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A story to read or tell...

[A complete set of 13 books].

Stock Code 99738

London, Scholastic Children's Books, 'Magic Beans' series, 1998

Original price $810.00 - Original price $810.00
Original price
$810.00 - $810.00
Current price $810.00
A rare complete set of this wonderful series of books for children, comprising fairy & folk tales retold by notable authors of the time and featuring illustrations by popular children's book illustrators. The slim paperback series was the brainchild of David Fickling, the main editorial influence behind Philip Pullman's Dark Materials books, who was inspired in part by Gollancz's approach to publishing to create a series of children's books that children could afford with their own pocket money, selling these books at £1 per book.

1. BLACKMAN, Malorie; AGGS, Patrice (illustrator). Aesop's Fables.
2. BRANFORD, Henrietta; HARKER, Lesley (illustrator). Hansel and Gretel.
3. CROSS, Gillian; COCKCROFT, Jason (illustrator). The Goose Girl.
4. DOHERTY, Berlie; BAILEY, Siân (illustrator). The Snow Queen.
5. FINE, Anne; GLIORI, Debbie (illustrator). The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
6. GARNER, Alan; MAYHEW, James (illustrator). Grey Wolf, Prince Jack and the Firebird.
7. GATES, Susan; HEAP, Sue (illustrator). The Three Heads in the Well.
8. GERAS, Adèle; BECK, Ian (illustrator). The Six Swan Brothers.
9. MITTON, Tony; MALAND, Nick (illustrator). The Seal Hunter.
10. MORPURGO, Michael; FOREMAN, Michael (illustrator). Cockadoodle-doo, Mr Sultana!
11. PULLMAN, Philip; BAILEY, Peter (illustrator). Mossycoat.
12. WILSON, Jacqueline; SHARRATT, Nick (illustrator). Rapunzel.
13. WRIGHT, Kit; DEWAN, Ted (illustrator). Rumpelstiltskin.

In 1998 an event was held to launch this 'Magic Beans' series, possibly referred to as 'Mossycoat's Ball'. Fickling asked thirteen of his favourite children's authors to choose a favourite folk or fairy tale to retell in their own words. Each one was to be lightly illustrated by one of his favourite illustrators.

For the event Fickling had all the contributors sign a prepared bookplate so that each book in a limited set would have signatures from both author and illustrator. The only deficit was for some reason that of Michael Foreman, whose signature is the only one missing here. It is believed each author and illustrator was then presented with one of these sets.

Given how relatively unknown this series would now seem to be it is tricky to gauge how commercially viable this venture proved, but it was definitely a worthy ambition, and the books form an excellent, attractive set, particularly thus with the signed bookplates and the importance of those who contributed.

First editions, each with signed bookplate mounted on inside front cover, [presumed one of 25 or 26 such sets]; 13 vols, 8vo; publisher's bookplate mounted onto inside front cover of each volume, illustrations; publisher's pictorial wrappers, fine copies.

Provenance: one of the authors in the series.


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