Thursday, March 21, 2013

Laminated Boards

Last week I received an e-mail inquiring about the different editions of the Susan books and whether the Children's Press editions had illustrations and dust jackets. I never really used to give much thought to the editions. As I live in Brazil, there's no way I can go around charity shops and second-hand book stores to compare editions, etc. When I started collecting Jane Shaw, I was happy just to get my hands on the books and read the stories. But after a while I began to take an interest in the editions. The original Collins books were often lavishly illustrated and even had colour frontispieces. The original Children's Press books from the late 1950s had dust jackets but were often bereft of illustrations. My copy of Susan's Helping Hand, for instance, has a DJ but no internal pictures. My Seagull Library edition of Susan at School has the illustrations and DJ, but no frontispiece. The same goes for Susan Muddles Through. From Susan's Trying Term onwards, all my books are original Collins editions and I don't imagine they were issued in any other format. However, in the mid to late 1960s, several of Jane Shaw's books were issued in cheaper hardbacks with laminated boards. They had no internal illustrations, but the covers are very colourful and lively. I have Susan Rushes In in this edition and also Crooks Tour. The Jane Shaw books issued in this format are:

Susan Pulls the Strings
Susan's Helping Hand
Susan Rushes In
Susan Interferes
Crooks Tour

All of Jane Shaw's books published by Nelson (Penny, Thomas, Dizzy and Alison) were never issued in cheaper editions. Collins, obviously set on getting as much mileage as possible on the stories, also considered putting out the early Susan stories in Armada paperbacks in the 1970s, but for reasons unknown this idea was shelved.