Friday, 17 May 2013

News; Rupert Bear, Marten Toonder and Enid Blyton

Calling all Rupert Bear fans; do you happen to have a spare £20,000 to spend? If so you might like to bid on this legendary rarity… only a dozen or so copies are believed to exist.

Prior to 1973, the annuals depicted a brown faced Rupert as drawn by Alfred Bestall. In 1973 after printing only a few of the 'brown faced' covers the publishers suddenly decided to change the cover to show Rupert with a white face. This change was made without the prior knowledge of the illustrator.

Reports suggest the copy now up for auction was given to a collector of Rupert books by Alfred Bestal himself.After recounting the story of how the white-faced cover came about and how he had refused ever to supply the publishers with artwork again, Bestall got this copy down from a shelf and signed it for his guest, commenting as he did, that he had signed no other copy.

This copy is coming up for sale on the 30th May, 2013 with an estimate of £18,000 - £22,000.



Regular readers of my blog may remember a post from November 2011 (here) where I mentioned spending years trying to find a copy of the Jack and Jill all colour gift book. It’s a lovely book with stories about Tom Puss by Marten Toonder, Spot the dog by Enid Blyton and a Dandino the dream man story by Peggy Fulton. There are also several poems about Little Boy Joe by Barbara C. Freeman.  

Since writing the previous post I’ve received lots of emails from customers asking me to find them a copy. Last week, I finally found one! That’s how scarce it is!  Sadly, as is often the case with this particular book the spine is defective; in fact, the spine covering is completely missing. Because of the damage and because I’ve had so many requests, I’ve decided the fairest option is to list it on eBay with a starting price of £10 (the amount I paid for it), you can view the listing here  
Update: The above mentioned Jack and Jill all colour gift book sold on eBay in May 2013 for £57.01. 



Seven Stories the national centre for children's books in Newcastle Upon Tyne is holding a Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feast Exhibition showcasing the many adventures of Enid Blyton. Seven Stories is the custodian of a nationally important archive of children’s literature, illustrations and manuscripts.The exhibition is on until February 2014, tickets cost £10 per person and booking is essential.



Little Boy Joe from the Jack and Jill All Colour Gift Book

There came an old woman to live in the wood, near Timothy, Thomas and Little Boy Joe.
She'd a long-handled broom and an angry black cat, "and people" said Thomas, "who only have that are certainly up to no good... Oh no! I think we've a witch in the wood!"

"Fiddlesticks!" Joe said, "It's all a mistake. Fiddlesticks!" Joe said, "I'll ask her to tea.
If she's only a broom and an angry black cat she must be pretty lonely - but I'll see to that, I'll take her an apple and cake, Oh yes! You've certainly made a mistake."

Joe knocked at the door with a one, two and three, and there stood the old woman, wrinkled and grey.
And there stood the cat, wild and black as the night, but little Joe bowed, very stiff and polite, and said, "will you come out to tea? Please do!" So they sat in the wood and had tea.

"Now I'll tell you a story," the old woman said. "Such a kind-hearted pigling deserves a reward."
So she told them a tale while the little cat purred on her knee and Joe listened with never a word. Till the summer stars winked overhead, and then, "May I bring all the others?" Joe said.

But the old woman answered "Suppose it should rain" Or to-morrow a thunder cloud break on the wood?
I've a roof and a cat, but I haven't a chain, or a tea-pot or table - my cottage is bare" But Joe said, "I'll come back again, Oh yes! We'll all come prepared for the rain."

They brought her a table, a chair and a mat, a pair of blue curtains, a rug for the floor. They brought her a stool and a plate for the cat, and a shiny brass knocker to hand on the door. "And the rain didn't rain, and the snow didn't snow, but we had a fine story," said Little Boy Joe. Barbara C. Freeman

Thanks for your visit!

