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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 Absurd ABC (1874)

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

Author: Anonymous
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Illustrator: 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: Lucy Crane
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Illustrator: 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: Anonymous
Illustrator: 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: Anonymous
Illustrator: 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: Anonymous
Illustrator: Walter Crane

Details »

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: Lucy Crane
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Illustrator: 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: Anonymous
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Illustrator: 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: Anonymous
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Illustrator: 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: Various
Illustrator: Walter Crane

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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: Anonymous
Ann Taylor
Illustrator: 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: Anonymous
Illustrator: Walter Crane

Details »