As a father to four and grandfather to many more I have spent countless hours in my adult life reading and acting out a great many of the literary classics written for children. The children’s book is a very interesting topic. I have highlighted just three.

If you are lucky enough to posses a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone this is a valuable item. When Bloomsbury came to print it in 1997 they feared they would make a loss and the print run was very small. The perfect scenario for a marvelous investment, a rare book with a big future demand. Further print runs were needed for that book and so future Harry Potter books had enormous first print runs. The investment opportunity was never repeated.

From the modern to the Victorian. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was first published by MacMillan in 1865 with illustrations from Punch cartoonist John Tenniel. Carroll’s classic is constantly inspiring illustrators to rework the story. Many collectors collect for illustrators and will follow the same story through its many different versions.

Book sales can be hugely influenced by a film version of the said book and this effect can feed into demand for first editions of related titles. For example Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and a signed first edition of the precursor to the trilogy, The Hobbit, breaking auction records.

Children’s books will always be popular in the salerooms because of their timelessness, their nostalgia and the beautiful illustrations.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

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Children’s books

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