Monday, 27 February 2012

The Stubborn Bear

I've just discovered this wonderful children’s book written by Robert Bigelow and illustrated by Wallace Tripp. Published by Little Brown & company in 1970.

Winter is coming. The fish have left but still the stubborn bear refuses to leave the beach.

The bear fishes from the same spot on the same beach every day, and he is determined to go on doing so. But now there are no more fish. The bear waits and waits, but no fish swim past.

His friends try to persuade him to eat something else. His mother begs him to eat before the winter comes. But the bear is stubborn. All the other bears go into hibernation, but the stubborn bear sits on.

As the weather gets colder, the bear gets thinner and thinner.

At last the stubborn bear spots a fin in the water. His mouth waters, his ego swells and so does the size of the fish coming towards him.

I won’t spoil it by giving away the ending but trust me, it's not what you expect – or maybe it is!

Have you read the stubborn bear or anything else by Robert Bigelow? How do you think the story ends??

If you want to find out what happens to the bear, please read the comment section below.  If you don’t like sad endings, please don’t read the comments!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Added Value; Things found in books - Happy Ever After

This pretty embroidery transfer and skein of ‘Peri-Lusta’ thread was found carefully preserved in tissue paper at the bottom of a box of books. It must have been in the box for a good number of years but still looks like new. The thread is a little flattened, but the colours are bright and the transfer unfaded.

I can imagine a young girl putting this away to use at her wedding, or perhaps the wedding of a future daughter or granddaughter. I wonder if, when the time came she was unable to find it or simply forgot all about it.

I suppose it would be considered old-fashioned now, but it would still make a pretty embroidered tablecloth for a wedding. Or maybe you can think of another use for it.

Do you know someone who is getting married? Would they be able to use this, maybe with a different coloured thread? Alternatively, would you like to make something with it? I think it’s been unused for too long! I am happy to send it free of charge (anywhere in the world) to the first person who leaves a comment saying they would like it. Please leave a note of your blog or email address so that I can contact you.

Congratulations to aobibliophile for being the first to comment! I've sent you an email and will send the transfer and thread when I have your details. 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Lilliput Magazines

Whilst cataloguing this collection of Lilliput magazines it became apparent that the same man, woman and little black dog were appearing on many of the covers.

According to Wikipedia;  Walter Trier provided the front cover design for every issue of the magazine from its inception in 1937 until 1949. It seems the dog belong to Walter Trier, and the story goes that the little dog was run over and killed by a tram. Walter Trier then immortalised his dog on the covers of Lilliput; the idea was said to be light-hearted, but I think it’s rather sad.

Lilliput is a pocket-size magazine, designed; legend has it, to fit into a trench coat pocket during sentry duty. Featuring short stories, cartoons, and articles; it also included what were, for the time, fairly daring photographs of 'artistic' female nudes. After 1949, the work of many different artists, including K. D. Eastman, Peynet and Fitton featured on the front covers.

At its commencement, Lilliput was intended for a general audience but after the Second World War, it became a men's magazine and in July 1960 merged with Men Only.

I was attracted to these because of the artwork on the covers. The one in the centre of the bottom row is my favourite because it reminds me of Valentine's Day. Have you seen any of these before? Do you like the artwork?

UPDATE July 2015
I have another scan to add to this collection courtesy of

This one is from March 1938

Friday, 17 February 2012

Added Value; Things found in books – Happy Birthday Tiger!

It looks as if a lot of care went into the making of this colourful birthday card. The squiggles, flowers and stripy tiger are all very carefully drawn. I love the expression on the tigers face and the wispy hair on the end of his tail! The message reads; Dear Julia, Happy Birthday from Laura.

Found between the pages of the secret seven adventure by Enid Blyton.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Book Tag!

I was tagged by Megan from Storybook Love Affair, thank you Megan.

Megan’s questions and my answers;

1. What is your favourite childhood book? Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton. I spent half my childhood dreaming about joining the Famous Five on an adventure.  I also wrote my own version of a Famous Five story all about secret tunnels (of course) and strange noises in the night. I think I was about nine at the time.  I filled several notebooks and was convinced I had written a masterpiece. In hindsight, it was a long way from that!

2. What are you currently reading? Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. It has been on my TBR pile for a long time, so I decided it was time to give it a go. If you would like to find out more about Birdsong a visit to Sebastian Faulks website is a good place to start.

