26 NOVEMBER 1887, Page 24

Sybil's Dutch Dolls. By F. S. Janet Berne. (Field and

Tuer.).— The first chapter of this little story promises well, butin the second we are woefully disappointed. Sybil, the only child of rich parents, spends, in the first chapter, 10s. on five hundred wooden Dutch dolls, without any distinct intention regarding them. In the evening she goes down to dessert, when she hears a good deal of desultory con- versation; one talks about the Channel Tunnel, an old clergyman grumbles about his locum tenens, two maiden ladies (sisters) discuss their fears in travelling, and one gentleman describes his travels in Japan, and so on,—and she goes to bed much confused, but determining to play with her dolls the first thing next day. Of coarse sbe goes to sleep, and the rest of the book is (with two or three exceptions) one long, absurd dream. There is no story in it. The chapter called "Fairy Flowers" is really attractive, and the last (the moral), about the poor children, in also good. A good, honest fairy-story is a different thing altogether ; or a proper child's story ; but why, no often, these absurd mixtures ? However, there are parts that are good, and there may be children, though we confess we know of none, who will like and appreciate Sybil's Dutch Dolls. We must not forget to say that the book is plentifully illustrated, and that the pictures are capital ; the shapeless, stiff. jointed figures, and round, featureless heads and faces of the wooden dolls are well imitated, and are distinguished through the dress ; and there is something of the expression of the characters they are meant to represent. All children may find amusement and pleasure in the illustrations. The book is nicely got•up.