Sheboygan, Wisconsin: Herfin Publishing, 1946. 1st Edition. Oblong octavo, publisher's printed cloth covered boards, illustrated endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
Scarce illustrated children's book about Queen Emalinda–known as the beloved Dancing Queen to her subjects–and her enchanted palace that she has turned into a children's ballet school. In her magic carriage she brings children of distant lands to her annual festival to share the dances of their homelands and to dance alongside her ballerinas. Unsurprisingly, as a book coming out of 1946 Wisconsin about importing dancers, many of the book's cultural depictions are racist caricatures that aged poorly (black tapdancers named Sambo and Ivory, a Native American named Little Eagle that does a Pow Wow dance, Chinese sisters named Sing Hi and Sing Lo, among other cringe moments). Illustrated with whimsical color litho plates, as well as black-and-white silhouette illustrations in the margins by Jeanne Wolf Towle. Presumed first and only edition. Original ownership name on property page, and front free endpaper penned with "1950." Rubbing and general dustiness to boards, hinges somewhat over-opened; some wear to edges and closed tears to otherwise bright dust jacket. Better than good copy of a scarce piece of postwar American kitsch. Item #2119