Paris: Maeght Éditeur, 1962. Single volume, measuring 12 x 8.75 inches: 68, . Original blue cloth lettered in black, color pictorial pastedown to front board, color pictorial endpapers. Color illustrations throughout text, colophon with ink-stamped copy number after text. Printed bifolium of drawings by Alexander Calder laid in, as called for. Lacking publisher’s clear plastic wrapper, lightest toning to edges of text block.
First edition, number 1552 of 2000 copies, of this tale of a coddled frog who refuses to learn to swim, much to the consternation of his community. Eventually, a swimming competition provides the incentive young Sylvestre needs: “Voilà le plus jeune de tous nos champions.” Davidson’s vibrant illustrations are joined, in this first edition, by a laid-in reproduction of drawings by her father, artist Alexander Calder, with the printed caption: “A ma fille, / quelques Grenouilles de plus / Sandy Calder” (“To my daughter, / a few more frogs.”) Text in French. In 1967, Sylvestre would be translated into English and reissued in a smaller trade format, without the Calder print. A near-fine example of a delightful family collaboration.