Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Uncle Oojah - Elephant King of Oojahland

Just looking at these fantastic books brings a smile to my face. Uncle Oojah dressed as a gypsy complete with earrings and headscarf is too wonderful for words!

If you've not come across Uncle Oojah before it might be helpful to know something about him. Flip-Flap (later known as Uncle Oojah or The Great Oojah) is a magical elephant who lives in a strange animal country called Oojahland. Don, or the Little Oojah, is Flip-Flap's greatest friend and travelling companion. Snooker, the Kitten-cat, lives with the Great Oojah and looks after his memory!


Uncle Oojah began life as a comic strip character in the Daily Sketch Newspaper in 1919. By the early 1920s, the newspaper was issuing a four-page supplement called 'The Oojah Paper' which later became 'The Oojah Sketch'. By 1922, Oojah was staring in his own annuals. The stories were written by Flo Lancaster and illustrated by Thomas Maybank and later by H. M. Talintyre.  
Two of the beautiful illustrations in The story of Flip-Flap's Little Mansion


             The Oojah annual 1922            The Oojah Annual 1923           Oojah Annual 1924 (sold)

            The Oojah Annual 1925        The Oojah Annual c1936 (sold)         The Oojah Annual 1937

           The Oojah Annual 1938           The Oojah Annual 1939 (sold)     The Oojah Annual 1940 (sold)

      Uncle Oojah's Big Annual 1930(sold) Big Annual 1934(sold) Uncle Oojah's Big Annual 1929(sold)

          Oojah House 1922 (sold)              The Oojah Annual 1950           Fancy Dress Party 1940 

These little known annuals are an absolute joy and are bound to become more sought after. Martin Hammer writing in The Hamer Comic Guide states,  "Thomas Maybank’s wonderful illustrations of Flo Lancaster’s Great Oojah are surely undervalued today. I say buy them when you see them!"  I for one could not agree more!

Water, water, everywhere;

Thank you to everyone for asking about the flooding in Somerset. We are doing fine, but it’s not so good for many of our neighbours. 

We’ve been cheering this family on as they attempt to waterproof their property,


but with more and more rain and high winds it looks as though they are fighting a losing battle.


We only have to look at pictures like this to realise how very lucky we are. Driving might be more difficult than usual, trains may not be running, and yes it's still raining, but we are warm and dry. I only wish the same could be said for everyone.

I hope you are all warm and dry in your respective corners of the world, thank you so much for calling in. xx

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.

36 comments:

  1. Oh how sweet, Uncle Oojah looks such a fun character.
    Awful about this flooding, we have been blessed here in the north east. My heart goes out to those affected.

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    1. Hello Tracey, Uncle Oojah really is a sweaty pie as are you for calling in!
      I’m really happy to know that some parts of the country are escaping the problems. Long may it remain so.

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  2. Uncle Oojah is before even my time. Difficult to believe, I know. Looks great, though.
    I'm glad you're safe from the water. It looks terrible down there.

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    1. I do believe you Roger because even I don’t remember him! I rather wish I did because the books are so lovely.
      Thanks for your kind comment, we are some of the lucky ones.

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  3. Simply loved this post..:-) The covers are quite attractive,even for us :P

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    1. Hello, I’m so glad you liked them. Your comment means a great deal, thank you.

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  4. Uncle Oojah is new to me, but the books look so sweet and fun. Thanks for the introduction!

    Glad you are warm and dry- but I hope the rain stops for a bit so that people can get things under control. My thoughts and good wishes go out to everyone and hope they can start drying out soon!

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    1. Hello Stephanie,
      I had a feeling Uncle Oojah might not be that well known but the books are so gorgeous I just had to share them.
      I also wish the rain would stop. People have already lost so much they now need time to regroup and sort things out.
      Thanks for calling in.

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  5. Haven't heard of Uncle Oojah. The illustrations are delightful!

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    1. Hi there, I agree about the illustrations. They are pure joy! Thanks for your comment.

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  6. It is always so devestating to see what rain can do to people's lives. I hope they don't loose this battle with Mother Nature (she sure is mad a humans this year, considering the weather in England and the US, and the too warm weather for the olympics.

    Thanks for sharing these happy looking books with all of us. They look like a lot of fun.

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    1. Hi Alex, I hoped happy books would be an antidote to all the terrible weather. Rain, high winds, extreme cold or extreme heat is the order of the day at the moment. Let’s hope Mother Natures mood changes soon!

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  7. Oh, I really want to visit Oojahland!
    What gorgeously illustrated treasures you have, I'm so envious, as always.

    I really feel for all the flood victims, they're in our thoughts and prayers.
    Glad to hear your safe and dry, hopefully the rain will stop soon, but I'm told we have months of this yet to come.

    Some crazy storms hit Wales last night and there's plenty of damage repair going on today, but it's nothing compared to the people whose homes are being destroyed.

    Have a warm and cosy weekend x

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    1. Now that would be something special! Oojahland tours in the company of the Great Oojah!
      We saw the pictures from Wales it looked terrible. Our forecast is for heavier rain today but improving after that so let’s hope it will be the same for everyone.
      I don’t intend to go far over the weekend. I’ve just started reading the storyteller by Jodi Picoult and am finding it hard to put down. That and a little light housework will be enough to keep my busy!
      I hope you enjoy Valentine's day and the weekend. Thanks for your comment. xx

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  8. Dear Barbara..Like Yvonne above I'd like to take a vacation in Oojahland...Sounds just the place.to be and the annuals look like they would capture any little ones imagination.. ...Soo very pleased to hear you are safe, warm and most of all dry..My heart goes out to those affected so badly by the dreadful rainfall... You're pictures say it all....
    We've had winds and storms like' Dorothy's Kansas city' from the wizard of oz...... ~ But we are safe and dry too...
    Be safe and well, lovely Barbara....X
    Love Maria.

