New York: Harper and Row, 1963. First edition. Oblong quarto. Original cloth-backed pictorial paper boards. With the Sendak-designed dust jacket. Housed in a turquoise quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Illustrated throughout by Sendak. Light residue from bookplate removal to front pastedown, minute crease at corner of pp. 7/8, book block ever so slightly shaken. A near-fine copy in the jacket, front flap price-clipped at foot as issued, first-issue price of $3.50 at head of flap intact, minor toning, small chips and nicks at extremities, short closed tear at head of front panel and light creasing at head of rear panel, small penciled notation to rear panel.
First edition, first printing, first issue, inscribed by the author on the half-title: “For Janet Anderson, Maurice Sendak 4/15/82”. With the ticket for a book signing at Newcomb Hall Bookstore at the University of Virginia loosely inserted, signed by Anderson on the back; Janet Anderson served as a book designer at the University of Virginia Press.
There were multiple issues of the book, but this copy is the earliest issue, distinguished by the Library of Congress number 63-21253 to the title page, the codes 40-80 and 1163 to the front flap, and the absence on the rear flap of the mention of the Caldecott Award bestowed upon the book on publication - the winning of such a prestigious prize compelled the publishers to recall the entire edition and change the text on the dust jacket to include the achievement.
Where the Wild Things Are was criticized at the time of publication for its darker elements, but was soon acclaimed as a triumph of children’s storytelling and book design; it has remained a classic of 20th-century children’s literature, and was adapted into a film in 2009.
Hanrahan A58. Near Fine in Near Fine dust jacket. (Item #2734)