Books for Children

Below: The cats' meat man. This vendor was selling meat for cats, not meat from cats; more disturbingly, elsewhere in the book a poem says: 'The pretty sheep gives you the wool from his sides, To make you a jacket to use; And the dog or the seal must be stripped of their hides, To give you these nice little shoes.'
p123, p53
Left: The Infant's Magazine, 1877. This was brought out in various formats, ranging from 1/6d to 2/6d, with the most expensive having a cover and gilt edges to the pages. Even 1/6d was more than many people earned in a day.

4 themes run through the book. By far the most predominant is that of God, Christianity and the Bible. 
There are also the themes of kindness, particularly to animals; working hard; and being good. These ideas seem to be aimed equally towards boys and girls.
The poem on Dirty Jack finishes: 'The idle and bad May, like to this lad,
Be dirty and black to be sure; 
But good boys are seen 
To be decent and clean, 
Although they are ever so poor.'

There were certain things missing from the Infant's Magazine: there was hardly anything about royalty - and nothing about Queen Victoria. There was little about places abroad, and nothing about the Empire.
Above left and right: Captain January, by Laura E Richards, a story with the theme of death. This was published in Boston in 1895
Barbara Rowland collection
Above left and right: Hans Anderson's Fairy Tales, first published in 1910. Increasingly in the 20th century well produced books were illustrated by  talented artists such as Margaret Tarrant
Jan Morris collection

Left and above: Peepshow books opened up to present a 3-D scene.
Vanessa Griffith collection
Above left and right: Pages from The Prize, 1917, well into the 1st World War. 
Left: Birds Every Child Should Know, published in 1907 in the US by Doubleday, Page and Company.
A problem with this identification guide was that all the pictures were in black and white.
Above: In contrast,  The Flower Guide, by Chester A Reed, published by the same company in 1920, had pictures of 320 flowers in colour.
Both books Barbara Rowland collection
Right and below: Books from the 1920s. The illustration on the right is from The Boy Who Was, first printed in 1928
Barbara Rowland collection

Above, above right and right:
The Pied Piper of Hamelin, with illustrations very much in the Art Deco style.

Below and below left:
A Daily Express pop-up book. Circa 1930?
Barbara Rowland collection

Left: Bobby Bear's Annual 1933.
Frances Berry collection

Above left and right: A series of books published by the Platt and Munk Co. in the USA. They are undated, but the author, Elizabeth F McCrady, had a hardback book called Children of Many Lands published in 1937. The books combine stories about the children with facts about the different countries: climate, produce, language etc.
Barbara Rowland collection
Above left: Storyland for Girls, inscribed 1938
Above right: First Term at Mallory Towers, by Enid Blyton, first published 1946
Below left: Noddy goes to Toyland, by Enid Blyton, first published 1949;
Below right: Lion Annual 1954. There was intense interest in space exploration during the 1950s.
Anne Bligh collection

Below left: Just William, 1954. Although William was invariably untidy and constantly in scrapes, he was nevertheless a very middle-class little boy.
Below right: The Ladybird book of Cars. Ladybird Books celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015
Anne Bligh collection

Above left:
Tiny Tots Annual 1957
Above right: Sooty's Third Annual 1959
Right: Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Undated, but post 1955 when the film was released.

All from Frances Berry collection