Saturday, October 22, 2016


Looking as if it has been through  the wars-tipped in  colour plates removed, items  cut out , some pages loose , foxed and bumped- this is  a  special   1914   Christmas  double number  . The first part  was  launched  about the  outbreak of hostilities ;  the second, issued in December , is larger  and  contains   several  supplements  in  which   war, past and present ,   is  the  subject of  some volumes and there  are advertisements  for  the extensive range  of  newspaper books on the  current  war , including  the German spy ring how women  can help wounded  and   how  to  help  Lord  Kitchener . 
The  influence   of  the  war  is clearly  reflected in  the   torn  and  scuffed  cover  illustration  entitled The Glory of Belgium , it having been invaded by the  Germans in August .

Not   knowing that  a  seemingly endless  monstrous   war  would  engulf  the   world  for  years  , the   offerings  included  many light- hearted  books for  boys and  girls ,  one  The Children's ABC  of the War,  with 26 coloured illustrations,   said  to  contain nothing  likely to  alarm  the most  tender imagination , all told  and  pictured "with  humour  and a  touch of  kindness ."

The above graphic  accompanied  the  write up for Belgian Playmates , by Nellie Pollock ,illustrated by  Charles  Folkard , " a  capital little story "of the present war   designed to not only entertain juvenile readers   with its narrative of two heroes who went out with the Expeditionary Force-one to return  covered with glory , the other  to lay down  his  life  for the country , giving them a vivid idea of  the  great  happenings  of  the day .
To this is added "an interesting and  amusing account "  of  the doings of  certain English children  and their small  Belgian playmates in the home   circle   from which the two heroes went to the front , and to which news of  them comes  to  thrill  their   quiet lives  with excitement .
Books  written and  illustrated by   Australians  include: The  Girl  From the Back -Blocks, by Lilian Turner , about a  14 year old   country girl's  experiences at  a school in town , an entertaining  story , lucky would be the  girl who found it among her gifts on Christmas day ; Bushland Stories by  Amy Eleanor Mack , a charming collection  of stories for children , written by author who is an enthusiastic nature-lover , and thoroughly  conversant with  the haunts and denizens  of her beloved bushland ; Scribbling Sue , also by Mack, illustrated by May  Gibbs, frontispiece in colour . Children of Wild Australia  , by Oliphant , which  includes a drawing of  a"  tattooed brave ."
Novels with an Australian   touch  are  :  By  Blow and Kiss , the love story of a man with  a bad name , by Boyd  Cable , which gives  a capital picture of   sheep farming in Australia , and  human passions of  love, jealousy and hate ; Flower O' The Pine , by Ethel Turner , a  quite exquisite  picture of a little  Australian  girl ; A Tail  of  Gold , an Australian mining story written  in  a crisp style , by  David Hennessey . 
Scottish author J.M. Barrie, famous for    Peter  Pan , the boy who never wanted to grow up ,  rates  a special mention ; his  son  , George , was   killed in the war, as   was  one  of  the  boys  who inspired the character  Peter Pan .
One of the many authors  the subject of extensive profiles is schoolteacher  Edith Howes  of  New Zealand , a  Dominion which enjoys a  world wide reputation  as a paradise for the  worker , where  the  schooling system  enables the sons and daughters of  professional men  sit side by side on the benches  with the children of  the  working man .
She  is   tipped to  become as  famous  as Lewis Carroll  and Selma Lagerloff  because of her   works , which use observations of Nature to open the   eyes of   infants to  the fairyland  all around them . After many rejections , Sun Babies became a   hit , then Fairy Rings  told how two children named  Win  and Twin, brought the fairies all the way  from Ireland, over the seas in a fairy ship , and established them  safely in Maoriland . ( Bookman unearthed by Magnetic Island  researcher  Gary Davies .)