Benjy: A Ferocious Fairy Tale by Edwin O'Connor and Ati Forberg. 1957 first edition.


Written by Edwin O'Connor. Illustrated by Ati Forberg. First edition, 1957. Atlantic Monthly Press. Little, Brown & Company.

Chapter 1

"Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, there lived in a small town called Smiles, Pennsylvania, a little boy named Benjamin Thurlow Ballou. He had no brothers and no sisters. He lived all alone with his mother, his father, and his doggie. His mother, who was a college graduate, was named Mummy. His father, who was a television repairman, was named Daddy. And his doggie, who was an Airedale, was named Sid.

"They all lived together in a nice little house, and they were very happy there. ..."

Front Flap

"...he may very well have been the best little boy in the world. He never said bad words or did naughty things. He was never disobedient. His hands were always clean, and his clothes were never mussed. He did not play with bad little boys and girls. He helped his dear Mummy at home and his dear Teacher at school. He had lovely manners, and he never, never forgot to say such nice things as 'Please', 'Excuse me', and 'Thank you, dear Mummy'.

Or so the author would have you believe.

Edwin O'Connor (1918 - 1968) was an American journalist, novelist, and TV critic. O'Connor's writing was rooted in the Irish-American experience, often portraying the lives of politicians and priests with a keen eye for detail and character. He's best remembered for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Edge of Sadness (1961); The Last Hurrah (1956), which tells of a Boston Irish politician's final campaign and the changing political landscape of the time; and All In The Family (1966), the story of a Massachusetts family and the deeply-rooted corruption of long-time family ties.

Beate "Ati" Gropius Johansen (1926 - 2014), a.k.a. Ati Forberg, was an influential German-born graphic designer, artist, illustrator, and educator. She was the adopted daughter of Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius and his wife Ise Frank. After fleeing the Nazis, she settled in the United States. Ati illustrated more than 40 children's books, and Benjy was her first.
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Condition: Near Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Light soiling and some rubbing along the front fore edge; on the front, small hole and light fading on left side, small closed tear near head of the spine, small crease at lower left corner with small closed tear, two tiny closed tears at lower edge; on the back, small white scuff, small chip and small closed tear at upper edge, small chip at lower edge; bumped at the corners, leaving a small open tear at lower right front corner and upper left back corner; fading along spine, small closed tear, chipping at head and tail. Beige cloth cover boards with red decoration. Small spot rubbed on front paste-down. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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