Author Archives: Laura Wasowicz

About Laura Wasowicz

Curator of Children's Literature, American Antiquarian Society

The Acquisitions Table: Cinderella.  Triumph edition.  Philadelphia: B. Wilmsen, ca. 1880.

Cinderella.  Triumph edition.  Philadelphia: B. Wilmsen, ca. 1880. Bib ID: 604082. The now-obscure Philadelphia publisher B. Wilmsen published this pop-up version of Cinderella enhanced by cut tissue paper as part of his Triumph edition series, which featured fairy tales including Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. Although Wilmsen held the American copyright, the book was actually ...

The Acquisitions Table: Little Marian

Little Marian. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, [ca. 1853-1857]. 

The American Sunday-School Union was a pioneer in the use of the shaped book format and chromolithography, competing directly with secular firms including McLoughlin Brothers. Little Marian serves as a sequel to the Pilgrim’s Progress-inspired children’s book Little Marian’s Pilgrimage, issued by the ASSU ca. 1852. The earlier ...

The Acquisitions Table: Bobby’s Teeth


Sarah E. Chester.  Bobby’s Teeth.  New York: American Tract Society, ca. 1873. (Swallow Stories.)

This cute chromolithographed label of a little boy decorates the cover of a humorous tale about little Bobby, who according to the book’s narrator, has teeth as “white as snow” and “even as a row of pins.” Unfortunately, Bobby uses his teeth ...

Christmas Comes of Age in Carolyn Wells’s Christmas Alphabet

Christmas Alphabet 1

Although Clement Clarke Moore is now recognized as the celebrated Christmas poet, early twentieth-century writer Carolyn Wells (1862-1942) expanded on Moore’s vision of Christmas as a season of wholesome family-centered celebration in her Christmas Alphabet. Issued by New York picture book publisher McLoughlin Brothers in 1900, the Christmas Alphabet weaves evocative verse and gorgeous full-color ...

The Acquisitions Table: Daisy’s Death


Aunt Fanny (Frances Barrow). Daisy’s Death. Buffalo: Breed & Lent, ca. 1866-1872.

Frances Barrow (1822-1894) authored some thirty books in the “Aunt Laura” and “Aunt Fanny” series, published in miniature format by Breed, Butler & Co. and its successor, Breed & Lent. Daisy’s Death is about Daisy, an older cat who has kittens, although she is ...

The Acquisitions Table: A Present for the Young


A Present for the Young. New York: D. Waugh and T. Mason for the Sunday School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1833.

This wonderfully detailed hand-colored wood engraving is the frontispiece to A Present for the Young and illustrates the role of the family as the epicenter of literacy and civilization. Note the family gathered around ...

The Acquisitions Table: Aladdin


Aladdin.  Cincinnati: Peter G. Thomson, ca. 1877-1889.

Although McLoughlin Bros. dominated American picture book publishing in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, they were not without worthy competitors; among them was Peter Gibson Thomson (1851-1931).  This lusciously chromolithographed version of Aladdin sports a marvelous palette of colors and shades, and was probably the work of ...