First Edition Identification
Petunia; written and illustrated by Roger Duvoisin; Borzoi/Knopf, 1950.
Childrens Picturebook Price Guide: $320 Very Good+ (updated)
Roger Duvoisin illustrated over one hundred books in a career spanning five decades. Scribner published Duvoisin’s first book in 1932, A Little Boy Was Drawing (Scribner, 1932; $280 VG+). This unedited first effort made little commercial impact. Duvoisin’s second book, Donkey-Donkey, The Troubles Of A Silly Little Donkey (Whitman, 1933; $600 VG+), was commercially successful, staying in print for decades, with over a million copies sold.
In 1948, Duvoisin won a Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in White Snow, Bright Snow (Lothrop, 1947; $480 VG+), written by Alvin Tressalt. Duvoisin won two Caldecott Honor awards; the first in 1946 for Bhimsa, The Dancing Bear (Scribner, 1945; $220 VG+); the second in 1966 for Hide And Seek Fog (Lothrop, 1965; $160 VG+), again written by Tressalt.
Duvoisin is probably best known for several franchise characters he illustrated and/or created, such as The Happy Lion, Veronica, the hippopotamus, and Petunia, the goose. Duvoisin collaborated on nine Happy Lion books with his wife, Louise Fatio. Each of the franchise books would have increased collectibility since they are considered part of a series. The first book in the series would be most desirable.
First Edition Identification Points
The copyright page states ‘F I R S T E D I T I O N.’ The front cover of the book has a picture of Petunia, which matches the front dust jacket.
The Parent’s Magazine edition also states ‘F I R S T E D I T I O N,’ however the boards are orange cloth and have the Parent’s Magazine emblem in the center of the back board.
The first edition dust jacket has “$1.50” in the top right hand corner of the front flap, followed by a synopsis of Petunia, with “00408” on the bottom right. The rear flap includes a synopsis for The Christmas Whale.
The Parent’s Magazine dust jacket does not have a price. The Parent’s Magazine issue includes the book club’s emblem on the back of the dust jacket.