The Tall Book of Make-Believe
Selected by Jane Werner ~ Garth Williams ~ Harper, 1950
I have a special treat for you guys today. Way back in 1963, my friend Tonio's mother went to a book signing at our local bookshop here in San Antonio and met one Mr. Garth Williams. She took along a copy of Tonio's favorite book The Tall Book of Make-Believe, thus making this Tonio's most treasured childhood heirloom.
In my five years of buying and looking and learning, no other out-of-print children's book is more loved or more collectible. Not just as a signed first edition in mint condition, but even beat up reprints go for a ton. Not because people want to collect it and put it in plastic on a shelf, but because people want to read it and remember.
Several years ago, I mentioned to Tonio that this book was my thrift shop holy grail, and he said, "Oh, I have that book. And it's signed, too."
Thus how I was finally able to see what all the fuss was about. Now, I did have this book when I was little, but it's long since gone and was long forgotten. But... man.
What I would love to see is Harper reprint this, not is some cheap glossy-paged reprint, but in soft, matte pages exactly like the original. The look. The feel. Everything about this book makes you want to pick it up and pour over it again and again. The stunning pictures and quirky poems and stories. Man. If that happened, I'd buy one for every single person I know. Period.
Every picture has a secret, mysterious feel. And that mermaid. WOW.
It's simply amazing. Every page. Every word. Carl Sandburg's How They Bring Back the Village of Cream Puffs When the Wind Blows It Away. Seriously? Brilliant. There are not enough thumbs in the world to express this book's thumbs up power. Garth Williams was a genius. Nearly 100 pages of absolute joy. I've only included a handful of scans, but you get the idea. If you happen to come across this book, hold onto it for dear life.
It's pure magic.
We Like Kindergarten
Wonders of Seasons
The Golden Bible
Wonders of Nature
Wait Til the Moon is Full
Do You Know What I'll Do?
The Sky Was BlueThe Rabbit's Wedding
Three Bedtime Stories
The Friendly Book
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