Victorian-Era Shape Books

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Publisher: DeWolfe, Fiske & Co., Boston
Circa 1894

Comprised of nineteen children’s verses and one short story about dolls, this “toy juvenile” enchants with detailed illustrations. A variation of “Rock-A-Bye Baby” replaces the cradle in the tree top with a wicker boat on the “nursery sea.” In “Little Travellers” a toy horse leads two young girls and their doll on a journey from “East India to Boston,” via Greenland, Marigold Mountain, Rose-shire, Butterfly-vale, Willow-tree Fountain, and the Gulf of Green Gravel. The short story “Good and Naughty” extols the virtue of not misbehaving.

Little is known about its publication, though the title does appear in an 1894 DeWolfe, Fiske & Co. advertisement for its “Novelty” Series in The Publisher’s Weekly. The book Dolly retailed for 50 cents.