New York: Ariel Books, 1953. 1st Edition. Quarto, publisher's canary yellow over buckram cloth, spine and upper board stamped in black, illustrated endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
Inscribed first edition of journalist May McNeer and graphic novel pioneer Lynd Ward’s history of Mexico for young readers. Produced shortly after Ward published his Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book The Biggest Bear (1953), this chronicle of the country describes major historical moments from the Aztecs to the mid-20th century, significant political figures (such as King Montezuma, Hernán Cortés, Emiliano Zapata, and Father Hidalgo), along with information on Mexican culture and geography. This is Ward's only work illustrated by stone lithograph, done in four colors by George C. Miller. Predominantly associated with wood engravings, Ward also worked in a variety of mediums throughout his career including water color, oil, brush and ink, and lithography, and illustrated more than 100 books, most for children and young adults. Inscribed opposite title page: "For Don / with warmest regards / from May and Lynd." (The inscription is in McNeer's hand, with Ward signing his own name.) McNeer and Ward, who married in 1926, produced a series of educational children’s books together in the 50s and 60s with titles on Native Americans, Martin Luther, and John Wesley. Light rubbing to spine-ends; unclipped dust jacket with front flap nearly detached, and partial splitting to joints and rear flap, with some chipping, soiling and edgewear. A better than good copy, uncommon inscribed by both contributors. Item #5684