Friday, 30 December 2011

Tails up for a Happy New Year!


An old fashioned greeting for a brand new year
Happy 2012!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Added value; Found in books - Fairy Music



Today’s 'added value' is the front part of a birthday card with fairy music by Enid Ford printed on the reverse.  I assume someone threw away the part with the greeting (such a shame) and used this part as a makeshift bookmark. Found in;



The house with the twisting passage by Marion St. John Webb is now sold, thank you for your interest.

I've been intrigued by this book for a while so decided it was time to read it.  It's a strange story about a little girl who is sent to stay with her Aunt Abbey in a grand old manor house. Jenny discovers a wonderful twisting passage on the second floor. When she peeps into each of the rooms along the passage, she finds the furniture covered with sheets and the shutters closed. Jenny makes up stories about each of the imagined occupants of the rooms…but maybe they aren’t imagined after all.


Have you read the house with the twisting passage? Or anything else by Marion St John Webb?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Kiddie Kut Books from the 1950s

Some of my best childhood memories are of my dad reading bedtime stories, and later discovering books that I loved to read by myself. My favourite picture book, or at least the one that resonates most from my childhood, is the sleeping beauty. The story and images have stayed with me all my life, so imagine my delight on rediscovering my childhood favourite at a local book fair. Published by Collins during the 1950s, sleeping beauty is just one in a whole series of “Kiddie Kut” books arranged and illustrated by Molly B. Thomson.

Having rediscovered the sleeping beauty I decided to look for the rest of the series. I've now added the bells of London town, the three little pigs and snow white to my collection. Other books in the series are the house that jack built, fun in the frozen north, the three bears, Jack and the beanstalk, the water babies and Hansel and Gretel. There could be more but these are the only titles I’ve come across so far. 


What little girl wouldn't want to be the sleeping princess in this magical bedroom


or, Snow White finding the little house in the woods and spending time with the seven dwarfs?


Do you have a childhood favourite you remember to this day? 


Update July 2012. Thanks to 'Jo' I can now include The Water Babies in my collection. Jo emailed to say she had a copy and would I like it - my reply "yes please"!


Friday, 23 December 2011

The Christmas Kangaroo


I found this delightful book on a trip to Australia in March 2011. If you are ever in Adelaide, I recommend you pay a visit to Michael Treloar Antiquarian Booksellers on North Terrace, where this book came from.  I hope to visit Australia again in a year or two and this bookshop is already on my ‘must visit’ list.

The Christmas Kangaroo was written by Ian Mudie in 1946, with black-and-white illustrations by Trevor Clare. Published by Frank Cork and printed by The Advertising Printing Office in Adelaide

This might be a common book in Australia, but as I hadn't seen it before I knew it would be coming home in my suitcase along with my other ‘finds’ including a 1st Australian edition of The Gremlins by Roald Dahl and a lovely copy of Colonel Crock by Edward Andrews.

The Christmas Kangaroo is a truly enchanting story about Mirram the Kangaroo and her son Joey, who meet a harassed Father Christmas, behind schedule, and with his sleigh still laden with undelivered toys. After much persuasion by Father Christmas the sympathetic Mirram agrees to help, and with Joey on her back and her pouch laden with an incredible number of toys she sets out.


Her feet have been polished by Father Christmas with his special lightening, non-slip, quick-travel, fast-as-fast, long-leap, racing oil, and her first tentative hop takes her soaring over the tall trees and out across the Gibber Plain.

Gibber Plains, Australia.


In the excitement, the toys are spilled, and valuable time is lost collecting them, but eventually Mirram sets out again, encouraged by the kindly advice of a talkative Willy Wagtail and the wise Mr. Possum. Faster and faster she goes, so fast that Joey thinks his ears will be doubled inside out by the wind. Faster and faster, for Mirram knows that she will have to hurry if she is going to fill every sock and stocking and pillow case by Christmas morning, and hang toys and presents on all the Christmas trees in Australia.

