Thursday, 22 May 2014

Vintage and Retro Children's Books Part Two

Carrying on from last time and sharing some more of the books I read in childhood. These books I rescued from the school that my Mum used to teach at. She kept a selection of our favourite picture books from childhood and read them to her new entrants class. They were known as the Christmas books because a lot of them were special books we would only read at Christmas. 
When Mum passed away, another teacher held on to them until I collected them several years ago. 

This little guy was given to me the day after I was born, so he's nearly 30!

I had almost forgotten about the stash until we were staying with my Dad at the beginning of the year, and I was looking for some things to entertain my 2 year old. In a corner of the garage collecting dust was the huge box. I rescued them to take home and now I'm sharing them all with you, bit by bit!

The Ugly Duckling and The Little Red Hen 

(Disneyland Record and Book 1970)

These are books that you most definitely will not find on any bookshop shelves today! They are read-along with record books. Yep, actual 33 ⅓ Long Playing Record vinyl records. My Dad had quite an extensive record collection when we were kids so I think we had about 4 of these story books. I'm not sure where they came from, maybe something that belonged to my parents? Unfortunately the records are long gone, but the books are still great. I remember listening along with the record, and waiting for the little *ding* to turn the page! 

These are classic fairytales with lovely illustrations. Very colourful for the time they were made I think. At the back of the book is a flap to store the record. 

The Little Red Hen is about a Hen who asks the other Farmyard animals for help as she begins the process of making a loaf of bread. No one wants to help her, but of course they want to eat the baked bread! I'm sure there are modern versions of this story at the library. Not to be confused with Chicken Little (the sky is falling down)!

The ugly duckling is one of my favourite children's stories. It's a simple story with a deeper meaning. I've had an idea in my head for a while for a New Zealand themed version of this story...just need to actually write it!

Obstreperous, by Ted Greenwood (1973)

I think just the title of this book catches your attention! It's such a crazy word and immediately you're wondering what does it mean?! This book is about a Kite that is a bit naughty. When I was growing up, I thought Obstreperous was the longest and strangest word I'd ever heard.

The illustrations are quite odd, they go with the story I guess! The kite wants to fly free away from the string that holds it. He causes a bit of mischief as he flies around, annoying the neighbours and getting tangled. 

At the end of the story, the kite's face changes as he is free, and becomes a happy face. It's something different, and written in an interesting way with the text winding around the page like the kite. 

The King, The Mice and The Cheese, by Nancy and Eric Gurney (1966)

The inside cover of this book has my mother's maiden name in it, and $1.35 (a real bargain!). My parents were married in 1977, so this is a pretty old school read! I think I have seen it in the library. It's a great story so I'm not surprised children are still wanting to read it. 

The story is about a King who loved to eat cheese. The smell of the cheese attracts mice to the Palace, and soon they overrun the Palace. The King brings in cats to chase the mice, then the cats take over, so he brings in Lions. Of course the Lions then take over the Palace so he has to bring in Elephants...who get chased out by--guess what-- mice! In the end the King, the cheese and the mice all live together happily! 
A cute book with great illustrations of all the different animals. I would look out for this one at the library! 

Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina (1973)

This is another oldie! It was first printed in 1940! I guess by today's standard the story is a little old fashioned and the pictures a bit dull, but I think the fact it is old, makes it more interesting. 

The illustrations are almost in a monochrome colour scheme- only black, white, grey, orange and brown. I don't know anything about printing during that time, but the fact the colours are so muted actually add to the story. And again, the illustrations are simple and clear, allowing the drawings to speak the story without a lot of text. 

The story is about a man who sells caps. he walks around with the caps on top of his head. One afternoon he falls asleep under a tree, and when he wakes up, all the caps are gone. he looks up and sees the tree is full of monkey's wearing the caps! 
The idea of a tree full of monkey's in a small country town is pretty crazy, not to mention the fact they are now wearing hats! I like stories like aren't obvious, it makes you wonder why and how monkey's are in a town, and turns a simple story into something magical. 

I hope you've enjoyed checking out more of my childhood books! What do you remember reading when you were a child? I'd love to know! 

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