Gingerbread Stories

I love my grandma.  My grandma loves estate sales.  I have to give Mabel her medicine and spend a little time with her, so I've been to Grandma's every day since last Thursday.  And Grandma had a bag full of bookish estate sale treasures.  This is one of them.

Gingerbread Stories
by Peter Mabie
Copyright 1931
Whitman Publishing
Racine, Wisconsin.

Look at these endpapers!  They are not by "Peter Mabie."  They are clearly signed "Ethel Bonney Taylor."


Someone named Bob received this book on the day my grandma was born.)

I researched the book via the interwebbies the best I could.  "Peter Mabie" was a pen name of Emilie Wiedenbeck.  She was the author and illustrator of the book, although according to the book's entry on, other illustrators pop up as well.  Whitman Publishing was well-known as a publisher of cheap children's entertainment.  (You can picture the Whitman Tell-A-Tales of later years.)  Their parent company, Western Publishing, became famous for publishing Little Golden Books.

It opens with a story called "The Gingerbread Man," which disappointed my grandma.  As she said, "It's unlike any version of "The Gingerbread Man" I ever heard!"  Nope, the whole book is made up of original stories and poems.  They're cute.  Or cutesy.  Okay to read once, maybe twice.  But...

I love these pictures!

from "Mr. Pop-In-Ju"

"Mr. Sunny Bunny"

from "Mr. Sunny Bunny"

"The Adventure"

"Wise Bird"

from "All About Wuffin"

"James Jonathan Mouse"

"In Carberry Lane"

from "In Carberry Lane"

from "Pots of Gold"

from "Mrs. Puddle's Picnic"

from "Mrs. Puddle's Picnic"

from "Mrs. Puddle's Picnic"
There's a pig in a skirt!  I cannot resist a well-dressed little piggie.

Between this book and this post, I think I may have to make some gingerbread this week!

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  1. I love old books. What a pretty one. And I am always fascinated by the inscriptions inside the covers. :) Makes me wonder about the people who once owned them.

    1. Oh, me, too! I love inscriptions. And as much as I love the really old-looking ones, I adore this one: the ink looks fresh, as if someone wrote it yesterday. Yet it's 80 years old...

  2. OMG the design is amazing! I have to admit that I'm totally in love with the dresses worn by the ladies on the endpaper. What a great find!

    1. Isn't it awesome? And yes, those dresses are fantastic! I noticed that Ethel Bonney Taylor illustrated (or at least did the covers for) some Louisa May Alcott reprints. I'll bet they're lovely!

  3. Wow, cool! Your grandma rocks! I have never been to an estate sale, have you?

    1. I've been to a few. I don't go on my own very often, mostly because I don't think to look for them. My grandmother LOVES them. I think they satisfy her love of cheap stuff and her love of snooping. I asked her to keep a look out for old, cool-looking children's books for me. She's come away with a few of them, including the old Grimm's Fairy Tales book from my Fairy Tale post a couple weeks ago.


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