The C hronicles Brothet Wolf. Written
by Tertius. (Mowbray, 55. 6d.)
The Long 7'raverse. By John Buchan. (Hodder and Stoughton, 7s. 6d.) The Jeremy Stories. By Hugh Walpole. (Macmillan, 8s. 6d.) Fiddler's Quest. By Patricia Lynch. (Dent, 7s.) The Runaways, By Conor O'Brien. (Harrap, 5s.) Dialler and Gildero). By Marion B. Crothren. (Faber and Faber, 7s. 6d.) The Twins at St. Clare's, By Enid Blyton. (Methuen, 5s.) Ten Minute Plays for Boys. By A. E. M. Bayliss. (Hemp, 3s.)
Reviewed by GRACE CONWAY
A HORRIBLE doubt assails the " [hind of the conscientious adult when about to bestow a book present upon a child. " Yes. 1 liked that sort of book when I was a child-but children are so frightfully advanced
these days. Will it seem too simple and unsophisticated? " We never
really find out, for the average child is far too polite to tell the donor of any present what it really thinks of the gift. That comment will wait until the child gets among its contemporaries.
The books here chosen for review are a
very tepresentative collection. I start off with the Anglican Chronicles of Brother Wolf because it is the one I enjoyed most and it has that rare quality that will make child and an adult like it equally. It is a delightful introduction to St. Francis and is told in prose whose, rhythm and colour will engage the child's ear even if the subtleties of the story are not quite apprehended.
J1.1S1 before John Bucharedied he was putting the finishing touches to The Long Traverse-a great boys' book (which girls will like equally, I think). John Buchan, with something like a stroke or genius, manages to capture the cinema technique in telling this story of Canada. A school boy who is rotten at Latin and finds history a bore " is the hero and an old Indian guide who is also a magician is the medium through whom the panorama of folk-lore, national and natural history is unfolded.
The Jeremy Stories now appear for the first time in one book. They need no introduction and minims and fathers who read them in their youth will know whether their offspring will like Jeremy and the times he lived in-never to come again !
THE B.B.C. long ago discovered that the Irish idiom es no obstacle to the telling of a story. Fiddler's Quest, by Patricia Lynch, has Irish charm, humour and idiom in equal doses, though the troubles of Ire
lend are there in the background, too. I recommend this book to English children because it is so vividly Irish.
Ireland. too, provides the background fret the opening chapters of The Runaways, by Conor O'Brien. This is a boys' book-and will be borrowed by sisters, too. A yachting trip up the west coast of Ireland with great chunks of excitement and out-of-door adventure-all with a modern setting and a line map to help things along. The B.B.C. sending out an S.O.S. for the lost boys. who have nothing in common with the Barrie ones, is just another thrill in an exciting yarn.
DUDLEY, the grey parrot, and Gildetyoy, the ginger cat, have been translated From Algernon Blackwood's classic into a fascinating child's book by Marion B. Crothren wittiest serieseof brilliant drawings by Fedor Rojanovsky. This is for the younger children. The Twins at St. Clare's, by Enid Blyton, is for girls who like stories about' boarding schools, pillow fights and plots against the mistresses !
rrEN Minute Plop for Boys. by A. E. 1 M. Baylies. will no doubt be welcomed with whonps of joy by teachers who never know what to provide for the term end concert. They arc right up to the minute in mood and the actors will get as big a thrill from them as the audience of adoring parents.