London: Grant Richards, 1899. First edition. A Very Good + copy of the book. It has been carefully resewn, but presents well. Some soiling to the pages and a contemporary gift inscription on the front end paper. Complete with all pages and the wonderful colored illustrations.
The well-known – and controversial -- children’s classic. Written in the late 19th century, by Scottish ex-patriot Helen Bannerman, the original version of “Little Black Sambo” was actually set in India, where Bannerman and her husband had moved and would go on to live for 30 years. The story follows the adventure of a young boy who ends up escaping from a group of vicious tigers. Though “Little Black Sambo” was incredibly popular, it would ultimately become a victim of its own success, as cheaper copycat versions of the work were produced, many of which trafficked heavily in demeaning black stereotypes. Little Black Sambo would eventually fall out of favor, although many critics still laud the work for its willingness to portray a heroic person of color in a time that few positive depictions of ethnic characters existed. “…far and away, ‘the grandest tiger in the jungle.’” (Contemporary review in The Spectator) Very Good + (Item #1640)