By CONSTANCE HOLT
WHAl was your eailiest dream'? Mine was, I think (without being answerable to a psychoanalyst for accuracy) the casual exercis6 of flying, indoors and out. of course without aid of wings or 'plane. Gollancz now presents, for 12s. 6d., a chance to feel the dream come true through the experiences of Mark Danby. an independent ten-year-old who lives in London and during a Lake District holiday learns, with the help of Woorroo, the oldest friend he'd ever made. how to grow and use a fine pair of wings. (Aiding is fun but risky, too. You can go far. but most people have to come back. After all for Mark there was Next Term to be considered . . .
Joyce Gard wrote this lovely story. WOORROO, in which fancy is true, and Ronald Benham did the light fly-away drawings.
IF you have met Tomhawk you will knew there's a good time ahead for everyone who gets Roberta Leigh's new story of this charming little chap's adventures. TOMAHAWK AND THE TOMB OF WIIITE MOUSE. It is published by Pelham Books at 9s. 6d. and illustrated by Sally Mellersh. I'd rather meet wild animals and Red Indians in Tomo's company than through any conducted tour with mod. con.
You can go to the other side of the world to see a Mummers' play, acted by homesick Britons. ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON, put skilfully together in words and pictures by Diana John and published by Methuen at 12s. 6d., combines many versions of a famous old play, for use here and now. The children will love this decorative book and be tempted to act it out at Christmastime or any time. Hints for production and costumes are suggested, with drawings as crisp and clear as a frosty morning.
TALK about travelling I've not met in life or fiction a group of children who could beat the Sager family.
The 1844 journey of these seven (including the unbaptised baby) to the Columbia valley. in instinctive obedience to the wish of their dead parents, is fascinatingly far from the world of school buses, meals. milk and homework. It is all described with poetic simplicity by A. Rutgers Van Der Loeff in his book CHILDREN ON THE OREGON TRAIL, translated from the Dutch by Roy Edwards. illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and published by the University of London Press at 15s. Here is a story with unforgettable "flavour".
AN all-funny story needs no maps. Hutchinson's YOUNG NICHOLAS (12s, 6d.) by artist Sempe and writer Goseinny, translated by Stella Rodway, will be welcomed by schoolboys and girls, readers of "Punch", in fact anyone who can smile.
This is not a loud ha-ha book but rather a collection of corn
fortable chuckles. Our young hero begins: "Ibis morning we all came to school very pleased because they were going to take a photo of the class . " and closes with his decision to run away from home. ("1 shan't come back for years and years and I'll be very rich . • . "). Between those two events much happens to him, schoolfellows, Teacher, Parents. We, the readers, keep on smiling.
AST the most famous ghost story ever: A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Dickens. This time. though. Ronald Searle has re-enchanted it With his incomparable illustrations, He this famous "St. Trinian" artist is here only really rude to the ghosts and unreformed, nasty people.
The book, at 21s. (Perpetua Books) belongs to the kind that are kept and handed down. Dickens may have completed this well-stuffed story in a few weeks. We shall want it, and so will the children, for all the foreseeable future,
FRANCIS'S last inter-, view with Jeanne de Chantal is revealing from this point of view. They had by now founded the Order of the Visitation together, and she wanted to ask him many important things and seek advice on many points. He told her to be quite quiet and to listen. But she wasn't to listen to him, but to his servant who: was waiting for him outside and whistling a happy little tune.
Francis died at the age of 55 from sheer over-work.
His motto reveals his utter simplicity and utter generosity: '' To ask for nothing, and to refuse nothing",
DIDou hear a remarkable story of mystery and danger by Howard Jones broadcast on "Children's Hour"? You can now read BEWARE THE HUNTER! in alluring book form, published by Cape at 12s. 6d. and illustrated, so as to bring out its full charmand alarm, by Christopher Chamberlain.
This book is a skilful blend of ingredients which include a loaded pistol. Shakespeare, disappearance of timid little Valgrove from an aircraft over the Channel . . . a date at Kings Cross. The mixture kept me wide awake till the last (reassuring) sentence,
HuRity, HURRY. by FAlith Thacher Hurd with pictures by Clement Hurd (World's Work, 9s. 6d.). This is the tenth volume in the "I Cart Read" series. Apart from the story, what was said about the previous volume is applicable in this ease. The illustrations are particularly amusing.
JONAH AND THE WHALE, illustrated by Reinhard Herrmann. This vividly illustrated story of Jonah and the Whale is written in a way which will appeal to "cry young children.