Little by Little by Oliver Optic, Antique Children's Book 1869
Little by Little or, The Cruise of the Flyaway, A Story for Young Folks by Oliver Optic, 1969, this once lovely little hardcover book from our own family collection, was obviously enjoyed by at least one of those young folks.
The boating story is charming, as is the 2-page frontispiece black and white illustration, and the tale is evocative of children's books of the mid 19th century, but the 150 year old antique book itself has seen better days. The dark red hard cover is worn and pulling away at both inside front and back, and the gold embossed spine, while not broken, is subsequently loose. The pages are all intact and legible, without tears or writing, but there are smudges and age related stains and discolorations. A custom designed family bookplate of a family member is attached to the inside front cover.
For students and teachers of the history of children's literature, this will be a rare find, as well as an interesting addition to the library of an antiquarian book collector. And oh yes! Even today's "boys and girls" might enjoy hearing it read to them.
The book, published in Boston by Lee & Shepard, measures 7 inches high x 4 5/8" wide x 1" thick and is 280 pages long, excluding lists of other titles from Oliver Optic's Magazine.