Wednesday, March 3, 2010

German Alice im Wunderland - ein Großes Disney-Bücher

This lovely German book is a departure from the standard set of books we've seen before from overseas. Usually European publishers would simply re-publish the set of American books in the local language as we saw with the Little Golden Book, Big Golden Books, and Cozy Corner book.

This book does not follow that pattern. If fact, Germany only re-published two of the three Little Golden Books, and left the other two American books alone. This book is from the series of "Great Disney Books" or so Google Translate tells me. It was published in 1952 and was originally issued with a dust jacket as seen here. The book is fairly scarce on its own, but the dust jacket is rarely found. It took me 18 years to find a copy with a dust a jacket.

Some of the illustrations in this book are fantastic, like the two page flowers above and the caterpillar below. There are also some odd Alices in here as well...

There are some variants to this book, and you know I love variants! As I said previously it was first published in 1952, but there appear to be two variants from that year. The first is identified by the name of the publisher being hyphenated (seen here on the cover without its dust jacket)

and by the text on the copyright page.

Note that the final line is in English and says "Printed in Germany by K. G. Lohse Frankfurt am Main".

The second variant is identified by the publisher name not being hyphenated

and by the text on its copyright page.

Note that it is missing the final line and that the first line is in a different font or at least a different font weight.

While I'm sure these differences are ultimately meaningless, they bug the crap out of me. Why are these differences even present? Which one is truly the first edition? Was one printed specifically for Germany and the other printed for other German-speaking countries? Why do I even care?!

The final variant is a later printing, from 1967. It is easily identifed in several ways. First and most obvious is the spine is a yellow cloth rather than a red cloth. Second, the cover is glossy - or at least glossier - than the 1952 edition. Third, the name of the publisher has changed to Pestalozzi Verlag, which sounds vaguely Italian.

And finally, the back cover is completely different. On the 1952 edition the front and back covers are the same, but on the 1967 edition the back cover is bright red with the Walrus and the Carpenter peering down at the Oysters.

Whew. That was a lot longer post than I had originally intended... guess I'm a little too wrapped up in the details...

UPDATE: by request, some additional pages...


orca said...

Great looking book. Does it have any picture at the beginning of Alice down the rabbit hole?

Matt said...

Yes, it has two. I've added them to the post.

orca said...


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