VINTAGE BEAR BOOKS
OSBORNE COLLECTION OF EARLY CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Here is a selection of bear-themed books, including vintage examples that date back to the early 1800s.

  Denslow's Three Bears  ,   W.W. Denslow,   G.W. Dillingham,   New York, 1903    Denslow's Three Bears , 1903, W.W. Denslow, the original illustrator of L. Frank Baum's  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  (1900), adapted and drew the pictures for this retelling of the familiar story, published in New York by G.W. Dillingham as one of  Denslow's Picture Books for Children . The back cover claims that in this series of picture books Denslow has "improved these stories by elimination of all coarseness, cruelty, and everything that might frighten children." In Denslow's version, in the bears'' absence Golden Hair tidies up their "most disorderly" house, and eventually the bears move in with Golden Hair and her grandmother: "they all decided to live together for the general good."

Denslow's Three Bears, W.W. Denslow, G.W. Dillingham, New York, 1903

Denslow's Three Bears, 1903, W.W. Denslow, the original illustrator of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), adapted and drew the pictures for this retelling of the familiar story, published in New York by G.W. Dillingham as one of Denslow's Picture Books for Children. The back cover claims that in this series of picture books Denslow has "improved these stories by elimination of all coarseness, cruelty, and everything that might frighten children." In Denslow's version, in the bears'' absence Golden Hair tidies up their "most disorderly" house, and eventually the bears move in with Golden Hair and her grandmother: "they all decided to live together for the general good."

  Interior pages   fro  m   Denslow's Three Bears

Interior pages from Denslow's Three Bears

 Interior page from  Denslow's Three Bears

Interior page from Denslow's Three Bears

  The Story of the Three Bears , Little Kitten Series, New York, McLoughlin Bros.,  1892

The Story of the Three Bears, Little Kitten Series, New York, McLoughlin Bros., 1892

 Interior pages from  The Story of the Three Bears

Interior pages from The Story of the Three Bears

  Interior pages   from   The Story of the Three Bears

Interior pages from The Story of the Three Bears

  Interior page   from   The Story of the Three Bears

Interior page from The Story of the Three Bears

  The Biggest Bear , Lynd Ward, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1952

The Biggest Bear, Lynd Ward, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1952

Interior pages from The Biggest Bear

Interior pages from The Biggest Bear

Interior pages from The Biggest Bear

Interior pages from The Biggest Bear

Paddington Helps Out, by Michael Bond, illustration by Peggy Fortnum, London, Collins, 1965 and Paddington at Large, by Michael Bond, illustration by Peggy Fortnum, Harmondsworth, Middlesex by Penguin Books in association with Collins, 1962

  Paddington's Note Book , by Michael Bond, illustration by Peggy Fortnum, London, Collins, 1983

Paddington's Note Book, by Michael Bond, illustration by Peggy Fortnum, London, Collins, 1983

   I Want My Hat Back  ,  Jon Klassen , Somerville, MA, Candlewick Press, 2011

I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen, Somerville, MA, Candlewick Press, 2011

 Interior pages from   I Want My Hat Back

Interior pages from I Want My Hat Back

  Bourru, The Brown Bear ,  No. 5, Pere Castor's Wild Animal Books,  by Lida, lithographs by Rojan, translated by Rose Fyleman, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1936

Bourru, The Brown Bear, No. 5, Pere Castor's Wild Animal Books, by Lida, lithographs by Rojan, translated by Rose Fyleman, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1936

 Back cover of  Bourru, The Brown Bear

Back cover of Bourru, The Brown Bear

 Interior page from  Bourru, The Brown Bear

Interior page from Bourru, The Brown Bear

  Interior pages from   Bourru, The Brown Bear

Interior pages from Bourru, The Brown Bear

  The Bear and the Kingbird , A Tale from the Brothers Grimm, translated by Lore Segal, illustration by Chris Conover, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1979

The Bear and the Kingbird, A Tale from the Brothers Grimm, translated by Lore Segal, illustration by Chris Conover, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1979

