MORE CHILDREN'S BOOKS.*
Tany o' Dreams' is a fascinating book. We first make Tony's acquaintance as a boy of eight years old, who goes out alone on a summer night to investigate the mysteries of a pixie ruin. The child's character develops all through the various stories, all more or less complete in themselves, until at last he is worthy of seeing Sir Galahad, and of riding with him on a quest. Dreams and reality are skilfully interwoven in these tales, and, though there is a serious tone about them, there is also plenty of fun and many merry adventures. The stories are wonderfully varied, and we follow Tony into many beau- tiful and remarkable places and meet many interesting and amusing people, besides the " good people " that his nurse held in such awe, but who turn out to be quite companionable hard- working field and garden fairies. There is the Pied Piper, thinking sadly of the imprisoned children, whom Tony sets free ; mermaids and "Chineses" ; and old Roger the gardener. The animal characters are well drawn, as are the more or less human beings. Rats and mice, cows, and a black kitten all take their part in Tony's adventures. We only hope that none of the little readers will try to act scenes from this' book and attempt to slide up moonbeams over the housetops, or pay visits to orchards and cowsheds on Christmas or Midsummer Eve, for they might not be as chill-proof as Tony seems to have been. The illustrations are as charming as the stories, and those in colour are as pleasing as the black-and-white sketches in the text.
Nursery Lays of Nursery Daysz is a pretty little paper- eovered book of charming verse, written from a little boy's point of view. Ho is not actually called Tony, but he is the same dreamy child. There is a wistful strain about some of these verses that will, we think, appeal more to grown-up people than to children. These lines from " The Organ Grinder " will find an echo in many hearts :—
" Over the hills and far away, Over the foamy sea,
Is the loveliest country in all the world And its name is Italy.
• • •
And he tells mo of all that he left behind In his sunshine land of flowers,
And though I'm English it seems to me It's a lovelier land than ours."
• (1) Tony a' Dreams. By 33. Nightingale. Illustrated by C. T.Nightingale, Oxford : B. H. Blackwell. London : Simpkin, Marshall. 17s. ad.1-- (2) Nursery Lays of Nursery Days. Same author and illustrator. Oxford : B. H. Blackwell. [2s.]—(3) Under Sevenshields Castle. By Qneenle Scott-Hopper. Illustrated by Honor C. Appleton. London : Harrap. 15s.]—(4) Through a Deed-Frame. By Lily Sandford. London R.T.S. 6d.)—(15) Topsy and navy: a Book of Holidays. By Canine Cadby. Illustrated with 40 Photo- graphs by Will Cadby. London : 3filis and Boon. [3s.)—(6) Buray : a Story of a Little Friend of A/ iiw. By F. B. Mackain. Illustrated by the Author. London: Yarrolds. [6e.1—(7) The Wonderful Tale of the Trail of a Snail. BY Allan Wright. SAM publishers. [SS. ed.1--(8) Thet AdvaduresI Adel
The dedication beginning-
" For you who never can be lost or dead, Baby o' mine, Baby o' mine"—
has a haunting refrain. The little woodcut illustrations aro very good. We particularly like that of the caravan, with tho little boy standing on the top, and a wonderful-looking horse stretching his head out of the window.
Under Serenslzields Castle3 is a very interesting, well-written story. Daphne and Dicky, aged nine and eight respectively, have always longed for adventures, and particularly for adven- tures connected with King Arthur and his Knights. They happen to spend a .summer holiday near the ruins of an old castle, and hear the legend which tells of the King and his Court sleeping, " deep, deep underground," in an enchanted hall, waiting till some brave adventurer comes to wind the horn loudly enough to awaken them. Of course the children deter- mine to call Arthur and Guinevere to the upper world again, and think and talk of little else but their great scheme. At this point the story almost imperceptibly becomes a dream, and a very vivid one too. Dicky finds his way down into the enchanted hall, and, though he fails to wake the grown-up people sleeping there, ho rouses a little golden-haired girl and her dog, and brings them back to his sister. Then we have some charming scenes in which Gwyneth, the Celtic maid, and alert, the hound, make friends with the children, and afterwards succeed in winning the heart of the rather suspicious English nurse, who looks on Gwyneth, naturally enough, as a very odd little foreigner, talking gibberish and outlandishly dressed. But though even the grown-up people soon take her presence as a matter of course, she cannot forget her sleeping mother, and longs for the old simple life of Arthur's Court. Motors frighten her, and she is bewildered by the ordinary things of to-day. When we are wondering how the author will find the way out of this complicated situation, she suddenly ends the dream by the self-sacrificing death of the girl, and Dicky and Daphne wake up to find that they have both dreamt the same story. They then decide not to try to rouse King Arthur, for fear that he might be as lonely as the Gwyneth and Gelort of their vision. Though it ends gravely, the story is by no means sad, for the little party ruled over by the excellent nurse, and all the rest of the grown-up characters, are most life-like and entertaining. Miss Appleton's full-page coloured illustrations are in her woll- known graceful manner.
