MAY I Bring a Friend? (Collins 13s. 6d.) is by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, illustrated in classic fashion by Beni Montresor and 1 frankly hardly know whom 1 must congratulate for this delightful, and again, refreshingly unusual and funny hook. My class of 8-year-olds made me take three curtains until 1 was able finally to lay the book to (temporary) rest.
1 still cannot decide whether the witty illustrations or the equally funny text make the greater appeal, but that hardly matters. This is one book which I would like to Nee in every Primary School library in the country. The teachers would laugh and so would the children.
In s i m p l e, easily-read
quatrain-style verse, we read of a pleasant yet anonymous little boy who is on extremely friendly terms with the King and Queen. They frequently invite him to the palace for meals, including breakfast. Before accepting each invitation Little Boy tells them that he wants to bring a friend, who always turns out to be a different animal from the 700. The story runs all-too-quickly to the Grand Finale when the animals in turn request the pleasure of the company of the royal couple to take tea with them at the city zoo!
For children who arc not at school Little Truisa's Tea Party (Methuen, 10s. 6d.), the second in the series by Ester Ringner-Lundgren will be an almost-certain success, In this delightful story with so many colourful and happy illustrations of the Little Woodland Folk we again meet Little Trulsa, the sweet, forgetful little troll girl.
Most adults know John Keats's famous lines, "There Was a Naughty Boy", but no illustrated edition of the complete poem has ever before been published,. Whiting and Wheaton have now done just this and the neat little pocket edition, selling at 7s. 6d. is attractively bound in good format and whimsically illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, who, incidentally, just happens to have the same name but is in no way related to the poet,
Children from eight to ten will take this little book to a quiet corner and read it aloud, complete with intonations and actions: then, as my experience has shown, they will learn it to say in class or at P.T.A. meetings.
In Noah's Journey (Macmillan, 15s.) by George Macbeth, illustrated so effectively by Margaret Gordon, a very modernistic Noah is in strange and one-sided conversation with the oak and the pine who describe their justification as wood used in the construction of the Ark. Noah speaks to some of the animals and by contrast the Mouse, Bat and Rat speak in turn followed by the Tiger, Crocodile, Rhinoceros and Elephant: each. as it were. justifies its existence and essential presence in the Scheme of Things.