Rare 1940 First Edition of Little Brown Koko - a children's hard-cover book authored by Blanche Seal Hunt, with illustrations by Dorothy Wagstaff. Written in what was then considered by white Americans to be authentic American "Negro" dialect, it contains twenty-two (22) extremely popular stories chronicling the humorous adventures of Koko, a small African American, his mother "Mammy", a little girl Snooky, and a pet dog Shoog: He Plays Hooky; Gets Lost; Wins a Prize; Visits His Granny; His Billy Goat; At the Circus; Spellin' Lesson; He Has a Runaway, and many others. Stories are stereotypical portrayals, illustrated with caricature images, that reflect the racial attitudes of the period.
Originally published as a monthly children's short story feature in The Household Magazines starting in 1935. Hunt published three books based on the Koko character of which this was the first, and most popular.
This 96-page book is made of 10" x 8" quarto in glossy paper covered pictorial boards together with -a red cloth back-strip. Front and back hard covers have the same wonderful signed cover art image in three-color lithography - with the end covers of simple muted red single-colored illustrations. Black and red drawings illustrating each story are also on most of the interior pages. This is a first edition, copyright 1940, and published by American Colortype Company of New York and Chicago.
CONDITION NOTE: It is rare to find this children's book in such fine condition. The binding of both covers and folio pages is very tight, and the cloth spine is completely intact and in great shape. The cover images are exceptionally clean with sharp colors. There is some slight wear on the edges and the top and bottom of the spine. The corners are somewhat worn and blunted. Pages 73-74 and 75-76 each have small margin tears, and both pages have some creases and wrinkles. All other pages are in pristine condition. Overall, this is a great volume in extraordinary condition for its age.
COMMENT ON SUBJECT MATTER: While considered objectionable today, at the time most Americans did not consider this type of material racist or slanderous of African Americans. While we do not condone or promote racist behavior, we believe it is important that the racial injustices of the past - when non-white, non-Anglo-Saxon, and rural people were considered legitimate sources of humor, condescension and entertainment - be preserved as a part of American history. It is solely for their historic value, that we offer for sale material that today is considered racially insensitive.
Item ID: 05-0341
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