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In the Friends’ Display Case: National Library of New Zealand

Children’s Book Jackets from the 1920s to 1940s — at National Library of New Zealand

Up until World War I children’s books were generally covered with decorated cloth bindings. Removable paper jackets were sometimes used, but they usually duplicated the design on the cover of the book. After the war, economics drove a gradual change to the use of printed paper jackets in preference to expensive, multi-colour printed cloth covers.

As well as protecting the cover of the book when it is waiting to be sold, a book jacket tells the potential reader something about the book within. Not all book jackets were of a high standard in terms of design and print quality, but the best examples combine design, illustration and printing technique to produce jackets which are works of art in their own right.

These titles from the Dorothy Neal White Collection are on display for the next few months outside the Turnbull Library Reading Rooms on the First Floor of the National Library.

  • Mary Skarott, Children’s Literature Librarian

Harper, Theodore Acland. ‘Siberian gold’. In collaboration with Winifred Harper.
(London : Hutchinson)
1937 — at National Library of New Zealand.

D’Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire. ‘Ola’.
(Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday)

Brazil, Angela. ‘The madcap of the school’.
(London: Blackie & Son)
ca1942 (originally published 1917) — at National Library of New Zealand.

Ellis, Edward S. ‘Through forest and fire’.
(London: Thomas Nelson & Sons)
ca1928 (originally published 1894)

Palm, Amy. ‘Wanda and Greta at Broby Farm’. Illustrated by Frank McIntosh ; translated from the Swedish by Siri Andrews.
(New York: Longmans Green)

MacDonald, George. ‘At the back of the North wind’. Illustrated by Frances Brundage.
(Akron, Ohio : Saalfield Publishing Co.)
1927 (originally published 1871)

Howes, Edith. ‘The golden forest’. Illustrated by Margaret Lee Thompson.
(London: J.M. Dent & Sons)

Holling, Holling C. ‘The book of cowboys’. Illustrated by H.C. and Lucille Holling.
(New York: Platt & Munk)

Brown, Margaret Wise. ‘The little fireman’. Illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina.
(New York : William R. Scott)