Book Find: Pinocchio, The Story of a Puppet by C. Collodi; Illustrated by Esther Friend

Photo of Carlo Collodi.
Image via Wikipedia

I purchased an antique copy of Pinocchio, the children’s classic story that was later made into a classic Walt Disney film, at our local library today for $1.00.  I brought it home and started doing some research on the book.  Here are a few things that I found out about this particular book, and Pinocchio in general.

The book was published in 1940 by Rand McNally & Company out of Chicago, Illinois.  Coincidentally, this is the same year that the Walt Disney classic animated film was also released.  The book is one of a series of books that Rand McNally & Company released as part of the “Windermere Series” of children’s classics.  This series was published, and I am just guessing from similar books that I have read about today, from 1916 to 1940.  This would be one of the later books of that series.


Pinocchio, The Story of a Puppet was originally published as The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi in 1881.  (Wikipedia)

This Rand McNally & Company version was  first copyrighted in 1939.  This particular book is a 1940 edition.

This book was illustrated by Esther Friend (Lichtenstein) and offers five colored, illustrated plates, as well as illustrations in black & white leading in to each chapter.  Esther Friend was a well-known illustrator, who also worked on a few more books related to the Windermere Series of children’s classics.  She also illustrated Little Red Riding Hood.  She died in a nursing home in Indianapolis, Indiana December 15, 1991 at the age of 84.  That gives this particular book an interesting “Indiana” twist on an old classic.  I live in Indiana, and perhaps I am the only one that finds that of interest.

This book is inscribed “To Grant, From Judy.  Christmas 1942.”

The closest that I could come for a value to this book was a single edition that is currently for sale for $85.00.  I don’t think my $1.00 was such a bad investment today.

I also now have the chance to read this great classic as it was meant to be.  I have still never seen the Walt Disney animated film, so this might be a fun and interesting read.  I am thinking about trying to see if I can’t start a small collection of antique Children’s classic books in hardcover.  What other books should be on my list, and what should I be looking for?


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