By Pat Jones THIS month we are 'turning the tables and beginning with a book that, though it is not written for children, should be of interest to a thoughtful child because it would make an admirable gift for a parent. The author charitably assumes that we parents forget (though perhaps we never knew) what happened at a particular time in history.
This is where Now I Remember: A Holiday History of Britain, by Ronald Hamilton (Chatto and Windus, 219.), comes in handy. It is a gift which will be appreciated by every parent, especially as the inference is not that we are ignorant but that we may need reminding.
The minds of children leap into the future, with the moonno longer a place for a fairy-talc Man. For some, the realms of outer space will become reality. Three books illustrate this interest, only one of them fiction.
This is Outpost of Jupiter, by Lester del Rey (Gollancz. 12s. 6d.), with Bob Wilson, a student of language-science, as its main character. The novel bravely tackles the problem of communication not based on human language, and has an air of practical truth which is the art of the good science-fiction writer.
Pioneers in Astronomy is a breath-taking book. The reader is awed, just as the astronomers were awed by their discoveries. From Copernicus to radio astronomy and astro-physicists, we see clearly the debt each man owed to those who went before.
We can also appreciate the immensely painstaking mathematical work, as well as the inspired vision which led to the discoveries. By Navin Sullivan, illustrated by Eric Fraser (Harrap, 12s. 6d.).
Precisely of our time is Modern Adventures in Air and Space by G. F. Lamb (Harrap. 12s. 6d.) which deals with rocket-planes, record flights and spacemen, as well as tales of courage and endurance. Both technical and inspiring.
City of The Golden House, a novel of Britain and Rome in Si. Peter's day, centres round Gretorix, a British slave, and his friend and master the boy Diorned, paralysed since the age of eight.
Its author, Madeleine Polland,
brings to life that distant time. its customs, history and horrors. which forged the beginnings of the Church with the blood of martyrs. The book builds tip to its climax with exceptional skill. (World's Work, 15s.).
A Stone Its A Pool by Barbara Softly (Macmillan. 155.) is a story of the coming of Charles 1, an unwilling "guest", to Carishrooke Castle in the Isle of Wight. Attempts to rescue him involved even the young children, and we see the drama of the time through the eyes of 15-year-old Stephen and his chance acquaintance Henrietta.
One of the tenderest tales ever told is Little Sister Tai-Mi, the story of a five-year-old Korean girl left utterly alone by the war. By Berit Braenne, translated from the Norwegian by Evelyn Ramsden, it is a sequel to Trina Finds a Brother, which was based on a real incident. Tamar, the brother, was found, very ill, in a basket on an African quayside. and the reader will easily guess whose little sister Tai-Mi becomes (Macmillan, 12s. 6d.).
Now to Japan for a book which is all charm. and which will delight any little girl. It is Snzu and the Bride Dull by Patricia Miles Martin, illustrated by Kazue Mizumura. Her small brother will enjoy Mr. Moonlight and Omar by James Holding, a story of art Arab boy named Selim. his donkey and a camel. (Both World's Work. 12s. 6d. each).
For technically-minded youngsters the brightly illustrated Tilly The Traction Engine will convey the romance of this old machine, as well as how it works. By A. L. Frost (Methuen. 10s. 6d.).
' For young animal-lovers. a new series deserves special mention. It is Nelson's "See How They Grow" series at 5s. each. and for such glossy. lively books the price is a pleasant surprise. The first titles are Galahad the Guinea Pig. Teresa The Tortoise, and Hannibal the Hamster. AB by Ann-Marie Pa jot. Also recommended are the Macmillan productions by Alice E. Goudey, illustrated by Garry MacKenzie. Here Come the Lions! and Here Come The Bears! (12s. 6d. each).
Victoria, by Elisabeth Kyle (Nelson, 18s.) is one of a series of picture biographies which include many other distinguished subjects. Often the history syllabus does not reach the age of Victoria and children remain ignorant of a great period. Even at the tender age of ten this book can be enjoyed.
Geography is too often a dull question of maps and facts and ' figures with far too little bingraphical and historial detail to make it live. In this respect the series "Getting to Know", published by Muller, will prove very effective.
The four latest titles are: Egypt by John A. Wallace: Indonesia by Carl Taylor; Hong Kong by Charles R. Joy, and France by John A. Wallace. They are 10s. 6d. each and profusely illustrated.
The Younger Layman's Missal
(Burns Oates, ) is an English adaptation by Donald Attwater from the &Ijssel Pour Celerer L'Eucharistie edited by Fr. J. Feder, Si. The foreword is by Fr. H. E. Winstone. and the illustrations by the Benedictine Nuns of Cock fosters.
This Missal treats the younger generation as they like to be treated in an adult and up-to-date fashion. The illustrations are modern yet not outrageous, and it is well laid out, especially the Order of the Mass. There is an excellent section for the Sacraments and a helpful guide on "Some words and what they mean".
While decades of the Rosary remains a favourite form of penance it is a pity that the Rosary does not find a place in this Missal.