Dreams and visions are popular this year in ohildren's books, and the writer of Through, a Reed-Frame* treats them very seriously. The hero of this story is a Boy Scout, and Bible characters appear to him in dreams, and enact their stories for him. They are well chosen and told. But besides the stories, this volume is also an elaborate picture book, and contains ingenious devices for making eliding illustrations on somewhat the same lines as old-fashioned Christmas cards. Spaces are also left to be filled up with appropriate quotations from the Bible, maps of Palestine, and illustrations from missionary papers. Certainly a clever child, whose fancy happened to be caught by all those rather complicated arrangements, might got a good deal of entertaining occupation out of it. The three-colour process surpasses itsell in some of the sour greens of the illustrations.
It is pleasant to turn to Mrs. Cadby's little volume of simple stories, Topsy and Turvy,5 illustrated by clever photographs, after our imagination has been so well stretched and our eyes so dazzled by many other children's books. In the tale that gives this little volume its title the principal characters are a delightful dog and kitten who are left a good deal alone for a while, and in consequence get into all sorts of amusing scrapes. The other stories, though good in their way, are not so original, as they tell of the well-known joys of children's seaside and country holidays. Bezel/ s is a story about an attractive Teddy Bear, very pleasantly written and with more than a little humour. Ho often tells the children with whom he lives about the queer adventures that happen to him at night, for ho too is a dreamer Billy. By Marion Jack. Same publishers and price.--(0) Why-so Stories of Birds and Beasts from Folk Lore and Legend. By Edwin Olio Rich. With Frontispiece by M. C. Ford and Line Illustrations by Charles Copeland. London Harrap. [5s.,—(10) The Story Teller. By Maud Lindsay. Illustrated by Florence Lily Young. Same publishers and price.—(11) A Story Garden for Little Children. Same author, illustrator, publishers, and prico.---(12) The Day Time Story Book. By Ruth 0. Dyer. Illustrated and Decorated by Antoi- nette Inglis. Same publishers. [Ss. 6d.1—(13) Tuek-Me-In Stories. Written and Illustrated by Enos 13. Comstock. London : A. and C. Black. [13s. (I4) Blackie's Children's Annual. Same publishers. [6s.]—(16) Blackie's Little One's Own Book. Same publishers. [Is. Odd of dreams, and he generally uses " Fazzer," as he calls him, as his mouthpiece. His pronunciation is often a little odd, and in his appropriate misuse of words he somehow reminds us of Dogberry. The parents' as well as the children's point of view is most amusingly suggested, and we should like to hear more of all the characters, but particularly of the really delightful Father, who was serenely good-tempered, oven when he found himself on business in London, with nothing but a Teddy Bear in his suit-case. He made this awful discovery on the top of a 'bus. He opened the suit-case to look for some important papers, " gave a violent tug, and—out came Mazy ! People were looking at me as if they thought I was crazy . . . And now for the terrible part of this tragic story. I tried to get Buzzy back in the suit-case, but it was like trying to get a chick back in its shell. It couldn't be done ! I heard a smothered laugh or two . . . the conduCtor shouted ' Charing Cross ! Are you going to get off, Sir, or are you going to keep me here all night w ile you argue the toss with yzr Teddy Bear ? ' " The illustrations, by Mr. Mackain himself, are worthy of the story. There are plenty of them, in colour and black-and- white.