However, Mirram is happy, for she knows that when all the boys and girls wake up, they will see all the presents Father Christmas sent them - the only thing they won't know is that they were put there by Mirram, the Christmas Kangaroo.


I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of Mirram and Joey.  I think this book weaves a very special kind of Christmas magic. 

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to visit and comment.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. This vintage Christmas card is especially for you, love Barbara.


Hearty Wishes for Christmas

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Vintage greetings cards

I hope you enjoy these original Christmas cards from my collection.



With Best Wishes for A Merry Christmas and a Bright New Year. Produced by Raphael Tuck & Sons c1930s. The bright colours and original cord tie on this card are very appealing. The verse, however, is rather fulsome.  Christmas! Why the very mention of it sets our hearts aglow, and recalls to mind many a happy hour spent in company with friends, both old, and new, and prompts the feeling of goodwill within us, wherefore we send forth our wishes for their Happiness and Welfare.





Pretty cut-out card illustrated by Louis Wain. I bought this a few years ago at a local auction it was still in the  original Raphael Tuck and Sons Christmas card box. At one time the box would have contained  12 cards - I wonder if they were all illustrated by Louis Wain? A very simple verse in this one, short, sweet and to the point... May jolly times be yours this Christmas.



I don’t suppose Father Christmas had too many opportunities to deliver presents by charabanc – but that’s just what he’s doing in this card from the 1920s.  The verse reads; may wishes true from far and wide make this a joyous Christmas-tide, and all I ask of you shall be this Christmas day, remember me.  Sent with love from Aunty Mabel to Winnie and Betty. 
Greetings kind and true. A bright and happy Christmas, a prosperous New Year, the greeting old, yet ever new, I send with right good cheer. Sent from Grandma to Betty. There is a lovely drawing inside of a cat on a sleigh being pulled along by a turkey!


This last one is probably from the 1950s or 60s.  I love the bright colours and the fact that it’s sent from our dog to your dog! The illustration inside is of the same little dog sitting in what appears to be a puddle! The greeting is Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year! Sadly unsigned – I was hoping for a paw print at the very least!

Do you collect vintage cards?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Even more added Value; Christmas things found in books

This week as a special Christmas treat two Christmassy ‘things’ found in books.

Firstly a pretty postcard with a sad poem;
I saw the little Christ Child lie beneath a Christmas tree… he was not looking at the toys but weeping bitterly:- Sometimes he turned his gentle face, and with a piteous sigh, he watched the animals and birds all passing slowly by….the countless animals and birds. All going, past to die: - horses and calves and silent sheep; ducks, turkeys, chickens too: and lambs that, pleading looked at him and made him weep anew. By Marygold. Message on back reads ‘All kindest Xmas & 1976 wishes’ 
Found in Malcolm Saville's Seaside Book
Secondly a letter sent on the 21st December 1949;
My dear George, I hope you will approve of this birthday present, which seems to me extraordinarily good both as regards letter-press and illustrations; but if you happen to have a copy already, I could, no doubt, make use of it. I hope you have by now thrown of the gastric trouble completely. With every good wish for Xmas and your New Year. Yours P.H.O
Found in Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale's Golden Book of Famous Women



George, if you are reading this I too hope you have thrown of the gastric problem!






The two books featured in this post are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Book of the week... Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose. 
And if you ever saw him, you would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
Then all the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history! 


The illustrations above are from the original 1939 book written by Robert L May, the words are from the well-known song of the same name by Johnny Marks.

The following illustrations are from the Little Golden Books edition published in 1976. The story was adapted from the original by Barbara Shook Hazen, and the pictures were provided by Richard Scarry. 





These are two of my favourite versions of Rudolph - do you have a favourite?

Friday, 16 December 2011

Added Value: Things found in books part eighteen

Spanish dancers; embroidered postcard




Sent to Miss Young, Bath, Somerset, England. 3 ptas stamp, sadly I can’t make out the date.  Possibly 1950s?  Message reads – You won’t believe it, its raining, they have not had any now for months, we arrive and hola it rains! From Bettie and George.   

Oh dear, it sounds as though poor old Bettie and George are having a rotten time!

