15 March 2011

Picture Book I’m Least Surprised Has Not Been Reprinted by a Mainstream Children’s Press

The Dong with a Luminous Nose has text by Edward Lear and pictures by Edward Gorey. Originally issued by Young Scott Books in 1969, it is now available only from Pomegranate Communications, a specialist in “art, nature, and women’s studies, as well as culture, music, and photography.”

Pomegranate has good sales into museum gift shops, which I suspect is where The Dong with a Luminous Nose finds readers for its tale:

Happily, happily passed those days!
While the cheerful Jumblies staid;
They danced in circlets all night long,
To the plaintive pipe of the lively Dong,
In moonlight, shine, or shade. . . .

And those who watch at that midnight hour
From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,
Cry, as the wild light passes along,
“The Dong! – the Dong!
“The wandering Dong through the forest goes!
“The Dong! The Dong!
“The Dong with the luminous nose!”
For added marketing challenge, the text also includes mention of a “Bong-tree.”

I used to work for a publishing firm that had once owned Young Scott Books. We occasionally got inquiries about its titles, but not this one. A shame.

1 comment:

Bill Campbell said...

For many years, at least until the time of Gorey's death in 2000 and possibly beyond, first printings of this title and The Jumblies were both available at Gotham Book Mart at their original price - no one seems to have had much interest in these books, which is a shame as Gorey did charming work for both these titles!