It was an ingenious idea to turn a snail and his shell into a species of motor caravan for a Brownie, an Elf, and a Gnome, and in The Wonderful Tale of the Trail of a Snail' Mr. Allan Wright has made a delightful book of fairy travel and adventure out of it. Snail is a quaint old creature who rumbles along and does odd things at times, such as turning his house and passengers upside down, but they readjust themselves again and all journey along perseveringly, and after passing through such places as Will-o'-the-Wisp Marsh and Hump Hills, as we can see by reference to the map, they eventually arrive at Fairy Town, their destination. The illustrations are attractive, and full of elfish detail, and the colours are cheerful—The Adventures of Bulgy Billy 8 is a little book of downright, circum- stantial nonsense. Bulgy's adventures in search of the Apple of Beauty include a trial and almost an execution, and a ride with a witch on her broomstick, and end with the wedding of the queerly shaped hero with an equally bulgy lady called Millicent Mimwag. All this is told in verse, and illustrated in very bright colours. This and the preceding volume belong
to " The Bunnykin Books " series. , The Why-so Stories' give interesting answers to such questions as " Why does the nightingale stay up all night ? " or " Why the Crow hates the Hawk," with convincing assurance. In short, these are capitally told folk-tales about animals. In those days housekeeping must have been less simple, even for tigers, than we had been led to suppose, for they had almost modern difficulties over the fuel question, and we learn that " ever since that time the Cat has stayed in the village, and the Tigers have had to eat their meat raw."
In The Story Teller" we have well-written fairy-tales and allegories, supposed to come from the lips of a wandering story-teller. The picture on the cover shows him to us in the hall of an old castle, sitting by a blazing hearth, while the children gather round eagerly listening. " The Apple Dumpling " is the engaging name of one of the best of the stories, and in it we follow an old woman in her quest for an apple, with much amusement. Songs are woven into some of the stories, the words being fitted with appropriate music. Some of the coloured illustrations are very pretty.—A Story Gardena is a companion volume by the same author as the former book, but for younger children. Miss Lindsay is an American, and though the talcs are about simple everyday things there will be a special flavour of adventure for English children in the idea of going to a wood to pick grapes and persimmons. Miss Poulson has written a Preface to the stories, and advises us to " Trust them " and " Use them," a somewhat quaint expression, which, however, need not interfere with anybOdy's pleasure in this nice little book. Miss Young shows us some happy, cheerful children in her illustrations, but their parents are serious-looking people, very soberly dressed.
The Day Time Story Book" might be described as a little hand- book for mothers to use when dressing their babies, cutting their nails and brushing their hair. The writer thinks that all these undertakings can best be carried to a smiling conclusion to the sound of a story, and here gives us some pretty tales, very suitable for this pleasant purpose. The book is well illustrated. Teak-Me-In Stories" are told in the manner of fables. They are short and end with a clearly defined moral. Children are sure to enjoy them, for the animals behave in the proper traditional way, and are altogether very lively and amusing. The pictures are capital. Mr. Comstock has sot forgotten that the creatures he portrays are furry. He does not dress them up, and the result is the charming fluffiness of rabbits and other small deer, in fine winter coats.
Blackie's Children's Annual" is as delightful a volume as ever. Mrs. George Wemyss tells a story about a lively party of children with her usual good spirits and insight into character. In this tale, as in several others, there are echoes of the war, as it touched the lives of English children. Miss Angola Brazil is another popular writer who gives us a good story. There are besides many other interesting tales, merry verses, and pretty brightly coloured pictures for children of all ages.--Stories, verses, and pictures follow each other in great variety in this excellent Little One's Book 15 We are particularly amused by the children who made a very willing baby realistically play the part of a "war pig," much to nurse's consternation. Some of the songs are set to tuneful music, with a crisp clear rhythm, which can easily be played by young performers.
The Three Bears (Blackio, 10d.) is a good little picture-book of favourite fairy-tales.—Some of the verses and pictures in The Animals' Fun Book (same publishers, 2s.) have appeared before, but it is sure to please little children who like to see animals skating, dancing, and generally making merry.— A-Hurding We Will Go (same publishers, Is. 6d.) is a good A B C with spirited pictures of hounds and horses.