GIFT - BOOKS.
HERE at last is a bcok of Bible stories that do not rub the present writer the wrong way. Miss Blanche Winder, in her Children's Stories from the Bible,' sets about her work in a straightforward manner, and not as though a story about David and Goliath, or Elijah and the ravens, could be made interesting to little children only by being transposed into stilted language, and by having various more or less controversial doctrines and dogmas mixed with the narrative. This method spoils the story for the grown-up reader who happens to differ from the theological tenets of the writer, and must inevitably take the edge off the interest of the little listener, who is certain to be quick in appreciating for himself the results of good and ill as they work out in the doings of the people described. Miss Winder has found an ingenious but simple netting for the stories of the Creation and the Fall of Man and of the Flood. She describes the " people of the tents " who " moved through the Land of Wandering. . . . Some of them were very rich, ar.d owned beautiful things in silver and brass, though they did 'not build temples and houses." She goes on to say that the mothers told the children tales, among them " the story of how God made the world." This writer even stands the test of interpreting New Testament stories to children, and though Miss Winder is perhaps not quite so successful here as she is with the Old Testament, the task is, of course, more subtle. However, she leaves a gentle and harmonious impression on our minds for which we are grateful to her. The many illustrations are pleasing both in colour and form, and also differ most agreeably from those we are accustomed to in Bible picture books.
Forerunners of Christ 2 and David.3 When such a story as that of Jonah, for instance, is, as it were, flattened out, and told in quite a commonplace manner, the wonder of it escapes, and the reader is left with a sad feeling of disenchantment, which, while it lasts, may recall to him " John P. Robinson's " assertion that " they did not know everything down in Judee." The story of David is rather better told, but why should Mrs. Mercy think it necessary to impede the direct and forcible appeal of these old tales by interpolating such remarks as that it was not cruel of David to kill 200, instead of 100 Philistines, in order to win Michal for his wife, because the Philistines oppressed Israel ? The prestige of the youngest son should not need such crude apology. Both these books are very clearly printed, and have a number of illustrations in colour and black-and-white.
SS. Peter and Paul.4 This little book is written from a strongly " Church " point of view, but unfortunately its style is sadly undistinguished. It is strange that the English of the Bible has so little effect on many of the writers who seek to rebuild and interpret the stories for the benefit of children. There is a coloured frontispiece and a number of black-and-white full-page illustrations. The careful details, of which they are full, are perhaps the best part of them.
The Green-faced Toad 5 is a collection of very good modern fairy tales, pleasantly told in simple language. The old folk- lore ideas run through them; virtuous and beautiful princes and • (1) Children's Stories from the Bible. Retold by Blanche Winder. With 48 colour plates by Harry G. Theaker. London : Ward, Lock. [6s. net.]- (2) Forerunners of Chritt. By E. Trist (Mrs. Wm. C. Pierey). With 12 coloured and other illustrations. London : S.P.C.K. 14s. Gil. net.]-(3) David. Same author and publisher. [1s. 04.1.]-8.5. Peter and Paul. Depicted by lI. J. Ford. With notes on the pictures by W. K. Lowther Clarke. Same publisher. pas. 6d. net.]-(5) The Green-faced Toad and Other Stories. By Vera B. Birch. With illustrations by Lois Lenski. London : John Lane.. [Ts. 6d. net.]- (6) Peggy and the Giant's Aunt. By K. D. Hillyard (Mrs. E. 31. Kelly). With illustrations by Peggy. London : A. and C. Black. [Os. Gd. net.]-(7) The Great Adventure. By Cecil Aldin. London : Humphrey Milford. (102. Gd. net.] ----(8) One Long Holiday. Written and illustrated by Frank Hari. London : Blackie. [38. 6d. net.]-(9) The Peek-a-Boo Gardeners. Written and Illus- trated by ChloG Preston. London: Milford. [es. 6d. net.]-(10) The Chunkies' Adventures. Same author. publisher. 7s. Od. net].-(11) The Tiny Folk's Annual. Edited by Mrs. Herbert Strang. Same publisher. [5s. Gd. nct.]- (12) The Little One's Annual. 1 oadon : Mackie. [3s. Od. net.]----(13) The Land of Nice Yew Clothes. Pictured by Maud Tindal Atkinson. Same publisher. [Is. Bet. net.]---(14) A Picture Book of Animals. Same publisher. [1s. Od. net.] (15) Stories from Grimm. Illustrated by Helen Stratton. Same publisher. [2s. net.1--(113) Jolly Old Sports. With 36 full-page coloured illustrations by Frank Adams. Same publisher. [Gs. net.]-(17) The Little Man and the Little Gun. Pictured by Frank Adams. Same publisher. Ms. net.]-(18) Mother Flubbard'a Book of Rhymes. Illustrated by Frank Adams. Same pub- lisher. Ns. pet.]--(19) Simple Simon. Same publisher. Us. net.]- 'O) Songs front Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Words by Lewis Carroll. Music by Lucy E. Broadnood. Illustrations by Charles Folkard. London : A. and C. Black. [12s. 13d.]-(21) The Big ABC Book. London: Blackie. [Os. net.]-(22) Teddy Tail's Alphabet. By Charles Folkard. London: A. and C. Black. [2s. 6d. net.]-(23) A Nursery Rhyme Alphabet. By L. Edna Walter, 1I.B.E., B.Sc., A.C.G.I. With illustrations by Chula Folkard; Dorothy Wheeler and J. II. Hartley. Same publisher.
