"Ant and Bee" books... why so expensive!?

I had a rush of nostalgia today for some books I had when I was a very young child. They were by Angela Banner and were about two characters, Ant and Bee. The main one I remember involved tiny suitcases and an umbrella, but I can’t remember much more than that. It may have been “Around The World With Ant and Bee” but I only say that because it’s the only one whose description mentions an umbrella. Another part of me wants to say that Bee always has an umbrella in all the books. I don’t know.

Anyway, I figured I’d go look on Amazon to see if they had been reprinted, or if anyone was selling used copies. Just as with books like Harold and the Purple Crayon they’re the kind of thing I’d like to own even though I’m an adult.

Imagine my surprise to find that there are no current reprints and that used copies are selling for anywhere from $75 to $200!!! What the heck!? Were they that good? I mean I remember liking them a lot, even when I was much much older than the intended audience, but I don’t exactly remember why anymore because it’s been too long.

(And just since it can’t hurt to ask: anyone have any of these lying around they want to sell? I don’t mind paying something reasonable for them, but I just can’t see spending $75 on a worn out, used children’s book!)

I loved these books. I loved the minimalism (not that I knew the word, or the concept, then) of the storytelling, and the sly wit. I remember the pair were flying over Greenland at one point, and one of them (I think it was Bee) commented that “it should have been called Whiteland.”

I can’t believe they’re so expensive; this search on Google Products turns up nothing under $45. How strange.

Anyway, thanks for reminding me of the books. If you find them cheaper, please let us know.

It’s perhaps the most common reason that collectibles become expensive. People get nostalgic for things from their youth and want to buy them again driving up demand, but kids don’t take very good care of their books, toys, baseball cards, etcetera and the supply is decreased. I’m not familiar with that particular series of books but you see the pattern all over the place.

It’s a common refrain when people see how much it costs to get something they had as a child: “If I knew how much they would cost I would have taken better care of mine!” but if everyone did then they wouldn’t cost nearly as much.

I could maybe understand it if they’d been out of print since 1930 or something, but these books were still being reprinted in the 80s and 90s!