Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Happy New Year and a Short Blogging Break.

I’m going to be away from my blog for a short while but normal service should be resumed at the end of January. Thank you to all my loyal blogging friends and to all readers of this blog, I will miss you and will be anxious to catch up with your news when I return. Thanks for being such lovely friends.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Jolly St. Nick

A dear, good old fellow is Jolly St. Nick;
Girls and boys, every one, think he is a brick;
On the night before Christmas he comes with his sleigh,
Which carries of presents a splendid array.

When he comes to a house-top, his reindeer he stops,
then down through the chimney he easily drops;
It's strange he can do it, he's not at all slim,
but at climbing no monkey or cat can beat him.

He knows where the stockings are hung in a row,
he fills them with treasures, and doesn't work slow;
For Mary and Bessie, for Tommie and Jack,
There are candy and toys in his wonderful pack.

Up the chimney he hurries, and jumps in his sleigh;
In an instant his deer are again on their way,
while their bells jingle gaily and fill him with mirth;
and this way the jolly Saint travels the earth.

Poem from the night before Christmas and other Christmas poems published by Barse & Hopkins, New York c1907 with illustrations by Hugo von Hofsten.

I love the picture of the children and mama and papa all sleeping in the same room and the one of St. Nick taking toys from his sack. I'm not sure a pipe-smoking Santa would be very popular now, but it's important to remember the book was published over a hundred years ago.

The night before Christmas and other Christmas poems has been part of my collection for a very long time. It's in poor condition with missing plates and damage to the binding, but it was given to me by a dear friend and is very precious to me.

Do you have a forever book?  The one book that is long past its best but is still too precious to part with?


Our two little granddaughters are so excited about Christmas and can't wait for Santa's visit. We won’t be able to share the excitement with them this year, but we are all determined to get together next Christmas and in the meantime our son and daughter in law keep us well supplied with photographs. These are some of our recent favourites;  

Zoe in classic ballet pose 

and Little Lilly having fun. 

Zoe, Lilly and Santa.
A dear, good old fellow is Jolly St. Nick!

Christmas wishes and love from Barbara, Terry and all the family xxx 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

And the Winners are...

Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment or enter the Christmas Giveaway.

Little Noddy will soon be on the way to Stephanie from The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow.

The Magic Spectacles will soon be watching over Teressa at Window on the World.

Pussy Cat & her kittens will soon be purring for Anne Marie at Beetles, Bikes & Books.

Bunny and his Woodland Friends can't wait to visit Anita at the delightful Castles Crowns and Cottages.

A Bright Red Lorry is on the road to Tracy at 

Fiona from World of Blyton will soon be enjoying these two early readers

Fun and games to be had by Yvonne at Winter Moon.

The sweet little ducklings are making their way to Sue at The Secret Agency 

My thanks to everyone who took the time to enter, Tweet, Facebook and Google+. 

Congratulations to the winners I will be contacting you all later today.  For those of you who were unlucky this time I’m sure to do another giveaway next year.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Guest Post: Gingerbread Castle By Donna Yates

Hello friends of Barbara.

I’m honored that Barbara has asked me to make an appearance on her blog since hers is one of my favorites.

My name is Donna but I use DM Yates as my professional name. I am an author and a poet and how I love to write!

I was a quiet shy child who spent my summers at the library. Nothing made me happier than traveling to other places through the written words of a story. One day my mother surprised me with ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. My favorite poem was ‘The Swing’ and I still love it. It was because of this book that I decided to give to the world my stories and poems.

Donna and her twin brother Don 

My twin brother once told me I began my writing career as soon as a teacher put a pencil in my hand and I learned how to read. I do know I spent my life writing stories and poems but I didn't decide to make a career of it until my later years.

I believe that within each story lies a treasure to be discovered by the reader and that makes me want to write even more. I veer towards fantasy and I write in fantasy/new age/spiritual/romance genres.

Last year I wrote and illustrated my first children’s holiday rhyme book for ages 7 to 9 years old called ‘Gingerbread Castle.’ It’s the story of a special castle in dreamland where children can play games, eat treats, ride a train and slide down an enormous slide back to their beds. I wanted a sweet story about a place any child would want to visit with huge teddy bears, gingerbread men, and a reading room where an owl reads from books.

You see, I love gingerbread because when it’s so cold outside and snowy, gingerbread warms you with all its spices and it’s often colorfully decorated so I just had to write a story about a castle made of gingerbread.

Excerpt: Before you can blink, to Dreamland you’ll go
Can you believe it? You’re sledding in snow.
The red sleigh is pulled by two jaunty reindeer
steered by Jimmy the Elf who’s full of good cheer.

I want to thank you so much for taking time to get to know me and I especially want to thank my dear friend Barbara for this wonderful opportunity.

Donna’s website: http://dmyates.weebly.com
Donna’s facebook page: https://facebook.com/DMYatesAuthor
Donna on twitter: @merridm

Wishing love, honor, and respect to all of you.

Thank you so much Donna. The photograph of you with your brother is adorable!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Vintage Books – A Christmas Giveaway

Eight gifts to choose from! All books are previously owned so you may find a little wear and tear, but all are in at least good condition.  Pussy Cat talks to her kittens & Bunny and his woodland friends are hardbacks the rest are paperbacks.  Eight chances to win a vintage book or books see end of post for details. 

