23 DECEMBER 1905, Page 24

Beton von CHILDREN. - We must begin by welcoming again some old

friends which return year after year to entertain the young folk. Generally, we may say that these maintain a remarkably high level of merit as regards both literary matter and illustration. Of the latter especially it is difficult to speak too highly, The amount of fancy and of technical skill that are to be seen in these pictures is quite surprising, the more so when one considers the great demand that has to be met, still more when of e remembers what was thought good enough for the purpose thirty, or even twenty, years ago. The multitude of the children's books that now crowd a reviewer's table must be seen to be believed, and it is really a pity that more justice cannot be done to them. Chatterbox (Wells Gardner, Darton, and Co., 3s.) ranks high as regards both seniority and merit. We note among the contents as particularly interesting two series," Animal Make- shifts" and "Afloat on the Dogger Bank."-Our Darlings (J. F. Shaw and Co., 3s.) is intended for younger children, and should suit them well. (This, we sed, is its thirty-first volume.)-For the same readers we have The Child's Companion and Our Little Dots (R.T.S., ls. 6d. each).-From the same publishers we have also The Cottager and Artisan (1s. 6d.), meant for older readers, and giving them a supply of excellent reading.-Sunday (Wells Gardner, Darton, and Co., 3s.) sufficiently indicates its purpose by its title.-Among publications other than periodical we should give a high place to Blackie's Children's Annual (Blackie and Son, 3s. 6d.), which shows a quite imposing list, of contributors. We see among the names Clifton Bingham, Edith Carrington, and Sheila E. Braine.-Heroes of the Empire (J. F. Shaw and Co., 5s.) can also show names well known in this lino of writing,-e.g., Gordon Stables and Guy Boothby.-Of books specially adapted for Sunday read- ing we have The Little Folks' :Sunday Book, by S. H. Hamer (Cassell and Co., 6s.), with its noticeably good pictures ; and The Little Ones' Own Book of Bible Stories (Blackie and Son, 2s. 6d.)-Of books in which the interest turns on the ways of animals we have to notice The Lay of the Wee Brown Wren, by H. W. Shepheard-Walwyn (Longmans and Co., 2s. 6d.)-the birds are admirable here, photographic in their fidelity to Nature- also The Little People's Book of Wild Animals, with Stories by G. Manville Fenn and others (E. Nister, 5s.) The rhinoceros is a specially good picture, though we do not feel quite certain about the colour.-It is sufficient to mention Louis Wain's Animal Show, with Stories (J. Clarke and Co., ls.) Every one knows what Mr. Louis Wain can do.-Mr. Leslie Brooke gives a still more broadly comical touch to his animals in The Story of the Thrie Bears and The Golden Goose (F. Warne and Co., ls. net each), and does it with consider able success.-A Flower Wedding, with Decorations by Walter Crane (Cassell and Co., 6s.), is a companion volume to "Flora's Feast." It is a playful adaptation of popular names of flowers. " Solomon's Seat" shows us a wise-looking lawyer, while Cupid, as a policeman, is dragging along an elegant youth, "Bachelors' Buttons." Mr. Crane's drawings it is superfluous to praise.-Of fairy-books we have The Little Folks' Fairy Book, by S. H. Hamer (Cassell. and Co., 3s. 6d.), and Ubbledejub and the House Fairies, by A. Thorburn ID. Nutt, 2s.) This luckless fairy is a sort of " whipping-boy " for children, for he has to cry when they are naughty.-We must not forget to mention two very pleasing books, Ward and Lock's Wonder Book (Ward, Lock, and Co., 3s. 6d), described as "A Picture Annual for Boys and Girls," and All the Best Nursery Stories and Rhymes, Illustrated by John Hassell (Blackie and Son. 35. 6d.)-In the series of " The Children's Classics " (The Library Press, ed. net per vol.) we have The Story of Jesus; Robinson Crusoe; Sinbad the Sailor ; and Hans C. Andersen's Ice Maiden.-John Gilpin appears with some broadly humorous illustrations (Nelson and Sons, ls.) - Miss Caroline Brown tells again the story of Bold Robin and his Forest Rangers (J. M. Dent and Co., 2s. 6d.)-- From Mr. E. Nister we have The Play-time Book (2s. 6d.) ; Wee Folks' Story Book, Edited by Alfred C. Rhayne (2s. 6d.) ; and Mother's Little Man, by Mary D. Brine (1s.)--The Little Picture- makers and The Children's Postcard Printing Book (same pub- lisher) are intended to give children the dearly loved opportunity of using paints and brushes.-Finally, we have from Messrs. Dean Dog Toby, Told by Himself, the Verses by Clifton Bingham,- a book that can be washed and cannot be torn.