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Book-Related Toys

1956 Paper book cabinet for the 12 books "Fables de La Fontaine." 5" x 2¼" x 8" high. Paris: Presses de la Cité. $50 for the set from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare,Belgium, April, '01.

The cabinet has suffered from its travels. It has two sets of doors. Around the outside we see WL, FC MM, and "The Cobbler and the Banker" together with a circular melange on the back of the cabinet. Inside the doors are LM and "The Hare, the Weasel, and the Cat." The back illustration is signed " Andrépec." Click on the picture to see a larger version.

1997 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse: Wedge of Cheese, with two soft-sculpture mice. Read and Play. Storybook inside. Manufactured in China. Montreal: Tormont Publications, Inc. £3.99 at The Original Banana Bookshop, Covent Garden, London, July, '98.

The wedge comes with a bright red cord and so acts as both carrying case and house for the two mice, who fit nicely inside and can poke their heads out of the holes. The accompanying book of the same title and year also fits inside. Its text is by Robyn Bryant and its illustrations by Stéphane Turgeon. Click on the picture to see a larger version.



 2011 The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Eric Carle.  Softbook with caterpillar handle.  $4.95 from Black Swan Books, Oakland, Dec., '19. 

Here is a book of eight pages that counts its way through the caterpillar's meals until, on the last page, one finds "beautiful butterfly."  I am not sure that this is the text of Carle's original fable, which, I gather, has become justly famous.  It has stimulated a variety of copies and versions.  Here is one of the more surprising versions!  The first page even rustles and crinkles!