London: Grant Richards, 1902. First edition. The ad for the Dumpy Books for Children series in the present item notes nineteen titles so far, which date from 1897 to 1902. Twenty-one additional books were also published by Grant Richards and then, later, by Chatto & Windus and Sampson Low. The earliest titles include Helen Bannerman’s The Story of Little Black Sambo (1899). The present work was likely published to capitalize on the success of Little Black Sambo, though the stories bear no particular thematic resemblance to each other. With 24 color illustrations. Binding slightly dust soiled. Bookseller’s ticket in lower corner of front pastedown. Some toning to free endpapers, but otherwise a very good, bright, and clean copy of an uncommon book. Publisher’s light green cloth ruled and titled in dark green. 24mo. 95 pp. Item #16818
The titular “Little White Barbara” bears the nickname because, despite her doting aunts’ best efforts, she remains pale, sad, and so thin that “you could only see her by looking through a telescope,” (p. 42). After supplying their niece with cod liver oil and relaxing days by the fire to no avail, Aunt Dosy and Aunt Posy call in Dr. Funnyman to appraise Barbara’s situation. He prescribes his “Laughing Medicine,” which consists of climbing trees, running, and playing leapfrog with a neighbor boy until Barbara is happy and hungry again.