Bears of the World

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[SENDAK, Maurice]. Bears of the World. [Newark, DE/ Basel, Switzerland]: International Reading Association/ International Board on Books for Young People [1981]. 8vo, single sheet accordion folded into 12 sections which measures 5” wide by 8” tall when folded and unfolds to a full length of 5 feet. 9 color and one b&w illustrations. Also included is a single-page presentation sheet explaining the project. A fine copy of both, housed in original white, unprinted envelope (edges lightly worn, slightly discolored). Scarce.

First and only edition. A “leporello” or accodion-folded pamphlet featuring a collection of illustrations of bears from illustrators of children’s books from around the world. Featuring illustrations by Hans Christian Andersen medalists Maurice Sendak, Tove Jansson, Suekichi Akaba, Tatiana Mawrina, Ib Spang Olsen, and Max Velthuijs, this fold-out booklet represents a wonderful tour of the world bears from the minds of some masterful illustrators. The first joint creation of the International Reading Association and the International Board on Books for Young People (the organization that awards the Hans Christian Andersen Awards), it brilliantly showcases the diversity and genius of children’s book art from around the world. The image by Sendak is of Little Bear and his parents and was especially created by the artist in watercolor, pen, and ink for this publication designed to promote world literacy. The Tove Jansson image is a watercolor a bear who seems to be dancing. All the images are delightful!