Children’s Literature for Adults

Children’s literature is a perennially popular genre. We were all children once, and the antics of Willy Wonka and imagination of Max shaped our early lives in a way that few things did. Our November 14 auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature features an especially strong selection of beloved signed first editions that will lead you down memory lane.


Lot 73: Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are, first edition, signed and inscribed, with full-length drawing of Max, New York, 1963. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.


It is extremely rare to find full-body portraits of Maurice Sendak’s most iconic protagonist, Max of Where the Wild Things AreThis Max graces the inside of a first edition of his story, retaining the original dust jacket with no mention of the Caldecott Medal it would go on to receive.




Lot 49: Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, first edition, signed, New York, 1964. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.


The most famous and tasty work from the acclaimed oeuvre of Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 1964, teaches lessons about greed and integrity. The present copy comes in a custom-made cloth slipcase.


Lot 74: Anna Sewell, Black Beauty, first edition, signed, London, 1877. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.


It is extremely rare to find signed copies of Anna Sewell’s magnum opus, Black Beauty, a novel told from the perspective of a horse in London’s cab system. The book was intended to highlight the plight of animals and was influential in raising animal welfare standards in Victorian London. Sadly, Sewell died just months after the work was published.


Lot 77: E.B. White, Stuart Little, first edition, signed, New York, 1945. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000.


Signed first editions of Stuart Little are hard to find–more so a finely bound presentation copy with an endearing inscription. The present copy is signed, “For Dr. George Waterman – who asked about my preoccupation with mice. Best regards from Andy White.” Though his given name was Elwyn Brooks, the nickname “Andy” was given to him at Cornell.


Lot 62: L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, first edition, Boston 1908. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.


First editions of L.M. Montgomery’s seminal coming-of-age novel Anne of Green Gables were published in three colors: green, beige and brown. The brown version, seen here, is the least common.


Here are a few more highlights to spark your memory:


Lot 75: Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends, first edition, first issue, New York, 1974. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500.


Lot 55: A.A. Milne, complete set of the Christopher Robin books, first editions, three signed, London, 1924-28. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.


Lot 46: Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, singed limited 25th anniversary edition, deluxe edition, with an original drawing by Carle tipped-in to the cover, New York, 1994. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500.


Browse the full catalogue.