Rare First Edition, First Issue of Pat the Bunny
Pat the Bunny.
Item Number: 30007
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940.
First edition, first issue. Small quarto, original pictorial stiff paper boards, original box. First issue, with the squeaking ball; because the ball’s squeaker frequently failed, it was later replaced by perfumed flowers for the reader to smell. In excellent condition with the queaking ball, which no longer squeaks. Rubbing to publisher’s box, lacking one (of four) flaps.
Dorothy Kunhardt created Pat the Bunny for her 3-year-old daughter, Edith. It was partly an experiment in using interactive elements in a book, which was unusual at the time“Pat the Bunny came out, took off and goes on, a novelty that children never tire of… Here is a fat box-shaped book for babies and very small youngsters, pink as tooth-paste, with a trick at every turn. Paul and Judy can pat the bunny: now ‘you’ pat the bunny, and here he is, pure cotton wool. ‘You’ can play peekaboo, look in a mirror, feel Daddy’s scratchy face, read Judy’s book, and actually put your finger through Mummy’s ring. Midway of these thrills, if a tiny finger is poked at a red ball it really squeaks” (Bader, 238). It “remains a bestseller—second only in all-time sales to [Beatrix Potter’s] The Tale of Peter Rabbit” (Geraldine Baum, Los Angeles Times).