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Thimble Summer, by Elizabeth Enright, is a children's novel with illustrations by the author. It won the Newberry Medal for juvenile literature. The story of a midwest farm family in the Depression, it is quaint and a great depiction of rural life in that era.

If the name Enright sounds familiar, it's because Elizabeth Enright was the daughter of the illustrator Maginel Wright Enright Barney. And, she was the niece of Frank Lloyd Wright. One can see the influence of her mother's style, especially in the beautiful color endpapers. Her other illustrations really remind me a great deal of Matisse, especially her pen and ink work. It's spare and simple, yet very engaging.

This hardcover copy was published by Farrar and Rinehart, with a 1938 copyright and no mention of reprintings. I can't say for certain that it is a first edition, but it is a very early edition, because Farrar and Rinehart became Rinehart and Holt in the mid-1940's. The book is 8.75 x 7 inches and is 124 pages long. I counted 7 full page color illustrations and there are a number of black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout the story.

An early copy of a classic and sweet book!


The cloth exterior shows sunning and fading along the spine. The yellow design on the cover is faded, and there are some dark spots on the cover. The middle of back cover has a .5 inch gouge.

The interior illustrated endpapers have a lot of age-related browing, but the design is still very pretty. The inside of the back cover has a small art deco-style tag affixed in the lower corner -- it is most likely the original bookstore's tag, and it's very typical of the 1930's era. There is some darkening of the pages around the well of the book, in some areas moreso than others, and the spine shows some cracking toward the middle part of the text block. However, all the pages are securely attached. The pages have age-related tanning, especially around the edges. There is an occasional mark on the edge of a page, but the interior is largely free of markings and I did not detect any rips or tears.