Monthly Archives: November 2014

Book of Space Adventures 1963

Book of Space Adventures

One thing is certain, THE NEXT STEP is going to be just as exciting for the world as previous achievements have been and the day draws nearer when Man sets foot for the first time on Earth’s nearest neighbour.

Wowzer! My husband just picked up this fantastic Book of Space Adventures – the latest developments in the world space programmes – published and distributed in the UK by Atlas Publishing 1963. It’s in a hardback annual format and contains a mix of factual articles about world space programmes, aircraft developments, such as supersonic flight, and comic-strip stories about Ace Jordan – the, extremely square-jawed, leader of the Galactic Patrol.

Book of Space Adventures

Here’s some info about the Gemini Project…
Book of Space Adventures

And the Apollo Project…
Book of Space Adventures

Book of Space Adventures

Book of Space Adventures

Project Apollo – before the moon landings.

And here’s something a little more theoretical – a Mars probe.
Book of Space Adventures

The huge appeal of this book is that is is pre-Moon landings. The final spread gives ‘a brief look at the next decade’ and sums up…

Certainly the big news we can all hope for will be Man’s first landing on the Moon and it will be a big feather in the cap of whichever power wins the Moon race! … Who knows what other incredible feats may evolve as Man challenges the Universe and stretches out toward the unknown in the next ten years…

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1960s The Treasury of Children’s Literature in Colour

Treasury of Children's Literature

A few weeks ago I was browsing the children’s shelves in the wonderful Eric T Moore Books in Hitchin when I noticed this fairly unremarkable looking book. As I hadn’t yet come across anything I wanted to buy I picked it up anyway, expecting a generic collection of fairy tales. But what wonders were within! It is a treasury indeed.

Turns out this is a 1981 WHSmith exclusive printing of a book originally published in the 1960s by Western Publishing Inc. The treasury is edited and selected by Bryna and Louis Untermeyer (and some of the stories are retold by Louis Untermeyer). It is 544 pages long and contains selections from The Just So Stories, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, The Sword in the Stone, the Hobbit, The Wizard of Oz and countless others. And best of all, every story is illustrated – sometimes by illustrators I’m familiar with – EH Shepard, John Tenniel, Charley Harper, Alice and Martin Provensen and some new-to-me illustrators such as Gordon Laite.

Wonderful colours in Robert J Lee’s Hobbit illustrations – I love the flowers on Gandalf’s robe. He also illustrates Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon.

Treasury of Children's Literature

An Unexpected Party from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien illustrated by Robert J Lee

Treasury of Children's Literature

Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon by CS Forester and illustrated by Robert J Lee

Charley Harper’s stunning Bambi illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Bambi by Felix Salten and illustrated by Charley Harper

This gorgeous owl in his green sunglasses. (I didn’t know this story or illustrator.)

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Raoul the Owl by Jay Williams and illustrated by Lilian Obligado

This was the first time I’d come across Gordon Laite. His fairy story illustrations are fantastic.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Cinderella illustrated by Gordon Laite

Treasury of Children's Literature

Rapunzel illustrated by Gordon Laite

Adrienne Ségur has one illustration in Sleeping Beauty. Her work is beautiful and I am hoping to get a copy of her Alice one day.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Sleeping Beauty Illustrated by Adrienne Ségur

The wonderful Richard Scarry illustrates Drakestail.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Drakestail illustrated by Richard Scarry

A Japanese take on Bluebeard.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Bluebeard Illustrated by Kanako Tanabe

Ray Bradbury’s short story about learning not to be afraid of the dark.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Switch on the Night by Ray Bradbury and illustrated by Hilary Knight

I didn’t know these stories either. I love Jean Winslow’s pen (or pencil) and watercolour (I think) illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Ting-a-Ling and the Five Magicians by Frank R Stockton illustrated by Jean Winslow

And finally Aesop’s Fables retold by Louis Untermeyer and illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. A grin to rival the Cheshire Cat’s!

Treasury of Children's Literature

The Cat and the Mice from Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen



There are so so many wonderful stories and illustrators in this book this is just scratching the surface. And the moral of this story is don’t judge a book by its cover!

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The Heavenly Weaver 1975 Japanese picture book

Heavenly Weaver cover

Today I have a delightful Japanese story, The Heavenly Weaver, by Sachio Mitsukoshi, translated by Ann Herring and art direction by Kozo Shimizu. It was first published by Gakken (Japan) and published by Blackie and Son in the UK (both in 1975).

From what I can gather Gakken put out a series of these picture books in the 1970s – I have found pictures from The Grateful Crane, which look like the same setting, but with a different, but still dimensional, artwork style.

I’m not sure what the media is, perhaps clay or maybe salt dough. The clouds look like cotton wool and the season tapestry is painted cloth. The characters are dressed in ancient Japanese style.

The Heavenly Weaver is a traditional Japanese story. Princess Tanabata, the Sky-king’s daughter, sat at her loom every day and wove the seasons we have on earth. One day the Sky-king arranged for her to marry the Celestial Cowherd – whom she was very much in love with.

Heavenly Weaver

The Princess and the Cowherd were so happy as they wandered among the stars and clouds that they forgot to weave the tapestry and tend the cows.

Heavenly Weaver

So all the living creatures stopped moving, and the trees and plants faded and died.

The Sky-king couldn’t allow this to happen, so he separated the Weaver and the Cowherd by putting them on either side of the Milky Way and turned the Milky Way into a celestial river. But when he saw how sad the couple were, he allowed them to meet once a year if they were good. They meet on Midsummer Eve, and they say that if it rains that night the couple haven’t been allowed to meet and the rain is their tears. But when they meet, the birds form a bridge of wings across the Milky Way.

Heavenly Weaver

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1970s Alice in Wonderland paper dolls

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls

Cover

1976, a Whitman Book, published by Western Publishing Company, Inc and licensed from Disney.

I loved paper dolls when I was little. I dutifully cut out the doll on my Bunty comic (bought every week while my younger sister had Twinkle) and I had a collection of historical paper dolls too. I’ve been into historic costume since I was tiny and paper dolls were my first costume reference books. Regular readers of this blog will also know that I collect illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland. So when I came across this on Ebay I had to pick it up. This came from the US and I’m not sure that it was available in the UK. It is in perfect un-cut condition, so I have scanned it so that I can play about with printouts.

Here are the dolls on the back cover. They are press-out pieces on lightweight card. I love Alice’s all-in-one underwear.

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls

The dolls

Some of Alice’s clothes. There is a mix of looks from the Disney animation and contemporary 1970s clothes. She even has a pink-striped catsuit a la the Cheshire Cat.

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls

Clothes for Alice

There are also a selection of clothes for the Hatter and White Rabbit.

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls

Clothes for the Hatter

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls

Clothes for the White Rabbit

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