Little Engine That Could, first published in 1930 and illustrated by Lois Lenski. The cheerfully optimistic little blue engine made the phrase, "I think I can, I think I can" famous. This collection contains eight stories, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Gingerbread Boy, The Story of Little Black Sambo, etc. Every page is illustrated with large clear drawings; two pages of black and white drawings alternate with two of color.
A baby girl is rescued from a shipwreck in which her parents have died. Captain January, the kindly lighthouse keeper who plucked her from the stormy sea, raises Star as his own until some misguided relatives challenge his unofficial adoption. Star, however, will not be separated from her "Daddy Captain." This sentimental tale was the prolific author's most successful novel, in addition to serving as a popular vehicle for child film star Shirley Temple in 1936.