Red Riding Hood
Boston: L. Prang & Co., 1863. 17x6cm (shape book): [16pp]. First Edition. Stiff chromolithographed wrappers cut in the shape of Red Riding Hood with wolf. Wrappers bound with thread sewn through the fold. Each page printed with text from the tale and surrounded by attractive color illustrations. Faint spot on inside of rear wrapper. Binding tight and edges crisp. Missing the original printed envelope. Fine, and rare in this condition.
In 1863, L. Prang & Co. published two series of small toy books. The books that were part of the Doll series were “some of the most interesting and fascinating items Prang published.” In these books, Prang printed the story “on a cutout in the shape of one of the characters of the story.” A catalogue issued by Prang in 1871 asserted that, “the style of these [cutout / shaped] books originated with us” (McClinton, p. 45). A superb example of this beautifully illustrated tale, generally considered to be the first American shaped toy book.