New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946. 1st Edition. Small quarto, publisher's dark blue cloth, upper board pictorially stamped in white, patterned pink endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
Novelist and beloved New Yorker fiction editor William Maxwell's enchanting children's book, based in part on his childhood, about a midwestern family, the Marvells, whose farmstead is looked after by the signs of the zodiac while they are away visiting their grandmother in Virginia. The caretaker, incapacitated by rheumatism and unable to carry out his chores, makes the discovery at the same time that the Marvells observe that the constellations have disappeared from the night sky over Virginia. Evocatively illustrated throughout in dark blue by Hungarian-American designer and illustrator Karasz, who was a regular contributor to the New Yorker. A Newbery Honor Book for 1947. Contemporary gift inscription to title-page. Some dustiness to edges of boards; price-clipped dust jacket with minor chipping to spine-ends and flap folds, closed tear to top edge of rear panel, and light creasing and soiling. Withal, a fresh, better than very good copy. Item #1343