Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Colorful bookplate inside "Stories from Old China"

Stories from Old China, by Edward W. Dolch and Marguerite P. Dolch, was published in 1964 as part of the Folklore of the World series from Garrard Publishing Company.1 Other books in the series covered Alaska, Canada, India, Hawaii, Italy, Old Egypt and Old Russia, among others.

We know that this copy of Stories from Old China belonged, at one point, to a girl named Jane Fall. That's thanks to the colorful mid-century bookplate that appears on the inside front cover.2

There is a lot of great detail on the bookplate illustrations. The brown-tinted image in the center is Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In the green-tinted illustration of the clowns, one of them has a sign on his back stating "KICK ME."

Click on the Bookplates label at the bottom of this post to see many other groovy vintage bookplates.

A couple other things about this book:

  • In the foreword, Marguerite Dolch writes: "STORIES FROM OLD CHINA brings to the children of today some of the stories that were enjoyed by Chinese children thousands of years ago. After you have read these stories, go to the library and find many other beautiful stories from Old China."
  • There are 20 tales in the book, including "Ma Liang and the Emperor," "The Kind Dragon," "The Magic Foxes," "Water for Peking," "The King of the Monkeys" and "The Peacock Dance."

1. Unfortunate legal footnote: Edward William Dolch died in October 1961 and there was a lawsuit — Dolch v. Garrard Publishing Company, 289 F. Supp. 687 (S.D.N.Y. 1968) — dealing with Marguerite Pierce Dolch's rights and monies owed from four existing contracts that she and her husband had with Garrard Publishing Company and Twin City Printing Company.
2. "Jane Fall" is too generic of a name for us to determine who she was with any certainty — short of the real Jane Fall raising her hand and exclaiming, "That's me!" But I did find one amusing "Jane Fall" tidbit from here in southcentral Pennsylvania. The January 11, 1937, edition of The Gazette and Daily of York, Pennsylvania, contains a section called "Boys and Girls Newspaper." Within that section is a story headlined "Pets Editor Gives Varied Replies to Readers' Letters" and written by Pets Editor Horace Mitchell. Here's an excerpt:
"Jane Fall wants a pair of horned toads. I guess the only way for her to get them is to have a pet store order them specially for her."

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