Monday, 15 July 2013

Book of the week; Houses for very little people - vintage, cloth lined

Houses for very little people published by R.A. Publishing, undated but probably c1940s. I’ve been unable to trace another copy online or in any of my reference books, so I presume this must be quite scarce.

 

There are lots of stories about little people, Gulliver’s travels by Jonathan Swift, the Borrowers by Mary Norton, the Littles by John Peterson, the wee free men by Terry Pratchett and Tom Thumb being a few that spring to mind. But what about books about houses for very little people?  I think this may be the first of its kind!



Measuring just 4 x 4.5 inches, with 12 pages and staple binding. The story begins…Jack and Teddy and Gollywog live together in – a house – it is built of bricks with a roof of tiles. 

Mr. Bunny Rabbit’s house is called a – hutch - it is built of wood and wirework. 

Spot, Jack’s dog lives in a – Kennel - built of wood with a carpet of straw. 

Lots of other houses are described including those for Mrs. Pussy Cat, Sammy Sparrow, Mr. Fog and Old Mrs. Owl. Considering the fragile nature of this book it’s survived in remarkable condition. There is a little rusting around the staples and one or two brown spot, but it's otherwise unscathed. I guess the fact that its cloth lined has helped, but even so, it’s pretty remarkable.

The story ends with a question…

Our house, like the one in the story is built of bricks with a tiled roof. We moved here four years ago and like it very much but will probably downsize before too long. We enjoy living in the country, with fields close by, but as we get older shops and amenities will probably become more important. We often talk about moving to Australia to be closer to our son and family but there are lots of things to consider. We have family and friends here to think about and there is always the possibility that our Australian family might move to England one day. 
Decisions, decisions!


Several of our friends have found their ‘forever’ homes, but I don’t think we are in that position just yet. How about you – is your home forever?

House for very little people; further details here

38 comments:

  1. Houses for Little People looks very like a book that I had when I was a child - I wonder if it is the same one. Maybe my Mum has a copy hidden away somewhere!

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    1. Hello Catherine, it would be lovely if it was, I've been unable to find another copy anywhere. Please let me know if it is the same. Barbara.

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  2. What an amazing little book, Barbara - it made me want to be a child again! When we were first married my husband said he would buy me a cottage with a stream at the back of the garden, but we never quite made that, though we did live in the country for a time. I am happy with our 'bungalow' home now as it has a bathroom downstairs and well as up(great for when the family come) and we love the garden. Really fascinating post, as always.
    Ps - did I tell you about the 1950's Brer Rabbit book that found I managed to find a copy of on line?

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    1. Hi Marilyn, it is a special little book. Living near a stream was always a dream of mine but with all the flooding in recent years, I’m quite glad it remains a dream. This time last year our garden was under water, and we are miles from the nearest river!
      You must tell me more about the Brer Rabbit book – did you find it on eBay or maybe Etsy? The Internet is a wonderful place to find long lost treasures.

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  3. Such a lovely little book, do you know who illustrated it?
    I've never come across one of these either. But did sell a
    similar picture book a while back with illustrations by
    Cicely Steed..... https://www.etsy.com/uk/transaction/116926706?

    It saddenes me that some illustrators weren't credited for their work.

    My daughter and I live in a cottage that we've been
    renting from my brother for 14 years.
    I often dream of moving abroad, but then I consider
    the weather. I couldn't live somewhere that's hot
    all the time or cold all the time. I think we're
    lucky in the UK to have so many weather changes
    and unpredictable seasons.

    I know many would disagree though : )

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    1. There is no author or illustrator name given, but it is certainly similar to your book so maybe it is Cicely Steed. I love the boat broach you blogged about on Sunday but can’t see it in your shop. I’m sure it would have sold very quickly as its gorgeous.

      Our son lives in Adelaide and there are some lovely beaches and other places in the suburbs that would be nice to live at, but I’m a real country girl at heart. It’s such a difficult choice. We have three grandchildren in Australia and one in the UK so that alone is enough to make us keep dithering! The ideal thing would be a summer home in both places, but until we win the lottery it’s not likely to happen!

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  4. What a darling post.....about HOME, for both man and beast! First of all, I've had this idea in my head to illustrate a little book on animal homes. And of course, home sweet home for humans is always a topic in both writing and photographs that is always of great interest!!! OH BARBARA! Your home is stunning! I enjoy seeing the "newer" homes in England and how there is an effort to keep up with the traditional style of the English home. Brick and tile roofs are a must and I can only imagine how charming it is inside.

    My husband and I have decided that our little home is our "forever" home while we are on this earth. It's just easier. To move again for a FOURTH TIME (school and jobs have caused us to move so much) would be too exhausting at this point!

    Enjoy your lovely home on this beautiful day in July, and thank you so much for visiting me!! Anita

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    1. Dear Anita thank you for saying such nice things about our home. It is a great place to live, and we have the most wonderful neighbours. The problem is we both have “itchy feet” and although we keep promising ourselves each move is the last one it never is! We tend to live somewhere for 4 or 5 years, and then we are up and off again.
      I envy you your forever home, maybe one of these days we will feel the same.
      Have you started writing/illustrating your book? You are such a talented lady, I just know it will be wonderful. Barbara xx

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    1. Hello there, thanks for calling in and leaving me a :)

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  6. As you can imagine I love that little book, these "old boys", they look so serious and obedient...lovely!
    My house is also built of bricks with a tiled roof, I have been living here the last sixteen years. I used to dream of (or with?) an older house, with vintage and antique details in its construction but now I'm very comfortable here, I built the pool, my new-old kitchen...I'm happy with it now. But "forever" mmm, who knows?
    Besos!

