Lyman Cobb’s Toys is a collection of tiny books for tiny people. Priced at three cents and consisting of only sixteen pages, these children’s works are slight enough to fit in even the smallest of pockets. In the third volume of the third series, Cobb describes animals both common and exotic to an audience he lovingly refers to as his “young friends,” taking great care not to use words with more than three syllables. But what the booklet lacks in size (and syllables), it makes up for in personality. Cobb’s descriptions of animals like the bear, zebra, and anteater are fun and meandering if not occasionally poetic, and the accompanying engravings are not without their charm either. After a few short pages, it becomes readily apparent why Cobb’s works were so popular in the 1800s.
This work, originally published in 1835, is reprinted by Milne Library at the State University of New York College at Geneseo as part of the Genesee Valley Historical Reprints series. The Genesee Valley Historical Collection is Milne Library’s largest and most accessible collection of local history materials. Its geographical scope covers the eight counties surrounding the Genesee River in New York State: Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben and Wyoming. For more information, see: http://go.geneseo.edu/gvhr.
— Dan Ross