12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 32


Our attention is first drawn to three large bound volumes which should keep the most avid schoolboy or girl reader happy from one year's end to the next. The 58rd volume of The Boy's Own Annual (4 BOuverie Street, 12s. fkl.) is as good as previous volumes and should therefore need no further recommendation. In addition to the usual school and adventure stories there are innumerable articles on diverse subjects among which we may mention an illuminating series called " Behind the Scenes." Whose interest is 1101 quickened on reading the suggestive titles " How the Film Sets its Voice," oz " Down River on a London Steam Ti,'1

to mention only two ? The Gies Own Annual for 1931 (4 Bouverie Street, 12s. 6d.) is, we are told, " a splendid up-to-date improved edition with entirely new contents." We agree with this description. The new annual is well printed on good paper, and many subjects—including the absorbing topic of " Careers "—are dealt with in its pages. If anything, the last of the three bound volumes, The Scout Annual (Pearson, 10s. 6d.), is too tightly packed and closely printed. But it is a regular encyclopaedia of Scout and Cub lore, and as such is to be recommended for young enthusiasts.

Having cleared the way, we may now pass to the more modest annuals—both as regards size and price. The Oxford Annual for Scouts (Oxford University Press, 3s. 6d.) and Collins' Girl Guides' Annual (Collins' Clear-Type Press, 5s.) are not too technical, but the stories and articles deal mainly with the open-air life and other subjects of especial interest to Scouts and Guides. Sir Alan Cobham writes on " When Aeroplanes are as Common as Cars " in Collins' Aircraft Annual (Collins' Clear-Type Press, 5s.), and Colonel Lindbergh is also included among the contributors to this modern book, which should prove a source of great delight to a mechanically minded boy.

Blackie's Boys' Annual (Blackie, 5s.) is a good fiction annual for boys from ten to twelve years old, while its feminine counterpart, Blackie's Girls' Annual (Biocide, 5s.), is a most attractive production.

The younger members of the family are well catered for. )ilackie's Children's Annual (Blackie, 5s.) is, as we know from experience, a first favourite with children of eight or nine. It is artistically illustrated, and even the grown-ups " will appreciate the hints given for a " Competition Party." No one could resist the tale of the artless doings of the " Fruit Town boys " as told in Alfie Appk's Annual (Collins' Clear-Type Press, 3s. 6d.), and this is just the book for reading aloud at bedtime. The Oxford Annual for Tiny Tots (Oxford University Press, 3s. 6d.) is another pleasing annual for toddlers, printed in extra bold type—a definite advantage to those whose ability to read the printed word is still in the very elementary stage. The Oxford Annual for Baby (Oxford University Press, 8s. Od.) is a pretty picture book for the " littlest one " made up of pages so stout as to be practically indestructible.