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    1. Hello Silvine, it sounds as though you've done a lot of work on your house so maybe it will become your forever home. I always admire your kitchen when you put pictures of it on your blog, and I'm sure the rest of your house is just as nice. Barbara.

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  7. That really is too cute. I love that they give the homes of each animal! We are not in our forever home either. Probably have to move in a year or so...
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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    1. Hello Jamie, I'm so glad you like the book. I think we will probably do the same. I've no idea where that move will be to yet, but I do feel it will happen in the next couple of years.

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  8. I have never seen the Houses for Little People book before- but what a find. Amazing to come across a book so scarce. :)

    My house is not our forever house. We have lived in it for ten years and we really love our house (it is 100 years old and we are the 3rd set of people to live in the house). Still, we would both love to live in a different location at some point (closer to the water, closer to my husband's work, or more distance between neighbors etc.). But for now our house is a nice home. :)

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    1. Hello Stephanie, your house sounds lovely. We've never lived in an old house and thinks it's probably too late now. We will be looking for something low maintenance next time we move.
      It's amazing to think such a fragile book has survived for so long, someone must have loved it. Thanks for calling in.


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  9. What a lovely, brightly illustrated little book.
    My Mr lived in Oz and would move back tomorrow but friends and family ties keep me here. If only it was a little closer ... !

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    1. Thank you Vintage Jane.
      The distance is the biggest problem of all - well that and the cost of travel. I sometimes wish I could say, "beam me up, Scotty" and be in Adelaide - just like that!

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  10. Such a sweet book. We have lived in this house for quite a while. I suppose at some point we will move to a home with fewer stairs. But as long as our knees and hips hold out, we're staying put. (I hate moving!)

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    1. Hello Gayle, knees and hips are wonderful things just so long as they keep working! But it’s not so good when you have to go up and down stairs on your bottom (as my mother in law does). Moving is a lot of hassle and hard work, but I always like the excitement of new places.

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  11. A wonderful post :) I remember Gollywogs... On the rare occassion I see them these days, they tend to be called Gollys.

    I currently live in a bungalow... It's definitely not my forever house! However, I would have considered my previous house my forever house... I didn't want to move!

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    1. Hello Nikki-ann, Gollywog is very non pc now but was perfectly acceptable when I was a little girl. I had a gollywog and loved it every bit as much as my doll and my teddy. I don’t know that Golly is any more acceptable, but it does get used more now. Thanks for calling in, Barbara.

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  12. What a cute little book Barbara - its just lovely! I've moved 3 times in the last 3 years! I could quite happily have lived in the last house forever but what can you do? Where we are now is also very pretty so hopefully we will stay a while. I always wanted to live in a house like the pictures in my storybooks - its only as I've gotten older that my surroundings have mirrored that world!

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    1. Hello Sharon, it’s hard when a move is forced on you. Your love for your last home simply shone through your blog posts. It was a beautiful house but so is your new one, and I’m very envious of your garden and surroundings. They do say if you picture yourself in a place or situation often enough that is where you will end up, so it was only right that those storybook places should come to life for you.

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  13. I would just love to return to Birmingham. My beloved agrees, on the condition that it's that day after she's buried or we've divorced. So I suppose the matter's settled, then.

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    1. Whenever my mum didn’t want to do something she would say “over my dead body” I get the feeling your beloved is giving you the same message. :-)
      Thanks for the Linkedin endorsements - I'm not sure I'm worthy of them, but I'm grateful all the same.

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  14. We downsized a few years ago when we moved into our lovley garden apartment. But we are thinking of making a change, maybe Spain. Who knows. There is always something exciting around the corner. Your house looks wonderful and the books are adorable.

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    1. Hello Darlene, your 'garden apartment' certainly sounds nice; I think I would like to live there. Lots of people from the UK have apartments in Spain, but they tend to go for the winter months and return to the UK for the summer. I would like to do that but with an apartment in Australia and another in the UK.
      Thank you for your kind words about our house and the books. Barbara.

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    2. My British in-laws moved to Spain 10 years ago but they moved permanently and go back to the UK for the occassional visit. They are very happy. An apartment in Australia would be great and you could see those darling grandchildren on a regular basis.

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    3. You've just described my dream, maybe it will come true one day.

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  15. Such cute books. As for a forever home, I certainly haven't found mine yet. Your home is lovely though.

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  16. ~ Dear Barbara...
    You have set me thinking now...
    We have lived her for 17 years and brought our children up here, and I love this house....It is us and has had lots of TLC put into it...But I do yearn to move home, to a cottage with wild roses around the door! hehe! A one day home maybe....LOVE the charming books here on display as always, most especially the cotton ones! How delightful!Hugs Maria x

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    1. Hello Maria, you have just described my perfect home. Cottages and roses always do it for me!! Thank you for the hugs xxx

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  17. Amazing book ,I want to be child again :)

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    1. Hello Aunty Mary, I'm lucky as I get to play at being a child every day! Thanks for calling in.

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  18. Your blogs feeds my pleasure for children's books, thank you, great post.
    Oh yes? I saw on Sharon's blog you are a wee bit blue, that colour is not for you, I see bubbling pinks and purples too, creating smiles just for you. be well. agman.

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    1. Thank you Agman, lovely blogging folks like you certainly help colour my world!

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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