Recent thrift store find includes valuable 70s kid’s book

childrens-bookShopping at thrift stores became a hobby for me several years ago. Inside the stores, I have found a wide range of historical games and toys — and I have become somewhat skilled at knowing if an item has value. Although, every now and then, I cheat and look up items on eBay while shopping, I prefer to trust my instinct and see if — after I have spent my money — my hunch was correct.

Children’s Book Catches My Eye

I do sell some of the stuff I find, but with books it’s a little different because often I am just looking for something interesting to read. But when I saw a copy of the children’s book Edith & Little Bear Lend a Hand I was pretty sure the book would have some value (and yes, I decided to cheat before I paid for it). Sure enough, the 1972 edition is worth up to $140 for hardback versions with a dust jacket. Mine fits the bill, except the dust jacket is ripped in several places. I haven’t decided yet if I want to sell it, because it is just a cool-looking book and the photographs capture New York City in the early 1970s.

Dare Wright

Dare Wright, the book’s author, was an intriguing individual. Although, born in Canada in 1914, due to her parents divorce, she actually grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. As an adult, she moved to New York City where she modeled, performed theatre and eventually found her niche as a photographer.

The book I found was not her first. Wright found success with a 1957 children’s book called The Lonely Doll. That book, which also featured Edith, made the New York Times best seller list and in 2010, British newspaper The Guardian named it one of the 10 best illustrated children’s books of all times.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about Dare, read the online memoir written by her godchild Ashley Brook. The memoir offers insight into the creative genius — and personal struggles — that defined Dare Wright. While on the site, you can also view photos from Dare’s books.

If you are simply interested in reading the books (without paying collector prices) many of the books have been reissued, including the one I purchased. Edith & Little Bear Lend a Hand was re-released in 2013.

Disclaimer

I know there are reality TV shows where people make a living just by picking — I doubt if the average person can do that. Even with my best finds and consequent sales — if you counted the hours spents and the money earned — I could’ve made more money wearing a vest and greeting people as they walked into Wal-Mart.

But it is a really fun hobby.

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Categories: American History, Children's Books, Thrift Store Treasures, Vintage Toys

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