Gift one;
    Two Noddy books by Enid Blyton - Noddy and the snow house & Noddy and the honey

 Gift two; 
   One book by Molly Brett  - The Magic Spectacles

Gift three; 

   One Rand McNally Junior Elf Book - Pussy Cat talks to her kittens 

Gift four;   
  One Bambi book - Bunny and his woodland friends

 Gift five; 

One book - A bright red lorry and other rhymes collected by Barbara Ireson

 Gift six;
 Two early readers - Book 1 Red Indians & Book 2 The picnic

 Gift seven;  

  Two playtime books - My word games & My indoor games

Gift eight;
 One book - Make way for ducklings by Robert McCloskey

This Worldwide Giveaway Runs Until 18th December 2014


1) Please share this post with your friends on Goggle+  and/or Facebook and/or Twitter.

2) Follow this blog on Bloglovin (link in right hand column)  or Goggle+ (link in right hand column or  Twitter  or all three!

3) Leave a comment to let me know you've followed and shared and also to let me know which three gifts you like the best. If you are a lucky winner, you will be sent ONE randomly selected gift from your choice of three. 

You don’t need to spend ages typing out the titles of the books just put
Gift 3
Gift 7
Gift 2
(Substituting the numbers I’ve used for the numbers of your choices.)

4) Don't Forget to include an email address or a note of how/where I can contact you.

If you already follow this blog there is no need for you to do anything other than to tell me the three gifts you like best. If you would like to share the post that would be wonderful, but it’s not a requirement of your entry.

There will be a random draw after the giveaway closes, all winners will be contacted.  The books will be shipped before Christmas, but it is likely they will arrive after Christmas. 

A Christmas Giveaway 

and thank you to everyone who takes the time to call in, your visits mean the world. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Faster went the van, faster still, until, until, UNTIL ...

Mr Man & the new red van hardback vintage book
Mr. Man & The New Red Van written by Richard Forbes and published in 1963 by the Friday Press. Edgar Norfield provides the delightful illustrations using primary colours for extra impact.

While not written especially as a beginning-to-read book, the vocabulary is simple, and the few difficult words are repeated to give children practice.

with a dog, a cat and a small brown mouse

Mister Man lives in a house with a dog, a cat and a small brown mouse. Now one wet day said Mister Man, "I think I will buy a new red van." A new red van, said the cat with a purr, "What fun we will have. It will make such a stir." "A van," growled the dog, "I like to walk."

The mouse had a cold, and could not talk. 

So Mister Man went into town with the cat, the dog and the mouse who was brown. 
The rain came down and the wind it blew. The cat grew cold, and the mouse did too.
"As you make such a fuss we will catch a bus. It will be dry inside, and we will have a nice ride."

Mr Man

The story follows Mister Man, the cat, the dog and the mouse into town and out into the countryside in their new red van.

The dog said, "Now we can go nice and fast," the van sped along. 

But the mouse was sad.
He knew it was bad, to speed when there is no need.

faster went the van and faster still until, until, until ...

Faster went the van, faster still,
Until, until, UNTIL...

Out of the lorry got a great big man and he came across to the new red van.
And he said, "Am I Cross?"  "Yes, I am."

"It is wrong to go fast, do you see?"
"You'll be sorry you bumped into me."
And with that he gave an enormous sneeze
which blew the van right into the trees!

(This illustration reminds of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where the flying car ended up in the whomping willow!)

At the top of the tree stood a big black bird,
he stared at the van, and said, "MyWord"

Poor Mister Man!

His lovely new van, red paint chipped, a new lamp ripped - pushed out of a tree, 
Oh, my goodness me!

But the black bird and his friends were eager to help, and it wasn't long before Mr. Man, the dog, the cat and the small brown mouse were on their way. 

A scarce vintage book with a moral tale and beautiful illustrations

A scarce vintage book with a moral tale and beautiful illustrations.  

Mr Man & The New Red Van is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Queen Elizabeth's Little House - A Dean's cut-out story book.

Queen Elizabeth's Little House Dean Cut-out Vintage book

Tucked away from view in the south side of the gardens of Windsor’s Royal Lodge stands a miniature thatched cottage called Y Bwthyn Bach, or The Little House. This delightful book published sometime in the nineteen fifties contains all the pieces necessary to build your own little house.

The house was presented to Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in March 1932 on behalf of ‘the people of Wales’ on the occasion of Elizabeth’s sixth birthday.  The princesses spent many hours cleaning their tiny home and Elizabeth developed a reputation for being very neat and tidy. Over the years, the Queen’s children and grandchildren have also played in the house, and it has recently been completely refurbished.

Inside Queen Elizabeth's little house cut-out book

The dining room with white panelled walls a Welsh dresser with an array of beautiful china and a grandfather clock ticking slowly in the corner. A picture of the Queen Mother hangs over the mantelpiece and there is even a bookcase filled with Beatrix Potter’s little books to ensure the girls never grow bored.

A corner of the garden

Dookie and Jane

No home is complete without a pet (or two)

and a fairy at the bottom of the garden

Ring the front-door bell and step into the sweetest little house you ever saw!

The Royal Family pay a visit the little house c1932.

Vintage book

The back cover of the book showing the finished model.

Complete and in near perfect condition with just slight wear to edges of front cover Queen Elizabeth's Little House contains a build-it-yourself cardboard recreation of Y Bwthyn Bach, The Little House at Royal Lodge.  The book is undated, but I assume it was published at the time of the Queens Coronation in 1953. Arthur Groom tells the story of the building and presenting of the little house.  Queen Elizabeth's Little House is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Thanks for calling in, I hope you enjoyed visiting the little house.
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