The oldest Oz-related book I own is a copy of Rab & His Friends from "The Children's Red Book" series. The book was found in my grandfather's collection, but it actually belonged to his brother. I found the book on the ground outside, as it must have fallen out of a box we were taking to our garage after grandpa Davis' death. I noticed the artwork on the cover and thought, "That looks like John R. Neill's work..." I carefully opened the book and was delighted to find that it was indeed illustrated by Neill, and published by Reilly & Britton.
The series was called the Children's Red Books for their red covers. Of course, over time, the color faded.
This page for the series features a girl who looks very familiar. Apparently, Neill enjoyed drawing this type of girl.
Except for the standard line art, the illustrations were done in the format as shown below.
Each of the books featured two stories, the second was called J. Cole. Many times, there would be a two-page spread with just two illustrations on the pages.
This is the only thing I have to date the book by. I figure it's 100 years old now, as The Road To Oz is listed as the only Baum book of the year.
The rest of the back matter was an advertisement for the Twinkle Tales by Laura Bancroft (who was really L. Frank Baum, using a pen name), and the Christmas Stocking Series, each volume with an introduction by, you guessed it, L. Frank Baum.
To see all of my scans from this book (some are a little crooked and a little blurred in the middle), please follow this:
|Rab & His Friends|