Thursday, 23 May 2013

On Parade; Our Kiddies Gift Books

During the 1940s and 1950s several publishers, notably Renwick of Otley and Juvenile productions issued these pretty story books for children. Often printed on poor-quality paper, they were none the less lavishly illustrated by notable artists of the day. The front covers are a joy! Healthy-looking children and dressed animals along with large quantities of red ink seem to be the order of the day!

People often say; don’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case, the opposite is true. Do judge a book by its cover; these are beautiful inside and out!

Parade published by Renwick of Otley; A collection of stories and poems. 

Our Kiddies Gift Book Published by Renwick of Otley. Several stories including the selfish elf by Arthur Groom. Four beautiful colour plates by Rene Cloke. 

Going to it Also published by Renwick of Otley. Stories and poems. 

Pat-A-Cake Nursery Rhymes illustrated by Rene Cloke. Published by Juvenile Productions in 1955. 

Our Girls Yarns.  No publishing details given but according to COPAC it was published in 1949 by Renwick of Otley. 

Fun For Little Folk. Published by - you guessed it - Renwick of Ottley c1940s. Stories and Poems.


Whopper ABC and Play Book. Published by the Children's press in 1950. Stories, picture strips, games to play, dot-to-dots and lots more. Two-tone illustrations throughout by Rene Cloke, Molly B Thomson, Racey Helps and others.  

Hand in Hand to Fairyland published by Juvenile Production. A selection of fairy stories, including Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Aladdin and the three bears. The book is illustrated by Rene Cloke, but I don’t think she did the cover art. At a guess, I would say it’s by A. E. Kennedy, but that is just a guess. 

Dick Whittington and Other Stories. Published by Sandle Brothers and Ward Lock in 1965 with illustrations by Rene Cloke.


I hope you've enjoyed this quick trip down memory lane.

Update September 2015: All the books featured here are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Update July 2016: 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.


21 comments:

  1. Castles Crowns and Cottages

    Good morning Barbara dear! How about a cup of tea with me, as we both peruse these enchanting memories? You know, the lovely illustrations of these healthy, happy little folk and their well-clad animal counterparts is what makes being a child of all ages so fun. FANTASY and FUN keeps the blood pumping through our creative recesses and even though today's REALITIES and even vulgarities of life illustrate more of contemporary childrens' literature market, there is always room for the old ideal, the dream of perfection. These are so happy, and so should one leave as they close the book on a childrens' book: HAPPY. Be well! Anita

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    1. A cup of tea would be delightful – should I bring petit fours or would chocolate biscuits do? Don’t these books look scrumptious? Maybe we should make do with just tea?
      I love to escape into childhood dreams, and these books make it oh so easy to do! Thank you for your visit and your sweet comment dear Anita!

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  2. hello there Barbara! Are you too being inundated with rain? As much as we need it, we also need some sunshine! I think TEA with chocolate biskies will do JUST FINE, with a moment with a dear friend to flip through the pages of a sweet little book. Aren't these just divine????

    Oh how I love your blog. Thank you for bringing all the lovely dreams to life for us who love children and their world that unfortunately, doesn't last long, but WE can extend the life through our celebration of these works of art.....over TEA, of course! CHEERS! Anita

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    1. Rain and cold winds, the garden is enjoying the rain but not the cold. My poor Dahlia’s are not sure what they should be doing…I keep putting them out when the sun shines and grabbing them back in again when the wind blows! It’s keeping me fit if nothing else.
      You have no idea how I enjoy sharing these lovely books with others. It's a revelation to find so many like-minded people. Now for another cup of tea and a few more pages! One lump or two? xxx

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  3. How wonderful, there really is something so special about these covers. They just don't make them like this any more which I think is so sad.

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    1. Hello Tracy, you are absolutely right - they just don't make them like this any more...but I wish they did.

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  4. Dear Barbara,
    Really! You are right, in this case we should judge these books by their covers. Wow! They are just awesome and attractive!!
    Great post. :)

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    1. Thank you Aunt Mary, they are pretty special.

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  5. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. These covers are so beautiful and remind me of going to my grandparents' houses. They had all the books from when my parents were growing up and the covers looked very similar to these! Pat-A-Cake Nursery Rhymes looks so familiar- but I am sure they just had a book like it. So fun to see the styles from the 40s and 50s. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed them Stephanie. They hold lots of memories for me too.

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  6. Hello Barbara, such lovely illustrations! The children of Parade remembered me the ones by Mabel Lucie Attwell, yes, healthy looking! and the ones playing with letters...wonderful!

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    1. Hello Silvina, they are very similar to Mabel Lucie Attwell…probably because of their chubby cheeks! Thanks for calling in and leaving a comment.

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  7. beautiful illustrations on those covers :)

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    1. Yep, I think so too! Thanks for stopping by Joleene.

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  8. Oh they are darling! I really love the extra rosy cheeks too! ;-)
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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    1. Hi Jamie, you just don't see rosy cheeks like those any more! Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. These are all precious, but my favorite by far has to be "Hand in Hand to Fairyland"!!

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    1. Hi Diane, Isn’t it just the sweetest thing? I love it too.

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  10. These are all precious, but my favorite by far has to be "Hand in Hand to Fairyland"!!

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  11. These are absolutely adorable. I love the illustrations.

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  12. I thought they would appeal to you Donna. They are certainly very pretty.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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