Aladdin's Picture-book. Containing "Aladdin," "The Yellow Dwarf," !‘ Princess Belle-Etoile," "The Hind in the Wood." With twenty-four Illustrations by Walter Crane. (G. Routledge and Sons.)-- This is splendidly illustrated in its way, but Walter Crane adopts a rather hard style of realism, which, with all its merits, has neither the humour nor the delicacy of such illustrations as Cruikshank used to give us to similar tales. Compare this most horrible "Yellow Dwarf,"—a figure enough to frighten small children into bad dreams,—with Oruikshank's famous " Rampelstiltzchen," or the old witch in "Jorinda and Jorindel." Walter Crane is a considerable artist, but hardly one whose genius suits children. He wants tenderness and humour.— Cluck Cluck: a Christmas Story told by Gran4apa Potmouse. Edited by Edward Barrington de Fonblanque. Illustrated by "F. W. Y." (Basil Montague Pickering.)—This is an ingenious child's book, on which we rather hesitate to pass a verdict, because we have not submitted it to the final test of a clever child's taste. Some of its conceptions are certainly humorous, while others have of our (too adult) minds a somewhat forced character at which we catch ourselves trying to smile. But grown-up people are so apt to lose their appreciation for nonsense, that we confess we attribute some of our own want of appreciation to the artificial dulness engrafted on us by age. The conception of a pendulous life, in which people of twenty-five begin to grow back to babies, and then upwards again to the stature of twenty-five, so that a girl of twelve will be found nursing her little papa, and a boy of ten wheeling his mamma in a perambulator, has certainly a fine topsy-turvy effect, and the con- ception of the different classes in Grigland and Flickland is equally good. Good, too, is the idea of talking in red and talking in blue,— languages mutually unintelligible,—till the colours get mixed, and then the interlocutors both understand each other in violet. But some of the nonsense seems to us of a more artificial kind than this, and to seed the seal of some intelligent child's hearty approval before the editor of this journal could have ventured to pronounce it good. The illustrations are very clever.—Life in the Southern isles; or, Scenes and Incidents in the South Pacific and New Guinea. By the Rev. W. W. Gill. (Religious Tract Society.) This is a book of uncommon merit and interest, quite worthy to be ranked with Mr. Ellis's "Polynesian Researches'? It isnot made up, as such volumes not uncommonly are, by the paste-and-scissors of a stay-at-home traveller; nor does it record the imperfect observations and hasty conclusions of some passing visitors. Mr. Gill, who belongs, we believe, to what may be called a missionary family, describer/ almost exclusively what he has seen or heard at first-hand. When we say that his experience has included a period of twenty-two years, it will be seen that he is entitled to a hearing. His accounts of Polynesian life and history, especially as relating to some of the smaller islands, are of great value. His picture of things as they are now ie especially vivid, witness his chapter—one which should both entertain and touch the reader—on "Reminiscences of Native Preachers." Mr. Gill is emphatic in his assertion of the benefit which Christianity has con- ferred upon the islanders. Nor would it be easy to argue against the facts which he produces. The evils -which have arisen in some places, as notably in Tahiti, have some from distinctly anti-Christian influ- ences. The more the missionaries have been left to themselves, the more the material welfare of the natives has been promoted. In Samoa, for instance, the population has increased. The contrast between an island in its heathen condition and the same under undisturbed mis- sionary influences is most striking and conclusive.—Adventures in New Guinea. (Sampson Low.) This purports to be the story of Louis Tr6gance, a French sailor, who was shipwrecked on the island, and spent nearly ten years there in captivity. It comes to us as edited by the Rev. Henry Crocker, incumbent of a church in New Zealand. After recent circumstances, we are, it must be confessed, a little shy of New Guinea experiences. Nor is the story quite reassuring. Louis, for instance, is saved from being eaten by the circumstance of the officiating priest being a Freemason, and he recovers an old friend by an event which, unfortunately, is seldom seen out of the pages of a novel. With this reservation, we may say that the Adventures in New Guinea are very interesting and entertaining.—The Stately Homes of England, by LI. Jewitt and S. C. Hall. Second Series. (Virtue and Co.) Here we have descriptions by pen and picture of eighteen more or less famous houses, of which Belvoir Castle, and Knole, and " Burleigh House, by Stamford Town," are the most celebrated. We should say that the notices are too indiscriminately laudatory. It is preposterous, for instance, to say that Clamber is "elegant and pic- turesque." It is really as ugly a house as there is in England. Its, surroundings of wood and water give it all the charm it has. A few words of criticism, again, might well have been given to the hideous erection with which Wyatt—for, if our memory serves us, it was he—disfigured the magnificent site of Lowther Castle. The interior is well enough, but the outside quite contemptible. Is it necessary to flatter not only the great noble, but also the house in which he lives ? There is too much, indeed, of CID mere "Peerage" about the book. Could not Mr. Hall find a line to tell us that Crabbe, the poet, was once chaplain at Belvoir ? These criticisms apart, we may say that this is a handsome volume, with good pictures and inter- esting reading.—Round and About Old England, by Clara L. Mateaux (Cassell and Co.), is a very lively, chatty volume, full of anecdote and story, and connecting places which many young people will know with famous events and personages of past times. This is a capital book to put into the hands of intelligent boys and girls.—Sacred-C Heroes and Martyrs, by J. T. Headley, revised by J. W. Kirten (Ward, Look, and Tyler), contains sketches of various Scripture characters, which the author has illustrated with the results of recent travel and the latest researches into Eastern history and antiquities. and to which he has done his best to give a character of reality. Apart from occasional exaggeration, as when he says that David, as king and military leader, deserves a higher place in history than CAesar, the book is worthy of praise.— From New Year to New Year, by the- Author "I Mast Keep the Chimes Going," ec.c. (Seeleys), is a volume of lively and interesting sketches, chiefly on serious subjects, among which missionary work is the most prominent. We can strongly recommend this little book as of unusaal merit. Here is a hint for country par- sons. Each child in an A.meriean Sunday-school had six grains of corn given to him, or her, to plant for the benefit of some missionary society. The produce next year amounted to five barrels, and was sold for five ,pounds.—We have to mention a second edition of Instinct or Reason ? being Tales and Anecdotes of Animal Biography, by Lady Julia Lock- wood (Reeves and Turner).