CHORNY, SASHA (ALEKSANDR MIKHAILOVICH GLIKBERG). 1880-1932.
ROJANKOVSKY, FEODOR STEPANOVICH, illustrator. Zhivaya azbuka [The Living ABC.] Paris: N. P. Karbasnikov, 1926.
4to. 39 pp. Halftone illustrations. Original color decorated wrappers designed by F. S. Rojankovsky. Rebacked; thumb marks and other soiling.
FIRST EDITON WITH THESE ILLUSTRATIONS. Chorny was an important Russian émigré satirist and children's poet. He wrote amusing verse for the magazine Satirikon and published his Zhivaya azbuka in 1914. After the Bolshevik Revolution, he left the country and eventually settled in France. He suffered a heart attack while trying to put out a fire in the South of France and died. Rojankovsky led quite an exciting life before he settled into illustrating children's books. After studying at the Moscow Fine Arts Academy, he served in the Russian Army during World War I and then fought in the White Russian Army. He ended up in Poland and eventually settled in Paris. To get by, he produced considerable erotica before turning to juvenile literature. Zhivaya azbuka was one of his earliest and most amusing children's books. (It uses the old Cyrillic alphabet.) He drew pictures for "Père Castor" and Esther Averell's short-lived Domino Press. With the onslaught of World War II, he emigrated to the USA where he was a prolific contributor to Golden Books. He was awarded the 1956 Caldecott Medal for Frog Went A-Courtin'.