Monday, 16 January 2012

Cover Art; A selection of children's annuals; 1883 to 1983

This week part one; from 1883 to 1953. Next week part two; from 1950 to 1983







Peter Parley's Annual 1883 eight 'odd dog tales’ including His Majesty’s dog, the engine-driver’s dog and nobody’s dog. Louis Wain's Annual 1901 black and white cat illustrations by Louis Wain together with lots of cat stories including not about cats by Harold Tremayne and the wail of a cat by Frank T Bullen. Puck Annual 1923 with colour plates and black/white illustrations by S J Cash, Warwick Reynolds and others. Four Robin Hood stories, two school stories, picture stories and puzzles. The Children's Companion Annual 1923 interesting mix of stories and articles including Scout Island by Ethel Talbot, running the rapids by W. A. Buchanan and the school burglar by Mary Shrewsbury. 




Blackie's Girls Annual 1929 huge selection of stories and poems with numerous authors and illustrators. One illustrator of note is Florence Harrison. Bobby Bear's Annual 1937 the cave in the cliff by Joan Lumley and the giant's companion by Nellie Finn are just two of the stories in this super annual. Illustrations by Joyce Plumstead, Gordon Robinson and Helen Jacobs. Sunbeam Annual 1939 numerous stories including the wizard who forgot by Muriel Jenkins and not wanted in the village by Primrose Cumming, also colour and black/white picture strips. Rainbow Annual 1942 first story - Porky's hamper, other stories include - the old sedan chair, Big Chief Greedy, the two pickles, aboard the Black Scuttle and Prince Ping-Pong-Poo. 




Mickey Mouse Annual 1944 lots of fun with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto Daily Mail Annual 1951 lots of stories including the pantomime goose by Noel Streatfeild, Flapdoodle and Bunkum by Nancy Catford, Light-fingers by Francis Durbridge, lost stolen or strayed illustrated by Trog and the little girl who cried by Enid Blyton. Lawson Wood's Annual 1952 first story - Mrs. Tabby's trip, other stories include - Old Salt Gran'pop, poor Pelly Pelican, the island mystery and Gran'pop at Christmas. Playbox Annual 1953 stories and picture strips including Minstrel Boys, Robin Hood, the bruin Boys, Specs and Spots and Darkie Duckling.

One hundred years of cover art starting with the delightful Peter Parley annual published in 1883 and ending with the Battle annual published in 1983 (see next weeks post). The covers themselves say much about the changing nature of childhood; the children’s companion published in 1923 portrays two children at the beach dressed in their Sunday best, contrast that with the Secret Seven annual published in 1980 (see next weeks post) were the children are dressed in comfy jeans and T-shirts. Less than 60 years separate these two publications but they are worlds apart.

Did you read annuals as a child? Do you recognise any of these from your childhood? Was there a particular book that started you reading? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Update July 2016: All the books featured are now sold. March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I am still happily blogging here at March of Time Books. Your visits are always appreciated.

16 comments:

  1. I love all of these! Wonderful post Barbara.

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  2. barbaraannefisher16 January 2012 at 19:18

    Thanks Megan, glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. Just fabulous Barbara! I'd love to page through all of them. I can't wait for next week which is more my era. I did have a Children's Annual - not the one you have here but the look of it was very much the same. I think it belonged to my mom's brother and was passed down to me. Fantastic covers.

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  4. The art work may change over the decades to match the change in our youthful culture, but each generation has produced such lovely and inviting covers. I'm trying to remember what monthlies I might have read, but right now that detail is missing from the brain cells. Keep the covers coming and maybe they'll jiggle something inside my head. I love to see these.

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  5. I don't think I've heard of annuals. How fascinating. A hundred years of book covers. I loved this piece.

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  6. barbaraannefisher17 January 2012 at 15:26

    Glad you like them Sharon. I really enjoy any kind of cover art, the brighter the better! I hope you recognise some of next weeks

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  7. barbaraannefisher17 January 2012 at 15:28

    Glad you are enjoying them. More next week, I hope something rings a bell (or jiggles something inside your head!)

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  8. barbaraannefisher17 January 2012 at 15:46

    Hello Donna, glad you enjoyed the post. Annuals have become a bit of a tradition in the UK, with large numbers being published shortly before the end of each year aimed at the Christmas market. They usually contain a collection of short stories, poems and puzzles; although in recent years many have been dedicated to sport, TV programs, celebrities and that type of thing

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  9. Love the art work on the annuals!

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  10. barbaraannefisher18 January 2012 at 10:57

    Thank you, I really appreciate your taking the time to comment.

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  11. I haven't read these, Barbara, but if I were to choose few to read, I'd pick Peter Parley's, Louis Wain's, Blackie's Girls' and Daily Mail's. I'm attracted to their covers!

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  12. I have never read an annual- that I can remember. They look beautiful and I bet they are a fun read. Peter Parley's Annual looks fantastic! I would also like to read The Blackie's Girls' Annual. What a fantastic post!

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  13. barbaraannefisher20 January 2012 at 13:08

    You chose the same one's as me!

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  14. barbaraannefisher20 January 2012 at 13:09

    Thank you Jess.

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  15. I don't recall having any of my own annuals, but I do remember reading my Mum's old Rupert Bear annuals.

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  16. barbaraannefisher21 January 2012 at 14:53

    Hi Nikki-ann I love Rupert Bear annuals. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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