24 comments:

  1. I love that kind little boy , such a fine story ;)

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    1. Hello Aunt Mary, Little Boy Joe is adorable, there are a couple of other poems about him in the book. Thanks for calling in. Barbara.

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  2. Oh my goodness, how nice to nice mention of Seven Stories. About a 15 minute drive from me, I'm ashamed to say I've yet to visit.

    As for a spare £20,000 - just let me check down the back of the settee. Seriously thought, my sister has loved Rupert since she was a girl and would love this.

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    1. Hi Tracy, We’ve only visited once it was a long trek for us but well worth it. I’m sure you would enjoy a visit.

      I’ve already tried looking down the back of the sofa, under the mattress and in my bank account – all without success!

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  3. Good morning Barbara! There is always happiness at your blog with the numerous vintage books that you unearth for me to remember! I REMEMBER RUPERT!!!!!! And thank you for wandering by our party today! It lasts a week and if you feel so inclined to visit France, just come on my and click. HAPPY DAY! Anita

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    1. Hello Dear Anita! If I can share even a tiny bit of happiness, my work is done! There are so many good things to enjoy on your blog this week; I’m gradually working my way through the links. Thank you for bringing it all together.

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  4. What a cute word-pigling. Barbara, I always love this trip into your world of adorable-ness.

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    1. Barbara C Freeman wrote the little boy Joe poems, she also illustrated them. I fell in love with the illustrations first and then the words. There is something very endearing about them.
      Beatrix Potter also used the word pigling in her tale of Pigling Bland, but you don't see it very often.

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  5. Very interesting post. I see this Rupert won't come home this time...haha.
    Lucky you finding that book you wanted so much, those are special moments of great satisfaction, aren't they?
    Besos!

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    1. Hello Silvina, Well, he’s not coming home with me and that’s for sure! But someone will snap him up and probably pay a lot more than £20,000 for him. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. I'll admit, I have become a fan of Rupert, but, um, well, I, er, think I'll skip this bidding.

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    1. Hi Donna, absolutely! I like Rupert too, but I don’t like him enough to spend £20,000!

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  7. I'm so lucky, lucky as can be, "Rupert" is my grand-sons name and he's so sweet, How do you like those apples?
    I love visiting your site and the comments, I'm like a wombat on the ground rolling and rolling around and around with a smile for all to see, well! that's just crazy me.
    Be well Agman

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    1. Dear Agman, thank you for your sweet comment. I seem to remember reading about Rupert on your blog, but must call back and go through the posts again. The picture of you as a wombat rolling around made me smile, thank you!

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  8. WOW! Dear Rupert has held his own in pricing here! ~ Rupert reminds me of happy days from my past and that of my children too! always lovely to visit you, Barbara....~ with kindest thoughts...Maria x

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    1. Dear Maria, I always look forward to your visits. Thank you for your lovely comment. Barbara x

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  9. When you find such books, do you ever just want to keep them for yourself? :)

    I love Rupert... and I only knew of him because Mum has several of the annuals. I've even got a puppet here somewhere.

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    1. Hi Nikki-ann all the time! I’m lucky because I have a copy of the Marten Toonder book, that’s why I can offer this one for sale on eBay.
      My brother had lots of Rupert annuals, so my sister and I read them and fell in love with Rupert!

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  10. All so interesting! :)

    Barbara, I wrote about you on our Blog today :)

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    1. Thank you Sandy, what a lovely tribute! I’m glad I could help you find your ‘long lost books’ and wish you lots of joy with them.

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  11. The Rupert book sounds delightful, but it is out of my price range. :)

    How wonderful that you found a copy of the coloring book. I can imagine many treasures like it are hard to find in good condition (especially coloring books).

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and information. :)

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    1. Hi Stephanie, me too – but I’m sure there will be lots of people keen to bid. I’m always happy to share, thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  12. Let me just check the sofa cushions! Darn, only had £10,000! ha! ;-)
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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    1. £10,000's not bad - perhaps if you look under the bed you will find the rest! :)

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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