New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1930.
First Edition. Hardcover. "You see that even standing blind and rooted to one spot, as a plant must, it has waved its magic wand over such leaves and done something even a fairy would be proud to do." This kind of energetic avowal of the magic of plantlife fills the pages of Julie Closson Kenly's Green Magic, which winds together science, magic, and practical, working metaphors to instill a wonder of plants in the minds of children. Kenly takes a rather Mary Poppins-like tone, seeming to take you by the hand and march you off into a fairy land of nature. Imbuing Kenly's prose with pure enchantment in black and white are the over 60 bountiful and beautiful woodcuts by the Surrealist and American Regionalist painter, printmaker, and sculptor Edna Reindel (1894-1990), who started out as a children's book and dust jacket illustrator and whose robust and varied career also included Depression-era WPA murals and sculptures (two of her "easel-paintings" are still on display at the Pentagon and the Department of Labor in Washington D.C.), during World War II, her paintings for Life Magazine of women working for the war effort helped to popularize the image of Rosie the Riveter (four of the nine are in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts), and afterward she gained notoriety for her paintings exploring the fear and terror of war and the atom bomb. Her papers are held at the Archives of American Art. A spirited introduction to the magic of green and growing things, from seed to stamen, root to pistil, and beyond by nature writer Julie Closson Kenly, illustrated by the remarkable American artist Edna Reindel.
8 1/4" X 5 1/2". xii, 184pp. First printing, with the (I) present at the last page. Worn dust jacket presents nicely in protective archival sleeve. Front panel features a striking woodcut by Edna Reindel, printed in black with lettering in green. Heavy wear to dust jacket, with 6 1/2" X 1 /2" open tear to right edge of front panel at fold-over, with front flap detached, open tears to top edges and at rear fold-over as well, along with small tears to extremities, dust soiling, toning, and sunning to spine. Bound in green cloth, with Reindel woodcut of a tree stamped in black to upper board, two woodcut birds to spine, and upper board and spine lettered in kind. Moderate to heavy wear to binding, with fraying to extremities, small open tears to edge of upper board, sunning and toning and dust soiling to cloth, and bumping to head and tail of spine. Slight lean to spine. Hinges tender, with small tears to inner rear hinge. Binding remains sound. Bold endpapers wear Reindel's woodcut of snowflakes falling over leaf buds on bare limbs in green and black. Pages are clean and unmarked. Illustrated in fifty-seven listed woodcuts as well as eight unlisted vignettes by Edna Reindel. Admittedly worn, but retaining its charm, both inside and out. Good / fair. Item #5772