Feb 192007
 February 19, 2007  Posted by at 12:41 pm  Add comments

Caldecott Medal First Edition Identification

Prayer For A Child; written by Rachel Field; illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones; Macmillan; 1944.

1945 Caldecott Medal Award

Children’s Picturebook Price Guide value – $360 VG+

First Edition Identification 

A year earlier, Elizabeth Orton Jones won a Caldecott Honor award for her illustrations in Small Rain (Viking, 1943, $280).  Twig (Macmillan, 1942, $240) and Big Susan (Macmillan, 1948, $220) are two of her better known books, both difficult to find in first edition collectible condition. Likely her most sought after title is the Little Golden Book, Little Red Riding Hood (Golden, 1948, $220).

First Edition Identification

Title page:  Last line with year of publication, as follows:

New York          THE MACMILLAN COMPANY          1944

First Edition Identification

Non-essential identifying points

Dust jacket price $1.50

First Edition Identification

Copyright page

Indicates two copyright dates, as follows:

First Edition Identification

The text was copyrighted in 1941, the illustrations in 1944 (with the publication of this book).

Rachel Field, author of Prayer For A Child, won the Newbery Medal in 1930 for her book, Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.  She wrote Prayer For A Child for her daughter, Hannah, in 1941 – in what book/magazine was the poem published (else why copyright)?


Many thanks to Jeff Falco (aka "Regards, Jeff", of the Bookfinder Insider user group) for the answer to the above question:  The poem Prayer For A Child first appeared in the Dec. 21, 1941 issue of the newspaper magazine insert, THIS WEEK. Courtesy Mr. Falco:

"Do not be misled by those who would tell you that the first publication of "Prayer for a Child" was in the July-August 1942 issue of THE HORN BOOK, page 283, the issue dedicated to Rachel Field.

The poem actually first appeared in THIS WEEK magazine, formerly the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE MAGAZINE, for December 21, 1941. THIS WEEK was a national Sunday magazine distributed in a number of Sunday newspapers (kind of like the PARADE of today)."


Prayer For A Child


 The magazine cover:


Prayer For A Child