3. Who is your favourite author and why? Such a hard question!  Stephen King, J. R. R. Tolkien,  Anne Rice, Isaac Asimov, Marion St John Webb, Sylvia Plath, Enid Blyton, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Alison Uttley, A. A. Milne, Tove Janson. That’s today’s list but if you ask me tomorrow it will be different. I really can’t tell you why – I just enjoy them all.

4. Outside of blogging, what do you like to do? Anything to do with wildlife and walking. Terry (my husband) is a keen photographer, so I get to visit lots of great places with him; one of my favourites is the Farne Islands. I just love the Puffins and the grey seals.

5. Who are some of your favourite artists, bands etc? Adele, Paolo Nutini, Rhianna, Taylor Swift, K.D. Lang – to name just a few.

6. Sweet or savoury?  Sweet! Chocolate, cream, iced buns, toffee, Meringue, Banofie pie, and anything with custard!


7. Do you have any favourite blogs and if so what are they?  Heaps! Storybook Love Affair (of course) The Secret DMS files of Fairday Morrow, Sharons Sunlit Memories, Life Between Pages, Believe in Yourself, Carry Us Off Books.  I could go on and on, but perhaps I should stop now.

8. What is your dream holiday? Australia! Our son and his family live in Adelaide, and we are hoping to visit at Christmas.  We have been before, but never at Christmas.

9. Who is your all-time favourite character? I don’t think I have an all-time favourite character, or at least I've never thought about it. I suppose I should name someone like Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice or Pip from Great Expectations, but I think I will settle for some favourite childhood characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, the very hungry caterpillar, Pippi Longstocking and Janet and John. Will that do?

10. If you could write a book, what would it be about? I do have an idea for a children’s book, but It will probably remain just an idea. When I was a little girl, my Granny Daisy lived in a fascinating house in a place called Winslow in Buckinghamshire. I've always thought Granny Daisy, and her house in Winslow should be included in a book, or a series of books! Granny Daisy does it again, Granny Daisy to the rescue, Granny Daisy and the Mayor of Winslow, Granny Daisy intervenes. No? OK, back to the day job.

11. Recommend one book that you think everyone should read. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. First published in 1958. I’ve read this story repeatedly and never grow tired of it. Tom is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle in a small apartment in an old house. It looks like it’s going to be a very boring visit until the grandfather clock in the hall strikes thirteen. Tom creeps down the stairs and discovers a garden that only exists in the memories of an old woman. Sadly, the cover of Tom’s midnight garden is not very enticing, but this really is a case of never judge a book by its cover.

The Tag rules;
1. You must post the rules!
2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

My questions to you;
Do you use a bookmark or will any old bit of paper do?
What new books are you most excited to read this year?
Favourite season?
If money were not an issue, what present would you give yourself?
Do you buy second-hand books, new books or both?
Early bird or night owl?
Do you like to read a specific genre? If so, what genre is it?
Who is your favourite literary character of all time?
Physical books, E-books or audio books?
If your life was made into a movie, who would you like to play you?
Cat person or dog person?

These are the blogs I would like to tag;

The Secret DMS files of Fairday Morrow
Sharons Sunlit Memories
Life Between Pages
Believe in Yourself
Carry Us Off Books
Books kids like
Darlene Foster's Blog
I'm a Book Shark
Always Crave Cute
The Desert Rocks
The Oliva Reader

I hope you all enjoy answering the questions. I can’t wait to see your answers :-)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Book of the week; Mother Goose Rhymes illustrated by Susan B. Pearse

Curly-locks, Curly-locks wilt thou be mine? Thou shalt not wash the dishes, nor yet feed the swine; But sit on a cushion, and sew a fine seam, and feed upon strawberries, sugar, and cream.
Little Polly Flinders sat among the cinders, warming her pretty little toes. Her mother came and caught her, and whipped her little daughter for spoiling her nice new clothes.
Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. One for the master, one for the dame, and one for the little boy who lives down the lane.
Hush-a-by baby on the tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will fall baby cradle and all.

Susan Beatrice Pearse (1878-1980), is probably best known for illustrating the Ameliaranne books.  The scan on the right is from Ameliaranne at the Zoo (now sold).

