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Walter Crane’s Toy Books Series

Books for babies are called Toy Books. Prior to Walter Crane, they were often unremarkable. Then Crane produced a series of Toy Books that gradually transformed the toy book into a sophisticated art form. Some of them become the most popular children’s books of the day.


Books in the Walter Crane’s Toy Books series:

The Death and Burial of Cock Robin (1864)

A traditional tale of cock robin, the sparrow and a bow and arrow. Shown above is the rear cover of the very rare Painted Toy Book.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

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Cock Robin and Jenny Wren (1865)

A well-known nursery rhyme.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Comical Cat (1865)

A humorous poem similar to Old Mother Hubbard.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Farmyard Alphabet (1865)

An alphabet based on familiar farmyard scenes. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

House that Jack Built (1865)

A well-known rhyme.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

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The “House that Jack Built” Alphabet (1865)

This version includes outline pictures, opposite the colored plates, to be filled in by the user.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Railroad Alphabet (1865)

A picture alphabet based on the railroad. Read for free online at State Library of South Australia.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

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A Gaping-Wide-Mouth Waddling Frog (1866)

This is the reissue of this nonsense poem.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

A Gaping-Wide-Mouth Waddling Frog (1866)

A nonsense poem.

Here is the game based on it at archive.org.

Another copy at FSU.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Sing a Song of Sixpence (1866)

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye.

This is the cover for a later edition.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

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Chattering Jack (1867)

A nursery tale from Walter Crane. Read for free online at the Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Multiplication Table in Verse (1867)

A unique approach to arithmetic. Read for free online at the Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Old Courtier (1867)

An old ballad of the English gentry. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Grammar in Rhyme (1868)

An introduction to the parts of speech. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

How Jessie Was Lost (1868)

A young girl runs away from her nurse at the park and is taken to the keeper’s house where her loud weeping attracts her parents. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library.

Author(s): Lucy Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

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Routledge’s Coloured ABC Book (1868)

Includes Walter Crane’s Farm-Yard Alphabet.

Author(s): Various
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane
Joseph Martin Kronheim

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Annie and Jack in London (1869)

An illustrated tour of London in the 1860’s. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Lucy Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

One, Two Buckle My Shoe (1869)

A counting rhyme. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Adventures of Puffy (1870)

A fluffy white Maltese dog gets into no end of trouble. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Lucy Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

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The Fairy Ship (1870)

A nonsense verse with illustrations. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

King Luckieboy’s Party (1870)

The months come to greet King Luckieboy at his birthday party.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

This Little Pig Went to Market (1870)

The familiar toe rhyme. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Routledge’s Coloured Picture Book (1871)

This omnibus includes Chattering Jack and The Multiplication Table in Verse by Walter Crane. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Charles H. Bennett
Illustrator(s): Charles H. Bennett
Walter Crane

Details »

The Noah’s Ark Alphabet (1872)

An alphabet of animals who entered the Ark. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1873)

A boy is cutting firewood in the forest. He overhears some thieves open the way into a cave with the words “open sesame.” This is one of the best-known tales from the Arabian Nights. Read for free online at Internet Archive and at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Cinderella (1873)

A neglected stepdaughter, a fairy godmother and a prince. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

My Children (1873)

A poem in praise of the joys of parenthood. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

My Mother (1873)

A poetical paean to mothers. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Ann Taylor
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Three Bears (1873)

The story of the three bears and Silverlocks, told in verse. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Absurd ABC (1874)

Short beautifully illustrated and engraved A-Z book with a nursery rhyme theme. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Alphabet of Old Friends (1874)

The letters of the alphabet are presented through traditional nursery rhymes, set in gilded letters and paintings. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Beauty and the Beast (1874)

The classic tale of a daughter who redeems her father and saves her husband. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Frog Prince (1874)

Would you kiss a frog? Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Goody Two Shoes (1874)

A tale of two orphans and how they eventually prospered. Read for Free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Old Mother Hubbard (1874)

The traditional rhyme about an old woman and her dog. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Sarah Catherine Martin
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Puss in Boots (1874)

The miller’s son sends his cat into the world to make him a fortune. The cover (above) is from a later reprinting. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Lucy Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Valentine and Orson (1874)

Twins separated at birth are reunited in knight errantry. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Aladdin: or The Wonderful Lamp (1875)

New lamps for old! and a most obliging genie. Read for free online at Internet Archive and at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Baby’s Own Alphabet (1875)

An illustrated ABC. Read for free online at Internet Archive. This is a collection of several of Walter Crane’s Toy Books.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Bluebeard (1875)

The famous spine chilling story of a wife who was too curious - ‘Sister Anne, Sister Anne!’ Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Hind in the Wood (1875)

A neglected fairy curses the newborn princess. Read for Free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Marie-Catherine D’Aulnoy
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Jack and the Beanstalk (1875)

Trading his mother’s cow for a handful of magic beans works out in the end. Read for free online at the Toronto Public Library. NOTE: this link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Little Red Riding Hood (1875)

The classic tale of a girl, a grandmother and a wolf. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Princess Belle Etoile (1875)

Three young princes and a princess are set adrift to drown, but are rescued and grow up to claim their rightful heritage. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Yellow Dwarf (1875)

A selfish princess is cured and marries her prince. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Aladdin’s Picture Book (1876)

Omnibus containing Aladdin, The Hind in the Wood, Princess Belle Etoile, and The Yellow Dwarf.

Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Chattering Jack’s Picture Book (1876)

An omnibus containing Chattering Jack, How Jessie Was Lost, Grammar in Rhyme, and Annie and Jack in London. Read for free online at the Toronto Public Library.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Sleeping Beauty (1876)

Classic fairy tale of a princess, a christening, a spindle and a prince. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Song of Sixpence Toy Book (1876)

An omnibus containing A Gaping-Wide-Mouth Waddling Frog, Sing a Song of Sixpence, and The Old Courtier.

Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Children’s Musical Cinderella (1879)

A musical version of Cinderella. Uses the original Walter Crane illustrations. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Louis Napoleon Parker
William Routledge
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Slateandpencilvania: Being the Adventures of Dick on a Desert Island (1885)

An arithmetical Robinsonnade fantasy. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Walter Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Little Queen Anne and Her Majesty’s Letters (1886)

An educational fantasy. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Walter Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

A Romance of the Three R’s (1886)

An omnibus including Slateandpencilvania, Little Queen Anne, and Pothooks and Perseverence. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Walter Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Alphabet of Old Friends (1890)

This is the later reprint edition. The letters of the alphabet are presented through traditional nursery rhymes, set in gilded letters and paintings. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Walter Crane’s Absurd Alphabet, Baby’s Own Alphabet and Noah’s Ark Alphabet (1890)

A collection of alphabets. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Walter Crane
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Beauty and the Beast (1895)

The classic tale of a daughter who redeems her father and saves her husband. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Bluebeard (1895)

The famous spine chilling story of a wife who was too curious - ‘Sister Anne, Sister Anne!’ This is a later reissue. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Fairy Ship (1895)

A nonsense verse with illustrations. This is a later reissue. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Forty Thieves (1895)

This is the reissue. A boy is cutting firewood in the forest. He overhears some thieves open the way into a cave with the words “open sesame.” This is one of the best-known tales from the Arabian Nights. Read for free online at Internet Archive and at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Frog Prince (1895)

This is the later reissue. Would you kiss a frog? Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

This Little Pig His Picture Book (1895)

An omnibus containing The Fairy Ship, King Luckieboy’s Party and This Little Pig. Also titled Walter Crane’s Picture book Vol. 1. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

This Little Pig Went to Market (1895)

The familiar toe rhyme. This is a later reprint with new endpapers. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Yellow Dwarf (1895)

A selfish princess is cured and marries her prince. This is a later reissue. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Absurd ABC (1896)

Short beautifully illustrated and engraved A-Z book with a nursery rhyme theme. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Cinderella Picture Book (1897)

An omnibus containing Cinderella, Puss in Boots and Valentine and Orson. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Mother Hubbard Her Picture Book (1897)

Also titled Walter Crane’s Picture Books Vol. II, this omnibus contains The Three Bears, The Absurd ABC and Old Mother Hubbard. Read for Free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Three Bears (1897)

This is a later reissue. The story of the three bears and Silverlocks, told in verse. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Valentine and Orson (1897)

This is a later reissue with a new cover. Twins separated at birth are reunited in knight errantry. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Mother Hubbard (1898)

The traditional rhyme about an old woman and her dog. This is a later reissue. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Sarah Catherine Martin
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Red Riding Hood’s Picture Book (1898)

An omnibus containing The Forty Thieves, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Bluebeard’s Picture Book (1899)

An omnibus containing Baby’s Own Alphabet, Bluebeard, and The Sleeping Beauty. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Various
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Goody Two Shoes (1900)

This is a later reissue edition. A tale of two orphans and how they eventually prospered. Read for Free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Jack and the Beanstalk (1900)

Trading his mother’s cow for a handful of magic beans works out in the end. The cover image above is from the later reissue.

Read for free online at Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

One, Two Buckle My Shoe (1900)

This is a later reissue. A counting rhyme. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Beauty and the Beast Picture Book (1901)

This is an omnibus volume containing Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince and The Hind in the Wood. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Goody Two Shoes Picture Book (1901)

An omnibus containing Goody Two Shoes, Aladdin and The Yellow Dwarf. Read for free online at the Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Princess Belle Etoile (1909)

This is a later reissue with a new cover. Three young princes and a princess are set adrift to drown, but are rescued and grow up to claim their rightful heritage. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Buckle My Shoe Picture Book (1910)

An omnibus containing A Gaping-Wide-Mouth-Waddling-Frog, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, and My Mother. There is a new introduction and some up-to-date additions. Read for free online at Internet Archive.

Author(s): Anonymous
Ann Taylor
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

My Mother (1910)

This is the later reissue. A poetical paean to mothers. Read for free online at the University of Florida.

Author(s): Ann Taylor
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Sleeping Beauty Picture Book (1911)

An omnibus containing Baby’s Own Alphabet, Bluebeard, and The Sleeping Beauty. Read for free online at Project Gutenberg.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

Puss in Boots and The Forty Thieves (1914)

This is a small format reprint of the two Toy Books.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Sleeping Beauty and Blue Beard (1914)

This small format (16mo) book contains Bluebeard and The Sleeping Beauty.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »

The Three Bears and Mother Hubbard (1914)

A small format (16mo) edition of these two Sixpenny Toy Books.

Author(s): Anonymous
Illustrator(s): Walter Crane

Details »