Rescued Treasures

Elizabeth Bluemle - October 31, 2013

cranberry books“Out of print” is one of the saddest phrases I know. Every year, I compile a list of Rescued Treasures heralding the return of beloved books that had been sent to pasture. I am always on the hunt for these, and turn to publishers like Purple House Press, who are responsible for some of my all-time favorite reprints, such as Miss Suzy by Miriam Young and Arnold Lobel, Old Black Witch by Wende and Harry Devlin, and The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren.
This year, Purple House is bringing back The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald by Clifford Hicks in paperback, The Giraffe That Walked to Paris by Nancy Milton and Roger Roth, and two more popular books by the Devlins, A Cranberry Halloween and A Cranberry Christmas.
(Side note: speaking of Halloween, I have to say I really miss the Georgie books by Robert Bright. A couple of them came back into print in the late 90s, but are back OP again.)
Harper is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Gertrude Stein’s The World Is Round (illustrated by Clement Hurd) with a facsimile edition of the original — meaning that it features the original blue and white line art on rosy pink paper. Ahhhh, lovely. I discovered this picture book in college and was taken by its distinctively Steinian repetitions and convolutions. Thacher Hurd has written an introduction for the new edition.
As blogged about early this year, Random House, much to my delight, is re-issuing the Ruth Chew everyday magic books, beginning with What the Witch Left and No Such Thing as a Witch. Wahoo!! I love these books, and so do young readers.
I know there have been many more delights reissued this year. Publishers, feel free to add yours in the Comments section! Let us celebrate your reissues.
P.S. It’s a sad truth that often, reissues just don’t have the kind of sales and marketing budgets allocated to new titles, so all too often, they fade back OP again because the teachers and librarians and nostalgic parents who might have snapped them up don’t ever know they were available again. I wish there were a better way to get the word out! If anyone has a brilliant idea, let us know.

8 thoughts on “Rescued Treasures

  1. Spellbound

    Hmmm… I wonder if there are enough re-issues yearly to warrant a special highlighted section in the ABC Best books for Children Catalog, seasonal ABA Indie Next flyers, etc. Does the Horn Book ever mention re-issues? I would think that would be a big boon. Of course, for bookstore accounts, pubs could gather re-issues in special sections of their catalogs instead of just sprinkling them in with other titles.

  2. Julie Isgrigg

    Oh my! I didn’t know Miss Suzy had ever been reissued. That is one of my favorite books from my childhood (Miss Suzy’s sweet home, those dastardly red squirrels, imagining life within a dollhouse, sigh…).
    Guess what I’m rushing to buy right now!

  3. Linda Marshall

    I would love it if someone re-issued the favorite book of my childhood, The 13th is Magic. I tried to find a used copy online and found so many comments along the lines of, “Why doesn’t someone re-issue this book?” It seems it was the favorite of lots of kids.
    For those who don’t know it, a brother and sister in a high rise apartment have a dull life until a black cat comes into their lives. On the thirteenth of every month the cat brings something amazing into their world.
    Cats, Magic, Kids, Mystery. What is there not to like?

  4. Kathy Davie

    Get bloggers to post about reissues. I put out an Upcoming Releases on my blog twice a month. And I plan to include the Purple House reissues. Perhaps a place where bloggers could sign up to be notified?? Help get the word out?

  5. Melissa Posten

    Julie’s comment is exactly why this initiative is needed, Elizabeth! What a great idea. Because Miss Suzy is my favorite childhood book, and it came back into print almost ten years ago now, and the fact that Julie just found out about that makes me want to cry. I want to give Purple House Press nine million dollars for promotion.
    Also, I want them to please reprint When Fletcher Was Hatched. And Arnold Lobel’s The Ice Cream Coot.

    1. Elizabeth Bluemle

      Great to know. Thanks! Speaking of witch books, I still miss the Dorrie books by Patricia Coombs, which came back in print briefly several years ago but are out again. In good news, some of the Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy are still available via Candlewick and Penguin.


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