Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The three bears and the story of Cinderella told in rhyme

Perplexed? That's exactly how I feel about this book. Who wrote it? Who illustrated it? Who Published it - and when? I have no idea! The name M. Jones is printed on the front cover - so I assume M. Jones wrote the poems but then again, maybe he/she provided the illustrations? There is just nothing to go on, I've scoured each of the illustrations with a magnifying glass in the hope of finding a hidden signature - no luck. I've searched online and through all my reference books for a mention of this publication - nothing.

I've been through the British Library and Copac catalogues - again nothing. HELP! Does anyone recognise anything about this book? I have a 'feeling' that the illustrations might be by Agnes Richardson or H.G.C. Marsh Lambert - but that's about it. It may have been published by Raphael Tuck as they did a series in the same format, but again, I've had no luck with finding anything.  

The Three Bears - told in rhyme.

There stood a house upon a hill where three bears lived - perhaps do still, all round the house was grass so green the prettiest I have ever seen. Inside this house, so I am told - lived three brown bears as bold as bold, they went in sizes one, two, three, the smallest one was tiny wee. Now Mother bear the porridge made and every day the table laid, each had his special bowl and chair even the tenny weeny bear.

And Goldilocks was warned, they say, that through the woods she must not stray, but oh! She did, need I say more? And came upon the three bears' door. "How sweet!" she cried and up did creep and through the window took a peep, the latch upon the door she tried and very boldly walked inside. The porridge she at once did spy and ate the smallest up - oh my, then to the chairs she quickly flew and sat on each in turn it's true. The smallest she liked best of all but through the bottom she did fall which gave her quite a nasty scare to find she'd broken the wee bear's chair.

"Then up the stairs" she said "I'll go" where three beds stood all in a row, "I wonder who sleeps here" she said and climbed upon the biggest bed.  And then she tried the middle size but soon the small one caught her eyes, so on to this one she did creep and very soon was fast asleep. Now in the bears came one, two, three - just all as hungry as could be, "OH! who's been sitting on my chair?" cried our poor little weeny bear...

I'm pretty sure you all know how the story ends so I will leave it there.

Cinderella is also told in rhyme;

Now Cinderella lived, you know, in fairy tales long, long ago. She had the hardest work to do and all her clothes were rags; it's true.

I'm not even sure if this is the same illustrator or if two or more people supplied the artwork.
What do you think? 

The three bears and the story of Cinderella told in rhyme is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Update 12th November.
Earlier today I received an email from ‘Terence’ asking... is it possible to get a copy of the full rhyme please. So for Terence and anyone else who is interested this is the rest of the three bears rhyme.

“Someone’s been here I wonder who? And tasted all our porridge too, someone has eaten all of mine” cried baby bear with such a whine. Then up the stairs they all did creep and found Miss Goldilocks asleep, the little bear saw her and said, “Just look she’s curled up on my bed!” But Goldilocks was soon awake, and I am sure began to quake, right through the window she did jump and landed down with such a bump! She ran so quickly down the path that all the bears I’m sure did laugh, she ran, and ran with all her might until that house was lots to sight.


  1. I wouldn't like to say whether they are by the same artist but they are very sweet and I love the rhymes.

  2. barbaraannefisher8 November 2012 at 23:18

    Thanks Angie, I appreciate your comment.

  3. Help!..well.. possibly/perhaps.....
    Yep! The front has a bear face
    Those pictures are absolute ace.
    I know that's no use to you
    But I do feel that it's true.

    Congrats again Cuz!

  4. Don't you think Rupert had better dress sence??

  5. Hi Barbara..oh wow..these are all such super beautiful charming...and bring back such fond memories of these stories.! I hope you find out the answer! All are gorgeous! Thanks for adding sparkles to my day!

  6. barbaraannefisher8 November 2012 at 23:29

    The pictures are ace
    And so is the face.
    But if you wish to be smartest
    Who is the artist?

    Thanks for the congrats!

  7. Hi Barbara

    I give up, no idea. The illustrations look like they were done by the same person and I guess that M Jones is the illustrator?

    That book is a great find!

