The Most Expensive Children’s Books in the World

atkins-bookshelf-booksEven though the print run of the first edition of a children’s book can be quite large (10,000 or much higher), very few survive in the pristine condition that dramatically increases their value in the antiquarian book marketplace. When it comes to children’s books, kids will be kids — they will probably lose or tear the dust jacket, write in the book with pen or crayon, crease the pages, or leave fingerprints or smudges (eg, from dirt or chocolate); besides, the pages of a book are an inviting place to get rid of gum and small sticky candy. The curators of Abebooks recently searched their extensive bookshelves to develop a list of the most expensive children’s books in the world. You can be sure of one thing: a valuable first edition will never land in the hands of a child. Here is the list — title of book followed by year of publication, author, and most recent auction price:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll: $2 to $3 million (comes to auction June 16, 2016)

The Little Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: $222,570 (inscribed by author)

The Hobbit (1937) by J.R.R. Tolkien: $65,000

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) by JK Rowling: $37,000

Where the Wild Things Are (1963) by Maurice Sendak: $25,000

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Roald Dahl: $25,000

The Velveteen Rabbit (1922) by Margery Williams: $15,950

Winnie the Pooh (1926) by A. A. Milne: $11,851

A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L’Engle: $11,000

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: $8,800

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