London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, n.d. . First Edition. Hardcover. First Impression, second issue, with reviews on front flap (the first issue appeared in plain boards with plain buff dust jacket) of Greene's first children's book. Both issues are scarce and sought-after, and this is the more attractive. Oblong royal 8vo (176 x 243mm): ,42,pp, illustrated by Craigie on every page in color. Original yellow cloth, spine and upper cover delightfully decorated with tiny steam locomotives in red, black, and green, lower cover with vignette of black lantern with red light, top edge stained yellow, map end papers, light blue dust jacket, priced 7/6, with wispy white mottling, lettered in black and red decorative train pattern in manner of upper cover. Remarkably fine and fresh, internally clean and bright, with only mild rubbing to boards and tiny nick to bottom edge of jacket. Miller 23a. Brennan 18. Wobbe A19a. Fine / Fine. Item #BB2329
Greene's name appears on neither book nor dust jacket (he first acknowledged authorship on the title page of The Little Fire Engine, published in 1950). Dorothy Craigie, the illustrator, was Greene's girlfriend at the time and is credited with authorship as well. Greene presumably wanted the book published as a result of her efforts, and not only because he had written the text. He may also have feared jeopardizing his reputation as a serious novelist. This is the first of a series of four transport books for children produced by their partnership. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).