    It's so frustrating trying to find out info on a book when there's almost nothing to go on - I had to laugh though, you with the magnifying glass going over the book, that's what I do.

    Maybe someone will come along that has some info.

  8. What a great mystery! I am not sure- but the illustrations look like they could be done by different people. The rhyme is so fun and the pictures are beautiful. I can't believe it isn't possible to track down more information. Does it say who published the book and when? I love all the detective work you have done and hope someone can give you some information!

  9. barbaraannefisher8 November 2012 at 23:35

    Sorry John I can’t agree. I love the way these little bears are dressed.

  10. barbaraannefisher8 November 2012 at 23:35

    Hello Victoria, I'm so pleased you like them. Thanks for such a lovely comment! Barbara

  11. barbaraannefisher8 November 2012 at 23:35

    Hi Sharon, that’s exactly how I feel. I’m sure I’ve seen them (or something very like them before), but I can’t for the life of me think where! I'm pretty sure you’re right about the date, so many things back then were left unsigned – it’s a real shame. I had forgotten all about Bear Alley, but I will contact Steve and see what he thinks, thanks for the reminder.

  12. barbaraannefisher8 November 2012 at 23:35

    Hi Michelle,
    I don’t go anywhere without my trusty magnifying glass! It used to work well but just lately it seems to be getting dimmer – either that or I am!!

    I’m not sure about M. Jones. I can’t find anything about an illustrator with that name, so I wonder if he/she made up the rhymes – but honestly, your guess is as good as mine. The internet is a wonderful thing, but it’s also very frustrating when you just can’t find the answers.

    Thanks for calling in.

  13. Oh, these fairy tales bring back memories! When I was little I loved the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. And Cinderella too.
    The book is really a mystery, and I do hope you find the answer. The illustrations are so lovely and charming :)

  14. barbaraannefisher9 November 2012 at 08:12

    Thank you Hilde, I hope so too.

  15. barbaraannefisher9 November 2012 at 08:16

    Hi Stephanie,
    I think the style of the illustrations is different in each story, but I don’t know if that’s because the same illustrator changed the style to match the story, or if it’s two different illustrators.
    No publishing details are given, so that makes it even harder to track down – but I will keep trying. Thanks for calling in.

  16. Hello Barbara! I love these illustrations, but I'm afraid I can't help you...
    Another research...Very interesting! I'll be back to know more, hope you can find out anything more.
    Besos, Silvina

  17. Wow, I never knew about these in rhymes. Of course, I love the illustrations.

  18. barbaraannefisher11 November 2012 at 09:32

    Thanks Donna, your comment is much appreciated.

  19. barbaraannefisher11 November 2012 at 09:34

    Hello Silvina, thanks for calling in. Not to worry, I will keep looking and maybe someone will know more. I will be over to visit your lovely blog in a few days.

  20. Hi Barbara - I thought you would enjoy seeing this post (if it is not a blog you visit already)

    The book and illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.

  21. Hi Barbara - I've just entered a comment that includes a link to another blog. Whenever I do that I get a message that the comment needs to be moderated - this extra comment is just so that you know it is there!

  22. barbaraannefisher12 November 2012 at 11:44

    Thanks so much Sharon, what a beautiful post! I love the illustrations. I do follow Victoria Stitch but hadn't been over in a while. Thanks for the reminder.

  23. Garden Of Daisies13 November 2012 at 06:30

    What a wonderful old version of this beloved fairy tale. So often the illustrators were not even mentioned. Sad.

  24. barbaraannefisher13 November 2012 at 11:40

    I agree. It is very sad – the illustrators just didn’t get the recognition they deserved.

  25. Simply adorable! The bears are just so expressive. Yes very sad that so little information was provided on these children's books. I have a book I need help with too, you have given me an idea for an upcoming post!

  26. barbaraannefisher17 November 2012 at 07:14

    That’s one of the things I like about visiting lots of blogs there is always something to provide inspiration for the next post. I’m intrigued and will be over for a visit soon.

  27. thank you for the post. terence

  28. barbaraannefisher21 November 2012 at 07:00

    Hello Terence, thank you for calling in and leaving a comment. Barbara


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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