Larmes de crocodile. Texte et dessins d’André François.

(Paris), Robert Delpire éditeur, (1956).

Landscape 12mo, publisher’s half yellow cloth over colour illustrated boards, in the original brown cardboard slipcase with a window and two printed labels “Attention crocodile fragile” and Crocodile à preserver du froid”. (40) pp., cover design and 20 colour plates by André François, with text on the facing page. Complete.

First edition, rare, of one of the best-loved children’s book of the 1950s.

Born in a part of Hungary which is now part of Romania, the French artist, cartoonist, illustrator, sculptor, and author André François (born Farkas, 1915-2005) emigrated to Paris in 1934 after studying at the Beaux-Arts in Budapest. He frequented Cassandre’s studio and forged a name for himself, working as a commercial artist in advertising. During the Second World War he turned to cartooning; his humour and his sketchy, expressive drawings soon attracted attention both in France and America, with numerous commissions from magazines such as Look, Holiday, the New Yorker, le Nouvel Observateur. As a children’s book illustrator, he was praised by Maurice Sendak, Maria Brown and many others. His work reflects the surrealism of everyday life which fascinated him.

“Crocodile Tears is a whimsical explanation of crocodile tears. It reflects François’s humour, which is both childlike and sophisticated. He uses an innovative design: the book is three inches high and ten inches long, emphasizing the long low form of a crocodile. The front cover has no title, only the crocodile’s body. Its head wraps around the back cover, and its tail continues onto the inside of the front board” (Anita Silvey).

Beautiful fresh copy, with the often-wanting slipcase.

Price: 400,00 euros