princesses, and ugly and wicked enchanters, all play their parts for our entertainment. The most original story is that of "The Desolate Things." In it we are taken to that horrid place " Creepy-Crawly Land," only too well known to timid children, but from the terrors of which they seldom take refuge by confiding their fears to a grown-up person.
A dim passage may lead to it, the second landing on a winter evening is certainly part of it, and even t ho nursery wardrobe may itself contain a dreaded " Thing." We find them all cleverly described here, ant'. perhaps some shrinking children may take courage from the story of the bravo little boy and girl who pluckily disenchanted the " Things." The Bogy chorus is delightful. Here is a verse :- " Quick, past the linen-cupboard where ho lies a-sleeping ! Who's that croaking on the second landing floor ? Slink-slunk ! Slink-slunk I Up the staircase leaping- Hurry, or he'll catch your legs before you reach the door."
The illustrations are charming, full of pretty fancies and conceits such as children love.
Peggy and the Giant's Aunt.° We can heartily recommend this amusing sequel to Peggy's Giant-one of the best of last year's children's books. The mixture of orthodox nursery ways and fantastic fairy antics which Miss Hillyard concocts so cleverly is irresistibly funny. The little girl's character is well drawn. She is thoroughly natural in her delight in amusing adventures, and also in the slight disapproval she occasionally feels when nursery order is too wildly upset. Goody, the fairy nurse, is a delightfully original person, who tries to behave like the everyday nurses we all know, who " wear caps and aprons indoors, and bonnets and long cloaks when they go out." But as Goody is really our old friend the Giant's aunt, the reader of the first story can imagine what a "rag " there is when she
is established as queen of the nursery world. Peggy's illustra- tions are as full of fun and character as ever, and there are
plenty of them to add to the pleasure of the young possessor of this book.
The Great Adventure? Adventures underground have a fascination all their own, and Pat's excursion into Bunny- borough is a good example of Mr. Cecil Aldin's popular style of story telling and picture making. There is plenty of animation in this book, and the little heroine and her terrier and their rabbit acquaintances are very attractive and typical of the marked characteristics that we associate with this artist's work.
The picture of Pat's bird's-eye view (if we may so call it) of the main street of the rabbits' town is delightful in its quaint suggestion of the possibilities of escape into unknown regions.
One Long Holiday.° In this book we can read of the doings of three very nice, jolly children. They spent a "spilling" summer holiday and did all the traditional things associated with a visit to an indulgent uncle living in a country house, such as riding, boating and picnicking. Even a wet day is turned to good account, and leads to a visit to the village shop to buy toffee. The book is full of pretty pictures, in black-and-white as 'well as colour.
The Peek-a-Boo Gardeners.° This year tha bind and engaging family have taken to gardening in order to " keep things going " while Mr. Brown, the gardener, is laid up with lumbago. Luckily the attack is not a very long one, for Charles, Henry and William
work so hard, and get so hot and tired, that we fear the next Look would have been called the " reek-a-Boos in Bed " if
their strenuous enterprise had lasted even one day more. Mr Binks, of course, took matters more quietly than the others, or, at any rate, his frequent naps lead one to infer that he did ; but the last we hear of him is that he snored, while the Pecks made no noise at all, for they "had dropped off to sleep tired out with all they had gone through."