Book of the week; Mother Goose Rhymes published by J. Coker in 1932. 130 pages with 6 beautiful full-page colour plates by Susan B Pearse and numerous black-and-white  illustrations by Winifred Ackroyd.

The books featured here are all sold, thank you for looking.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Added Value; Book inscriptions - Follow me by Martha Paulsen

"Follow Me" animal book by Martha Paulsen with animations by Vivienne Blake

Sweet little book with two inscriptions; the first to Lois from Aunt Ruth - tonsils out - Feb 16, 1951, and the second to Samuel August from your Godfather, Christmas 2000.

I assume Aunt Ruth is congratulating Lois on the fact that her troublesome tonsils have been removed. The message, however, is rather abrupt, tonsils out, move on!  It’s interesting to speculate on the book's whereabouts between February 1951 and Christmas 2000. Is it possible that’s Samuel’s Godfather is the son of Lois? Alternatively, the book may have been sold or given away, in which case the two events may not be connected.

I prefer to think it stayed with the same family, especially as the story is all about following along.

What do you think? Given away or handed down?

Monday, 6 February 2012

Anthony and Antimacassar by Rowland and Mary Emett

Rowland and Mary Emett wrote and illustrated this wonderfully imaginative children’s book published by Faber & Faber in 1943. 

The story begins; once upon a mantelpiece there was a China Pig, and his secret name for himself was Anthony Henrypottery Luxulyan Prettypig, but they called him Harpsichord because of his expression.

From his mantelpiece he would watch the Funnels of the Trains as they puffed past his window. Antimacassar was the name of a particularly noble engine, and Mr Stuffingbox was its driver.

Rowland Emett was also the creator of the Far Tottering Railway which carried over 2 million passengers during the1951 Festival of Britain.

I have a only a vague recollection of the Festival of Britain. Do you have any memories or memorabilia from the Festival? 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A disappointing auction and an offer you can’t refuse

Don’t get me wrong, the book auction was far from disappointing but being the under bidder on so many lots was demoralising. It has never happened before! We usually arrive with a list of the lots we’re interested in, decide on a price, bid and return with the rewards. Yesterday, however, it all went horribly wrong.

The signs were there as soon as we arrived, the car park was full, the coffee shop was full (ordering a bacon sandwich took a superhuman effort of will) and viewing was more a case of push and shove than “excuse me please!” Still, nothing ventured nothing gained, coffee drunk, bidding number in hand, spirits high, hang on a minute – what’s this? Where did the bank of telephones come from – and why is every single one of them manned? Why are there so many bidders? Standing room only – move along please ladies and gents.

No time to worry, our first lot is being called. We've decided a bid of £300 to £400 pounds should be fine. What’s that?  Bids on the book starting at £500, are you having a laugh?  The lot went on to make £770, and that was just the start, several lots with a guide price of £40-£60 made well over £400. Is this a case of investors putting their money into rare books? We have no idea but we very much hope it doesn’t become the norm

There were two books we really wanted, one a beautiful copy of Peter Pan illustrated by F. D. Bedford and the other a 1947 edition of the land of Green Ginger, we lost out on both.

As a way of cheering ourselves up we decided to make you an offer, or more precisely, ask you to make us an offer. All items on our website priced at £20 or more are now open to sensible offers.  Is there something you like? Make an offer! Browse through the stock at March House Books send an email telling us what you would like to buy and how much you would like to pay.  Don't forget to make it a sensible offer because we can still so no! Have fun. OFFER CLOSED MARCH 2012.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Fairchild family by Mrs. Sherwood

Near Mr. Fairchild's house there was a little green hill, at the top of which were some beautiful chestnut trees; and under the chestnut trees was a wooden seat, which Mr. Fairchild, with John's help, had placed there. On summer mornings Mr. Fairchild often used to retire to this place, in order to sit there and read undisturbed. From the top of this hill one might see Mr. Fairchild's house, standing in the pleasant garden; and also many beautiful cornfields and little coppices, and meadows, through which flowed a smooth river, the long green lane which led to the village, too, was visible from the hill, and John Trueman's neat cottage just at the entrance of the village; and the spire of the church just peeping over the trees. You do not know who John Trueman is; but you shall know by and by.

The Fairchild family Pg. 3
By Mrs. Sherwood with illustrations by Miss Sybil Tawse, 1913

The Fairchild family is now sold, thank you for your interest.
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