The latest addition to the AAUGH.com Reference Library is Four Cheers for Charlie Brown, a boxed set of books adapting the animated Peanuts specials. This set contains four volumes – A Charlie Brown Christmas, You’re in Love, Charlie Brown, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and Charlie Brown’s All-Stars. With that information in hand, we can place a reasonable guess when it came out – no earlier than they were promoting the June 1967 release of You’re in Love, but probably before the Valentine’s Day 1968 release of He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown, or else they probably would’ve included that book as well.
Assuming that the copy of A Charlie Brown Christmas that was in this set I got (via eBay auction) is actually the copy that originally came in the box – and that seems most likely, everything has been kept in fairly good condition, with Christmas and All-Stars still having their dust jackets – this messes with a theory that I’d put forth before. Y’see, World Publishing didn’t keep track of their printing numbers and dates inside their books the way that most major publishers do. Every book was just marked with “First Printing 1965” on the copyright page, so people always assume they have the first printing. However, some copies out there have red endpapers and pastedowns (that’s the paper on the inside front cover), some have cheaper-looking white, and I’d been thinking that maybe they’d put the slight extra expense in on the first printing.
But if this was the copy that was packaged with the box, it is almost certainly not a first printing. Remember, A Charlie Brown Christmas was a much bigger success than anyone had anticipated, so no way they’d still have a large quantity of first printings a year and a half later to make the box set. But this one does have the red papers. (And unlike the copies done for a later boxed set, it’s not of a different size than the original printings.) So… I have not discovered a new edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas, but I have discovered a box containing the book that I had not chronicled before. I shall count that as a victory.
But if they had done a new edition just for this box set… they might’ve bothered to be the title on the spine so that it matches the other books.