Tag Archives: children’s books

Wonderland Tales 1973

Wonderland Tales Book

Wonderland Tales and Story-and-Picture Book. Published by Ideabooks 1973. Featuring artwork by Spanish illustrators Jesus, Alessandro and Adriano Blasco. According the blurb the brothers lived and worked together. You can see the slight differences in style through the panels, and I love the definite 70s aesthetic Alice has to her.

DSCF2283WL2Wonderland Tales Book

The book also features Gulliver’s Travels and The Golden Box as well as a couple of short stories, Shouting Stones and The Brave Young Shepherd

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Willo The Wisp Annual 1985

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985, IPC Magazines © DN and PM Spargo 1982. Originally priced at £2.95. It’s completely clean but there is a single-sheet insert missing.

Willo the Wisp is a fantastic cartoon series, voiced by Kenneth Williams, that first aired in 1981. It features the denizens of Doyley Woods – including Willo the Wisp (the narrator), Mavis Cruet, the blue-haired fairy, Arthur the caterpillar and the wicked witch, Evil Edna. Go look for it on YouTube if you’ve never seen it – it’s a treat!

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

The incomparable Evil Edna

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

Astrognats game

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

Cut out models – there is a background scene later in the book

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Hare and Hedgehog 1970

Hare and Hedgehog book

This is a Picture Grasshopper book. Retold by Euan Cooper Willis and illustrated by Horst Lemke. First published in paperback by Abelard-Schuman Ltd in 1973. It was originally 50p (which is what I paid for it in the Salvation Army charity shop the other week).

Hare and Hedgehog book

The story goes: the hare is very proud that he can run so fast and challenges the hedgehog to a race. Hedgehog wins by roping in his family – who all look like him – and hiding them at various points along the course, so the original hedgehog is only there at the beginning and the end.

I think the moral is meant to be ‘don’t show off’ or ‘pride comes before a fall’ or something. I always found these sorts of stories a bit suspect – I know the hare is a show-off, but the hedgehog wins by cheating, so I’m not sure who gets the moral advantage here!

Anyway – the illustration is FAB. I love the costume touches – the hedgehogs’ neckerchiefs and the hats on the birds – and hare’s check trousers are brilliant.

Hare and Hedgehog book

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Walt Disney’s Giant Book of Fairy Tales

Published in 1974 by Purnell Books. Over thirty fairy tales – and not all the usual suspects either, ‘Toads and Diamonds’, anyone? When there was an existing Disney film, they used scenes from that, but when there wasn’t, they just bunged in characters they already had. So we have Grumpy in place of Rumpelstiltskin, and Alice (of Wonderland fame) standing in for the little match girl as well as several other characters. Somehow I can’t imagine Disney going for this approach today!

Disney Fairy Tales

Snowstiltkin?

Disney Fairy Tales

Pre Lumiere, Cogsworth et al

Disney Fairy Tales

Alice in disguise

Disney Fairy Tales

Isn’t that John from Peter Pan? And Figaro? And King Stefan from Sleeping Beauty?

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Thrilling Stories From the Past for Girls 1970

Thrilling stories from the past

Edited by Eric Duthie, illustrated by Reg Gray and published in 1970 by The Hamlyn Publishing Group for Odhams Books. This is a collection of 14 stories by different authors – including KM Peyton.

I was an editor for the My Story series, published by Scholastic Children’s Books, for many years, and although I wasn’t in at the beginning (it was actually developed as the UK version of Scholastic’s Dear America series) this book was surely on someone’s bookshelf in the editorial team!

So how often do you see a story about the Lisbon earthquake in 1775?

Thrilling stories from the past

jacket blurb

There were more in the series. I shall be looking out for them. There were also books ‘for boys’ in the same format.

Thrilling stories from the past

Other books in the series

Every story has an illustrated opening page and one full-page illustration.

Thrilling stories from the past

Thrilling stories from the past

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass illustrated by Dagmar Berková 1992

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Produced by Aventinum, Prague, for Treasure Press and published in 1992. I’d not seen this before. The rather lovely illustrations are by Dagmar Berková.

These are the three sisters in the treacle well – I don’t remember seeing them illustrated before.

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

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Little Grey Rabbit card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

So who remembers the Little Grey Rabbit series? They were written by Alison Uttley and illustrated by Margaret Tempest and are about a little grey rabbit (of course) and a cast of assorted animals including Wise Owl, Moldy Warp (a mole) and Fuzzypeg (a young hedgehog).

I haven’t got any of the books, although I know we had some as children and got them out of the library, but this week I found a Pepys game (strap line: Better than a picture book Grey Rabbit’s own game – for you) for 99p. The aim of the game is to collect counters and whoever ends with the most is the winner. Now I shall have to find someone to play it with!

Little Grey Rabbit Card game
Little Grey Rabbit Card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

grey rabbit rules booklet

grey rabbit rules booklet
grey rabbit rules booklet

grey rabbit rules booklet

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The White Deer – A Latvian Folk Tale 1973

Listen, and you shall hear,
This riddle is not long:
There was a great White Deer,
Its antlers were so strong.
Seen by everyone,
It was caught by none.

White Deer

I found this for 50p in a charity shop yesterday. It’s a 1989 printing of a 1973 book. It’s by Lyudmila Kopylova (English translation by Fainna Solasko). The illustration is by Nikolai Kochergin. It was published by Raduga Publishers, Moscow and printed in ‘the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’. It’s a stapled pamphlet-style book. I don’t know much about Russian books – I don’t know if this was usual at the time.

White Deer

White Deer

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Gravity is a Mystery 1971

A few weeks ago I came across this in a charity shop.

Gravity is a mystery book

It’s from a huge and diverse series called Lets Read and Find Out published by A&C Black. Titles ranged from Watch Honey Bees with Me to The Sun: Our Nearest Star.

I spent many years editing Scholastic Children’s Books’ Horrible Science series and I love a bit of illustrated non fiction.

Don Madden’s illustrations are an absolute joy – I gather he illustrated many, if not all, of the titles in this series. I particularly love the cat and dog onlookers/assistants. I hadn’t come across him before, but I shall certainly be looking for more.

Gravity is a mystery book

Gravity on different planets

Gravity is a mystery book

Through the Earth

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Books are exciting (Ladybird Keywords Reading Scheme) 1967

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Visiting the library

I found this in David’s Bookshop, Letchworth, for 25p. Result! This is a great book to show in this ‘100 years of Ladybird’ year.

This book is part of the Keywords Reading Scheme series (11c) and is all about books and reading. It covers fiction genres, non fiction (including facts, crafts, things to do, etc) writing your own books, visiting the library, using encyclopaedias, and finally how books are made. I don’t know if it was a mistake, but the book follows two children and their experiences of reading, but at the start they are introduced as Rita and Tim, but several pages in they turn into Peter and Jane (who were the usual Reading-Scheme characters) with no explanation.

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Choosing books

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Making books

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Fiction genres

I’m not sure Ladybird would use this image as a cover now! But to put it into context, it is the illustration from a story in the book about how some South Sea Islanders catch octopuses. Presumably this image was chosen as being (in the publisher’s opinion) the most exciting in the book. At that time (I’m not sure about now) cover images were always taken from the book.)

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Cover

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