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    1. Hello Maria,
      I’ve seen the storms on the news, they look dreadful. I’m really pleased to know you are OK. I wonder if the sun is shining in Oojahland, if so I think we should all go!
      Have a lovely weekend. Hugs Barbara

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  9. Beautiful illustrations be safe and enjoy the weekend :)

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    1. Thank you Aunt Mary, Happy Weekend to you too! Barbara

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  10. I love the idea of a travelling gypsy elephant and a little kitty who looks after its memory. (My God, what a great idea there!) The Uncle Oojah illustrations are magnificent. But I'm sorry to hear about the flood in Somerset. Glad you and Terry are able to stay warm and dry, Barbara. Staying in to read sounds like a fine plan. Hope things will turn for your neighbours very soon.
    (And over here in Singapore, we are very, very warm and very dry.)

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    1. Now we know why elephants never forget – they all have a little Kitty Cat to remind them! How funny. I think you should write a story about it Claudine, just think of the lovely illustrations you could do.
      Singapore sounds like my idea of heaven at the moment – oh for some sunshine!
      Have a lovely weekend. xx

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  11. Again these are new to me, but so delightful! Wonderful illustrations love the elephant and the kitty what a pair! So sorry about all that dreadful rain.... I hope you have some sunny days soon!

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    1. Hi Diane, the sun is shining and the birds are singing, and it really feels like spring is in the air. I’m glad you enjoyed the illustrations. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. Hey these are super cool collection of books. My lil boy is surely going to love these will read with him. Thanks for sharing and shall look forward to more inspiring books at your corner. love, sonia

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    1. Hi Sonia, glad you like them. If your little boy likes elephants, he is bound to love these. Barbara x

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  13. Oh Barbara! What mix of emotions, first the pleasure of those fantastic books and then the sadness of seeing the drama of those people...when I see these situations I always think of the loss of things that can not be replaced with money, lots of memories...
    Back to nice things I love these elephants and the first photo is wonderful.
    Besos!

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    1. Hello Silvina,
      The first things I would grab would be the ‘photo albums and my beloved books! Carpets and furniture can be replaced.
      I’m so pleased you like Oojah the elephant; he is such a happy chap.
      Enjoy your day, Barbara. x

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  14. Uncle Oojah seems really wonderful..... and elephant being my fav. animals helps! ...Bangalore is all breezy and sunny right now. Hoping the same for all , Love , Kokila

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    1. Hello Kokila, elephants are wonderful creatures, and I don’t think Uncle Oojah minds wearing funny hats!
      It’s sunny in the UK today; it is lovely to see blue sky and white fluffy clouds for a change. I hope the sun is still shining in Bangalore. Barbara x

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  15. My dear, dear Barbara!

    I had not seen a new post from you in a while, and I started wondering if my sidebar blogroll was acting up again, and sure enough, I had MISSED THIS POST! There is something terribly wrong with my blogroll and I often have to go into my layout page and manually change the settings to bump up the newest posts. Sorry for missing The Elephant King, who is utterly charming!

    I cannot BELIEVE these photos of the flooding; it has been a horrible winter, and we too just discovered a leak in our roof right over our dining room, due to the massive weight of snow on our roof and a strange and sudden THAW yesterday!

    Keep safe and well my friend! Anita

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    1. Dear Anita, these blogs of ours do have glitches from time to time, but I’m willing to forgive them all. If it were not for blogs and blogging we would not have had the chance to get to know one another, and that would be terribly sad!

      I’m so sorry to hear about the problem with your roof. I hope it can be easily fixed and that any damage is minimal. Keep warm and well and stay safe. xx

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  16. I am so glad all is well ith you. But to feel so bad for all those who are affected by the floods

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    1. Thank you Shashi! Thanks also for your visit.

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  17. I've never heard of Oojah! Those terrible photos of the flooding. My brother in law and family live in East Lyng, thankfully they are on a hill. Sad for all the others though. Good to hear you are OK too.

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    1. Poor old Uncle Oojah has been forgotten in the mists of time, which is a shame because he’s adorable!
      I’ve seen lots of photos of East Lyng it looks terrible. I'm so glad your family are OK.

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  18. Thanks for this. As a small child in the 1950s I spent many happy hours with an 'Uncle Oojah; book that was so battered it lost its end boards, and I wasn't even sure what its real title was. I remember it being full of magical stories - for me the elephant wasn't the key memory - just the name. This book had belonged to my Dad in the 1920s when he was a small child. For years I searched the internet to track it down, with without luck. I'm not sure what me decide to look again today - but now I can find Uncle Oojah across the Net, he even has a Wikipedia entry. Thank you for this posting I think I might even have identified which of the annuals was the one I grew up with: 1924.
    Gill K

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    1. Dear Gill, thank you so much for sharing such a sweet memory. I agree with you about the magical stories. I’ve totally fallen in love with Uncle Oojah! I didn’t realise he had a Wikipedia entry; I must take a look at that as soon as I leave this reply. Thank you for calling in and taking the time to comment. Best wishes, Barbara,

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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