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Stella & Rose's Books

Specialists in Rare & collectable books

Big Animal Rag Book

Big Animal Rag Book Illustrated by A.E. Kennedy

Stella and Rose’s copy of this rag book is dated circa 1939, number 344 and is beautifully illustrated by A.E. Kennedy with colour pictures of animals that are still bright after all these years.  Albert Ernest Kennedy was born in 1883 in Leyton, London and died at the age of eighty.  He was the elder brother of the notable flower painter Cecil Kennedy.

Front CoverNeddy

Rag books were patented by Dean’s Rag Book Company in 1903 by Henry Samuel Dean with the trademark logo designed by Stanley Berkley of a bulldog and terrier fighting over a rag book “quite indestructible, washable & hygienic”.  Their catchy advertising phase was for “those who wear their food and eat their clothes”. 

Dean’s Rag Book Company was an off shoot of the famous Dean & Son publishing firm who specialise in children’s books and were also one of the first firms to introduce pop-up books for children.

A Happy FamilyDobbin

Rag books are usually made from very strong cotton, the top and bottom edges having been cut with a zig zag pattern such as used with dress maker’s pinking shears.  These books are for young children learning to read, the format therefore is of colourful illustrations with minimal wording.

There are still many modern rag books on the market today with The Big Animal Rag Book providing positive proof of their durability and the pleasure gained from their constant use for both those learning to read and those helping them.

Contributed by Rosemary

(Published 16th Nov 2021)

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