Forgotten Children’s Classics


Having explored all the children’s classics I haven’t read, I thought I’d delve into those old kids books long ago buried, most for very good reason. The ‘classics’ of my post title, is tongue in cheek, although there must be some books I have hanging around because of  illustrations that are familiar to readers. Raise your hands if you’ve ever heard of : The Cuckoo Clock, The Enchanted Castle, The Cruise of the Little Dipper and other Fairy Tales, Granny’s Wonderful Chair, Princess Goldenhair and the Wonderful Flower, The Sleepy Song Book, Rag Doll Jane, Jackanapes, or  the book I give the prize for the most bizarre illustrations

Gnomes from Milo Winter's hand for Princess Goldenhair
Gnomes from Milo Winter’s hand for Princess Goldenhair

and odd story, Come Unto These Yellow Sands. A few of the titles I began with high hopes, the stories looked intriguing, the illustrations thrilling, the chapters short. I fell asleep reading most–although The Sleepy Song Book can’t really count, obviously. What makes these books so classless? They ramble. Around. A lot. Granny’s Wonderful Chair essentially retells typical fairy tales and Mother Goose, but in a dull, only line drawings, way. I endured Princess Goldenhair through many chapters–something about having to travel great distances for something blah blah and gnomes are involved–so is a witch that hangs weird stuff on her wall. There’s a King Otto (I knew him!), a selfish prince trying to kill a little fawn, and the princess of the golden type hair. Milo Winter illustrated the book so my thoughts were it had to be half decent–why else would he do it?

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“Salvaging” Prints From Books

Janet Laura Scott book illustration hopefully still intact in a book somewhere.

Lately, on etsy I’ve noticed a ridiculous amount of sellers of vintage materials claiming they are ‘salvaging” the beautiful plates from children’s and illustrated books and magazines. And I know that many pieces are in terrible condition, books falling apart, missing pages, written on, cracked boards, colored in black and white line drawings, scissored magazine pages . . .  There is definitely a certain percentage of books out there that can be torn asunder and sold for x amount of dollars. But the shear volume of these plates lead me to the conclusion that books etc., on the borderline or in perfectly fine condition, are being pulled apart just for the plates within. And that is an unacceptable practice. At least for me.

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A Self Educated Lover Of Illustrated Children’s Books

My first taste of Golden Age Illustrators of children’s books, which is the period of the late 1800’s until a bit after World War I, was on a trip to England. My theatre class took the May term and traveled to London.  I had, and have a habit of buying art postcards from museums, tourist … Read more

Appreciating All Of Jack's Houses–Comparing Illustrators

Anne Anderson’s House That Jack Built is worlds apart from a Victorian’s book plate, or Art Deco vision, or a Golden Book’s mid century idea of what the perfect abode would look like in Mother Goose Land. Because of these differences it’s like a birthday, or holiday whenever a collector finds a new version of … Read more

My Lifelong Love Of Mother Goose

Sometimes  subjects and ideas for articles are slim,  and I struggle to come up with something meaningful, challenging, and pithy. Well, this is not a pithy one. It’s more of a dreamy reminiscence. About one book that trumps all others in my life. Mother Goose rhymes, nursery rhymes, captured me as a little tyke, and … Read more

When Is It OK To Remove Illustration Plates From Books?

If it were up to me, probably never. No, that’s not true, I’ve taken some Anne Anderson Mother Goose illustrations and framed them. The book was missing half of the other plates, and  already damaged. So, if the book is damaged, is it OK to remove plates? And how damaged is damaged enough? And once … Read more

Touchy Feely Books

No, I don’t mean self help titles or sob stories, but how a book feels in your hands while reading it. ABE books again came up with an interesting topic, tactile reading.I know I send links to ABE a lot, but they have fantastic collections and ideas that are unusal in the book world. So, … Read more

Wonderful Online/Brick and Mortar Antique Bookshops

    I say bookshops, because although they have a website stating Stella and Rose’s Books, Stella is at one location, and Rose another. Both stores are open 7 days a week, and look to be at lovely locations within the British Isles, Tintern  and  Hay-on-Wye. I bought several of my sought after versions of … Read more