New York: Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, 1940. 1st US Edition. Folio, publisher's white leatherette over illustrated paper-covered boards, heavy buckram slipcase with color-printed label mounted to upper panel.
First US edition of self-taught Brazilian muralist Paulo Werneck’s debut children’s book, with text by Margarida Duarte. Awarded a prize by the Children’s Literary Committee of the Brazilian Ministry of Education in 1939, The Legend of the Palm Tree adapts an ancient folk tale about a drought that decimated the land and all living things besides a native family. A "Tree of Good Providence" appears to a little boy, providing food, drink, medicine, and materials to build shelters, and humanity can thus live on. Credited for pioneering Brazil’s Modernist murals, Werneck began his career as an illustrator and painter in the 1920s. In the early 40s, he joined Oscar Niemeyer with whom he collaborated on numerous architectural projects that would define the era’s aesthetic. Brilliantly illustrated with Werneck’s color lithographs. Publisher's presentation slip tipped to title page. Number 245 of an unknown limitation. Head of spine torn, rubbing to tail of spine and corners, some soiling and toning to boards. Only upper and lower panels of slipcase present, with significant wear. Good overall. Item #5690