The Chunkies' Adventuresi° arc such as one would expect to befall such nice and queer creatures. They meet friendly people who give them and their dog delicious things to cat, and they end up a series of pranks by finding their Uncle Clarence and paying him a visit. Both the Peek and the Chunky books rejoice in brightly coloured embossed covers, which little people will find most engrossing.
The Tiny Folks' Ann/IA.11 Mrs. Herbert Strang seems to have an endless supply of pretty pictures and stories for little children. Some of them are about such traditional nursery animals as bears, while others arc reminiscent of visits to the seaside and the country, but all are sure to attract and please the audience they are intended for.
Little One's A7inital.12 This is as good as ever, and consists
of pretty pictures, stories and verses, with an occasional article on nursery crafts, such as the making of shadow pictures. The Land of Nice New Clothes."- This is a very engaging little picture book. Tony's figure and her tiny frocks are delight- ful, and her pretty, mischievous face is in funny contrast to her mother's serious appearance. The verses match the illustrations in agreeable merriment.
A Picture Book of Animals" consists of simple accounts of many wild beasts, such as lions, apes and beavers, opposite full-
page illustrations in black-and-white and colour. The pictures of crocodiles and alligators are likely to produce a thrill of horror in the young reader.
Stories from Grimm." This little collection includes our old favourites, such as "'Cherry Blossom," " The Goose-Girl and "Rumple-Stilts-Kin," and has many coloured and black-and- white illustrations.
Jolly Old Sports." The large pages of this picture book are full of energetic merriment, and Will no doubt be greeted with shouts of laughter from the age that loves to look at pictures of elderly gentlemen in pink tumbling into streams and splashing about in wild efforts to get into more seemly positions. Cats and clogs join in the fun, for while the dogs hunt, the oats baffle the chase and lead it into strange predicaments.
The Little Man and the Little Gun" is published twice, in a book to itself and as one of the preceding collection of " sports." It is an amusing version of our small old friend's shooting exploits. Mr. Adams is an adept at filling his pictures with all sorts of funny, interesting details, by which we can amplify any preconceived ideas we may have of the little man's quaint 9nenage. We can here study his way of life, and that of his careful wife and noisy child, who somehow, appropriately enough, turns out to be Tom Tucker. We long to follow the path through the wood that Mr. Adams has drawn so alluringly, and even to get into the boat called ' Little Mary,' and join in the sport of pot-hunting.
Mother Hubbard's Book of Rhymes" is another of Mr. Adams' picture books. His work is always amusingly full of detail and his robust and grotesque figures move at a high rate of speed and energy against attractive backgrounds of country landscapes and old-world towns. His shops and shopkeepers are particu- larly attractive, and children will enjoy enumerating all the commodities to be found on these quaint counters.
Simple Simon,19 which is included in the " Rhymes," is also published as a slim, paper book with a bright cover.
Songs from Alice in lYonderland." Miss Lucy Broadwood's settings of these songs are just in the right vein. They are quite simple and with the authentic nursery rhyme flavour, but at the same time they are artistic and in perfect taste. The folk-song element, which of course Miss Broadwood under- stands, is used very skilfully, as in the ballad of the Jabberwock, and the ending•of Humpty-Dumpty inthe Dorian Mode is excel- lent. Of the illustrations it is difficult to speak. lithe Archangel Gabriel reillustrated " Alice" we could only regret Tenniel, and hero we have the outrage of Alice in modern brown shoes.
The Big ABC Book" begins with a Louis Wain cat alphabet, followed by pictures of puppies and accompanying verses, then more ABC's and a clock reading set of rhymes.
Teddy Tail's Alphabet". This is an amusing picture book in which some of the letters play their accustomed parts, such as A the Archer and a the apple-pie, while others assume new characters. Mrs. 0., for instance, obligingly cries out when Dr. Beetle is hurt so as to save him trouble. The story is, perhaps, rather complicated for very little children, but those who are more familiar with nursery letters (in every sense of the word) will no doubt like it very much. The illustrations are in black- and-white, and seem to be waiting for the flowing brush of a young colourist.
Nursery Rhyme Alphabet23. An amusingly planned alphabet in which capitals and small letters will be learnt at the same time. We wonder how soon the little reader will discover of what the decoration on each page consists.
Messrs. Dean and Son have sent us their reprints of the Tales of Happy Common, which we noticed last year. They are now divided into five slim little books with pretty, bright covers, and are priced at ls. each.