 Interior page from  The Bear and the Kingbird

Interior page from The Bear and the Kingbird

  The Bear's Bicycle , by Emilie Warren McLeod, illustration by David McPhail, Boston and Toronto, Little, Brown and Company, 1975

The Bear's Bicycle, by Emilie Warren McLeod, illustration by David McPhail, Boston and Toronto, Little, Brown and Company, 1975

 Interior pages from  The Bear's Bicycle

Interior pages from The Bear's Bicycle

  Interior pages from   The Bear's Bicycle

Interior pages from The Bear's Bicycle

  The Teddy Bears Go Fishing , rhymes by Robert D. Towne, illustration by J.R. Bray, cover design and illustration by C.A. Sieber, Chicago, Reilly & Britton Company, 1907

The Teddy Bears Go Fishing, rhymes by Robert D. Towne, illustration by J.R. Bray, cover design and illustration by C.A. Sieber, Chicago, Reilly & Britton Company, 1907

   The Teddy Bears Come to Life , rhymes by Robert D. Towne, illustration by J.R. Bray, cover design and illustration by C.A. Sieber, Chicago, Reilly & Britton Company, 1907

The Teddy Bears Come to Life, rhymes by Robert D. Towne, illustration by J.R. Bray, cover design and illustration by C.A. Sieber, Chicago, Reilly & Britton Company, 1907

  Blueberries for Sal,  Robert McCloskey, New York, Viking Press, 1948

Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey, New York, Viking Press, 1948

 Interior pages from  Blueberries for Sal

Interior pages from Blueberries for Sal

  The Story of the Three Little Bears and Little Goldilocks , verses by Nancy Knight, illustration by H.E.M. Sellen, Toronto, Heaton Publishing Company, 192?

The Story of the Three Little Bears and Little Goldilocks, verses by Nancy Knight, illustration by H.E.M. Sellen, Toronto, Heaton Publishing Company, 192?

 Interior page from  The Story of the Three Little Bears and Little Goldilocks

Interior page from The Story of the Three Little Bears and Little Goldilocks

  Interior page from   The Story of the Three Little Bears and Little Goldilocks

Interior page from The Story of the Three Little Bears and Little Goldilocks

  The Three Bears , illustration by Grosvenor, New York, McLoughlin Bros., 189?

The Three Bears, illustration by Grosvenor, New York, McLoughlin Bros., 189?

 Interior pages from  The Three Bears

Interior pages from The Three Bears

  Interior page from   The Three Bears

Interior page from The Three Bears

  The Bear , Raymond Briggs, first published in London, this is the first Canadian edition, Vancouver and Toronto, Douglas & McIntyre, 1994

The Bear, Raymond Briggs, first published in London, this is the first Canadian edition, Vancouver and Toronto, Douglas & McIntyre, 1994

 Interior pages from  The Bear

Interior pages from The Bear

  Interior pages from   The Bear

Interior pages from The Bear

 Rupert began as a comic strip character published in the  Daily Express  in 1920, created by May Tourtel. After Tourtel's retirement in 1935, Alfred Bestall took over the strip.

Rupert began as a comic strip character published in the Daily Express in 1920, created by May Tourtel. After Tourtel's retirement in 1935, Alfred Bestall took over the strip.

  Rupert and the Space Ship , Adventure Series Number 19, a  Daily Express  publication, London, London Express Newspaper, 1954

Rupert and the Space Ship, Adventure Series Number 19, a Daily Express publication, London, London Express Newspaper, 1954

  Interior page from   Rupert and the Space Ship

Interior page from Rupert and the Space Ship

 Interior pages from  Rupert and the Space Ship

Interior pages from Rupert and the Space Ship

  Rupert , illustration by Alfred Bestall, a  Daily Express  publication, London, Beaverbrook Newspapers, 1959

Rupert, illustration by Alfred Bestall, a Daily Express publication, London, Beaverbrook Newspapers, 1959

For more from Osborne's Collection of Early Children's Books:

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