There is a tiny pin-prick hole in the card so I can imagine someone hastily removing it from a pin board to use as an impromptu bookmark.  Was it you Miss Young?

Found tucked inside this copy of the Whiteoak Brothers by Mazo de la Roche 
The Whiteoak Brothers is now sold, thank you for your interest

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Book of the week - A home for Sam & Susie by Roz and Haz

Our book of the week this week is;

A home for Sam & Susie published by Raphael Tuck & Sons c1938 written by Roz and illustrated by Haz..
Samuel Squirrel finds a simply lovely site on which to build a new house for himself and his wife Susie. Susie is delighted and claps her paws and pulls Samuel's whiskers in a most loving way.  Then she stops… and she thinks… and she says, "Dear, it's a perfect place; but how will you build a house with no money?"
Samuel smiles and produces a large placard on which is printed...
To all my friends, please help to build our house, bring what you can on full-moon night, all welcome!
So begins this lovely story about friendship.
Mole sets to work digging the foundations; the water-rat stands by to give advice! He will be back later to fit the coconut-shell bath he found on a dump. (Note the hot and cold water pipes in the above illustration!)
Susie finds a lovely piece of bark for the front door, the woodpecker pecks' holes in three acorns to be used as chimneys and the spider spins silk for the windows. It's a little difficult putting it all together until the hedgehog offers some of his spines, after which the work goes merrily.
Sam and Susie throw a house warming party to say thank you to all their friends.
"Good luck to you, and your home, and all of us!" say Sam's friends, as they drink up their moon-dew and say good-bye.

This book is now sold thank you for your interest.



I've been unable to find out anything at all about Roz or Haz. Did they write/illustrator under any other names? What are Roz and Haz short for?  If you know I would love to hear from you. Or maybe you had this book as a child or know someone who did. 

Monday, 12 December 2011

All that glitters


I'm always surprised to find one of these vintage glitter books in original untouched condition. It’s not very clear from the photographs, but each of the figures is highlighted with glitter, as is the star on the front cover.


I loved 'glitter books' when I was a child and would assemble them in double quick time. How could any child not want to push-out and assemble a glittering Christmas crib or a Coronation coach?


I suppose the Coronation coach was purchased as a souvenir and not something to be played with – but a Christmas crib?


I am, however, very grateful to the children who left them in perfect condition for me to find and enjoy years later.     

The Christmas Story Glitter Book is now sold, thank you for your interest
Further details; The Coronation Coach here


Did you enjoy books like this when you were a child?

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The winner of The Girl’s Own Book is...


I am delighted to announce the winner of the ‘first out of the hat’ giveaway is ... Jean Vogler.

Congratulations Jean you are the new owner of  The Girl’s Own Book.

The winners name being drawn from Santa's hat...


Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.  I will be holding another giveaway in the New Year so don’t forget to enter  – someone has to win and it could be you!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A reminder and a recommendation

Don't forget to enter our giveaway for The girl's own book published in 1850 ending on the 11th December - Enter Here

If you have a little time to spare I recommend a visit to the very pretty  Be a child again run by Bob Brooks. Bob has included an area that feels rather like visiting a family home with several ‘rooms’ such as the library and the parlour. There are also links to other interesting blogs, book reviews, best family books and a link to Bob's forthcoming book Tales From the Glades of Ballymore.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Things found in books; No work today!

Handwritten note found in Tarka the Otter c1932;


Dear Madam,
I am sorry I cannot come for you today my Father is ill and I cannot leave him alone, but if I can help you I could do your laundry each week as I used to do for Captain Patchett.
Hoping I haven’t put you out.
I am yours truly,
Dorothy Denyer





I can imagine someone cycling to madam's house to deliver the letter, or one of Dorothy’s children (assuming she had children) running to put it through the door.


Now fast forward 80 years and imagine someone sending a similar message...

Today’s message would probably be sent by telephone, text or email. I wonder if it would be quite so polite or well written - what do you think? 




Tarka the otter is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Thanks for calling in!
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