Friday, April 27, 2012

Snow White in 'Water Babies Circus' Book

Between 1940 and 1948, D.C. Heath and Company of Boston published a series of twelve Disney-themed books, each new title being a more complex reading challenge for kids. The first book, Here They Are, has just one or two lines of text to accompany a large picture. The final book, Dumbo of the Circus, has very few pictures and a great deal of text. By targeting readers of all ages, these books were a natural addition to school libraries.

Front and Back Cover

Bambi, Pinocchio and Dumbo all got their own books in the series, but Snow White shared billing with the Silly Symphonies characters. "Snow White's Friends" appeared in the 1940 Water Babies' Circus and Other Stories. The book has four stories total and contains 78 numbered pages plus 10 additional. Measures 6.375" x 8.5". We'll only be looking at the Snow White installment.

Title Page

Table of Contents

The beautiful illustrations in this Heath series come from hand-inked cels made by the Disney artists, including Hank Porter and Tom Wood. Below is an original full 16 field, 12" x 15" nitrate cel with 5 pegholes. The Snow White image is 4" tall and appears on page 9 in the book.

Art Cel image via House of Animation.

In the Snow White's Friends story, the forest animals find the princess crying and lost in the woods. They lead her to the Dwarfs' cottage where they help clean. Then they cover her with a blanket after she has fallen asleep.

Text and Illustrations copyright 1940, Disney.

Except where noted, info and scans courtesy of the Rick Payne Collection via dadric's attic.


UPDATE: The art cel shown on page 9 above appeared for sale in the July 2012 Profiles of History animation auction catalog.

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