New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1933. Item #02996
The Wizard and the Miraculous Cheese of Cheesemellow
[TENGGREN, Gustaf, illustrator]. SCHRANK, Joseph. Seldom and the Golden Cheese. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1933.
First edition. Octavo (8 1/16 x 5 3/4 inches; 204 x 146 mm.). viii, 160 pp. Color frontispiece, six full-page black and white illustrations and numerous black and white drawings in the text.
Publishers tan cloth, front cover and spine stamped in black, tan pictorial endpapers printed in blue. Early ink inscription on front free endpaper. A near fine copy in the original color pictorial dust jacket with lower corner of front panel torn away and a few other small chips.
"Come, let's gather twinklebells
(There's a-plenty by Cheesemellow Town)
And when you are weary, my own good friend, I'll tell you a tale that has never an end,
'Bout a Wizard and Cheese and a queer little Town -
A fanciful tale dressed all in green and brown:
So come, let's gather twinklebells,
(There's a-plenty by Cheesemellow Town.) (Dedication).
"The central theme of a bit of gold growing to mountainous proportions and destroying its owners is developed with a fairy-tale sense of wonder and dramatic irony. Satirizations of the old stock characters are done with a subtle and penetrating humor. The many-headed Dragon becomes a tired, anxious individual only too glad to be rid of his rather ill-tempered Princess, who refuses to give up her unique position in literature by allowing herself to be rescued. Kings, Witches, Magicians, Merchants, Evil Spirits and Good, are portrayed with their all-too-human failings. For young and old, sophisticated and ingenue, this book has an irresistible charm - the charm of the wholly unconventional, the charm of its own philosophy that cheese is more precious than gold. A rare quality of style which forever retains its freshness and the delightful illustrations of Tenggren make it a book to own and to re-read many times." (dust jacket, front flap).
Gustaf Adolf Tenggren (1896-1970) was a Swedish-American illustrator known for his Arthur Rackham-influenced style and use of silhouetted figures with caricatured faces. From 1923 through 1936 Tenggren worked for the game and book publisher Milton Bradley. In 1936 he was hired by The Walt Disney Company to work as an art director on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Tenggren gave Snow White an "Old World" look that Walt Disney sought, and despite being minor characters in the original by the Brothers Grimm the dwarfs took on new life in Disney's story, with Tenggren's presentation drawing depicting the major characteristics of each of the seven. His Rackham-style trees featured prominently in the forest scenes.