Monday, 16 April 2012

Vintage Alphabet Books; Pretty as a Picture

A Fairyland Alphabet (published 1984) beautifully illustrated by Alan Baker. A is for Archway to Fairyland gay; B is for butterflies showing the way; C is the castle the queen reigns over; D is the dew that's brought from the clover...

ABC Fairyland (Published 1940) illustrated by Eulalie Banks. E is for Elfin a merry little fellow; F is for fairy with hair so soft and yellow, G is for the busy gnomes who hunt for hidden treasure; H is for the happy song they sing in fullest measure...

The ABC Book (undated c1960) by Margery Colman. I is for ironing, take care not to scorch; J is for jolly sailor man, home from the sea; K is for cows kicking the poor dairy maid; L is for lost, but soon found again... 

Old Aunt Elspa's ABC (1978 facsimile of the original 1884 edition) by Joseph Crawhall. M for mischief and monkey, mend, manners and map; N for nosy and naughty, nest, nursery and nap; O for an ogre, owl, orange and Oak; P for proboscis, Pry, Pull and Poke.  

Peter Pan's A.B.C (published 1913) illustrated by Flora White. Q for the quarter-deck, solid and roomy, where Hook walked alone and exceedingly gloomy; R for Redskins who mostly have passed all their lives, in making their wigwams and whetting their knives; S is for Smee: here the Bo'sun is seen, very busy at work with his sewing-machine; T for the tree tops where Wendy and Peter, lived happily - nothing on earth could be sweeter...  

A.B.C pictures and stories (undated c1960s) illustrated by G. H. Higham. U Ann saw a Unicorn on the inn-sign, and Bobby spied the Union Jack on the church-tower; V Ann saw some vegetables outside the shop. Bobby was very sharp, for he noticed vinegar and a vase; W towards the end of their walk, the children passed through a timber-yard. I can see Wood said Ann, I can see a window and a windmill said Bobby; X is difficult to find, but their clever dog found one all by himself (see last picture above).

The children's own ABC book (undated c1950s) illustrated by Jeanne Farrar. Y is for yawn! Z is for Zebra crossing.


  1. Oh Barbara this is just too wonderful. I love all of them. What a truly fabulous collection!! (If I really, really had to pick one I think it would be the 1940 ABC Fairyland) - but then the others are gorgeous too!

  2. My, these pictures are great. I wish adult books could be illustrated so nicely.

  3. I think I had ABC Pictures and Stories. I miss the days when these were so important and gave me so much fun.

  4. What treasures! I wish I had the money to buy them all. I especially love the two Fairy ABCs and the Peter Pan one! They are so much fun and the illustrations go so perfectly. :)

  5. barbaraannefisher17 April 2012 at 15:02

    Thank you Sharon, it was such a treat to share these – whatever did we do before blogs? I couldn't make up my mind which one I liked best – hence a few pictures from each. I’m really glad you enjoyed them.

  6. barbaraannefisher17 April 2012 at 15:03

    Me too, shall we start a campaign?

  7. barbaraannefisher17 April 2012 at 15:06

    That’s why I love my ‘job’ so much, these are still important to me, and I have a huge amount of fun with them. Thanks for calling in.

  8. barbaraannefisher17 April 2012 at 15:09

    Hello Jess, good choices! Peter Pan is really pretty as are the fairy ones. I wish I had the money to keep them all – but that will have to wait until I win the lottery!! : )

  9. These books are amazing. I think I like the peter Pan one from 1913. (It is almost 100 years old!) What a great job you have Barbara.

  10. barbaraannefisher17 April 2012 at 21:51

    Hi Darlene, the Peter Pan one is very special. I agree about my job, and I count my blessings every single day!

  11. These are amazing books! Love the ABC Fairyland and the Peter Pan books the most!

  12. barbaraannefisher18 April 2012 at 10:34

    Hi Diane, I'm having trouble deciding on my favourite, but like you, I think Peter Pan, and the fairy ones are lovely.

  13. The Peter Pan version sounds amazing. The story is already fascinating. I could just imagine Wendy and Peter up on the tree, ever-after happy. A Fairyland Alphabet's illustrations are gorgeous, too. Like Darlene said, Barbara, you have a wonderful job!

  14. barbaraannefisher18 April 2012 at 20:21

    Hello Claudine, thanks for visiting. Peter Pan is gorgeous, but then I think they are all gorgeous! I am very lucky – I love books so my ‘’job’ isn’t really a job at all.

  15. Michelle Yardley19 April 2012 at 18:32

    A is for amazing.
    B is for beautiful.
    C is for charming.

    P is for Peter Pan because I like that book the best.

  16. barbaraannefisher20 April 2012 at 08:10

    Thanks Michelle, I think your ABC sums up your lovely blog – amazing, beautiful and charming. Plus P 4 Perfect!

  17. I couldn't resist commenting. Perfectly written!


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Barbara xx