New York: Hyperion Books for Children, (2002). First edition, ADVANCE ISSUE presumably sent for review. SIGNED BY MORRISON, "Regards, Toni Morrison" on verso of title page. Unbound, folded signatures (three gatherings) laid in TRAIL DUST JACKET. There are a number differences in design between this advance issue and the eventual trade edition -- from the immediately noticeable larger type for the authors' names (and smaller illustration) on front panel, to the title lettering bunched in such a way that it resembles a glaring face (down to the double O's in "BOOK" made to look like eyes) on jacket and title page of the advance issue. We also note the page with "But some of the meanest people whisper" has been changed from "meanest" in italics (in the advance issue) to MEANEST in yellow block letters (in published version). Advance dust jacket has "MORRISON/ LEMAITRE" on spine whereas published version has MORRISON * MORRISON * LEMAITRE; text on both front and back flaps of the jackets differ; three stars versus two in illustration on back of advance jacket; etc. Dust jacket shows a few minor creases and subtle toning to spine otherwise signatures and jacket are quite fine. RARE UNRECORDED ADVANCE ISSUE of the Noble Prize-winning author's second book for children written with son Slade.