BY CONSTANCE HOLT
Those of us who have anything to do with people younger than ourselves often come across bright beings who do not take kindly to The Book and who have not yet realised that without writing and reading the other forms of entertain ment would not exist.
I am "suffering" from a most enjoyable distraction: a luscious heap of new books which will be on sale this Christmas. All these publishers can't be wrong. Thousands of junior readers, toddlers to teen-agers, are in for a good time.
I'M not an official animal/ lover, nor am I between four and eight years of age, but I find Tim Minds the Baby by Ella Monckton, Illustrated by Patricia W. Turner (Frederick Warne & Co., 4s. 6d.), a delightful little book.
Tim Water-Rat and his sister Fluff have as neat and cosy a back ground as the characters of Quality Street. Young hearts will beat to the tune of Tim's adven• tures in this story. and eyes will widen at the clean bright illustrations.
TWO inure rnendly "animal books this time from Faber & Faber, Oswald (The Wayward Lamb) by lames Ronald. illustrated by John Howson 8s. 6d. is ideal for bedtime reading. I found. Vigorous action takes place in the sixteen stories which comprise Sam Pig Goes to the Seaside, by Alison Uttley, illustrated by A. E. Kennedy all for 10s. 6d.
Why are pigs so endearing in fiction? This book reminds me of days when I loved the benevolent china pig in my bedroom . . .
GARTH W ILL I A MS presents in The Rabbits' Wedding, a silky soft treat for the tinics which Collins are publishing at 10s. 6d. Any grown-up will be soothed and delighted by the enchanting, dream-like illustrations to this tender tale of the two little rabbits one black. one white. who lived
in a big forest.
The same publishers have produced another book about that enterprising bear Paddington in Paddington Helps Out at 8s, 6d., by Michael Bond, with drawings by Peggy Fortnum. This poor bear even has trouble at the Launderette (easy enough as we know, even by looking in at the window). A good story for a father with a nice growl in his voice, to read aloud.
TWO big books for small people published by World's Work have great and splendid pictures, but• you can't do without the stories, however briefly they are told. First I picked up The Light in the Tower a delicate true story of an island off New England a lovely lyrical mixture involving sea, meadows. animals, a lamp in a lighthouse tower and a beautiful Christmassy climax.
Joan Howard is the author, Adrienne Adams the warm and sympathetic illustrator.
Very "dashing" and exciting is the second of these picture books The March Wind by 1114 Rice. illustrated by Vladmir Bobri. This is the story of what happens when a small boy picks up a hat, blown off an important head, and wears Both these two books sell at 12s. 6d. I hope the children who get them will keep them till they set up nurseries themselves.
I FEEL the same way about two • 12s. 6d. books from Constable
& Co. The Princess of Tomboso is a fairy-tale in pictures by Frank Newfield with completely orthodox fairy-tale,flavour ("There was once
a King . ") and brilliantly fresh modern illustration style. Second of this pair -Chanticleer and the Fox adapted from the Canterbury Tales and illustrated by Barbara Cooney is, very suitably, dominated by a colourful cock. One feels that Chaucer would love the variety, the tender sort of happiness, which underlies this lovely appetiser to his work. Gone are the days when he was hardly sampled before VIth. form, FROM Methuen at 12s. 6d, comes a high-spirited family book The Golden City with a story by A. L. Lloyd, rollicking Victorian costume illustrations by Pearl Binder and a sprinkling of traditional songs. complete with airs.
Toby and Bingo run into tough Victorian London situations: at one point they take up ramping. Though gin palaces and eel stalls come into the pictures, the Golden City is finally found to he London. This book may safely be lent to great-grandfathers.
MORE solid reading from the same publishers, is Red Moon and High Summer. This vivid travel story by Herbert Kaufmann (translated by Stella Humphries) is the result of the author's thousand-mile camel journey into Central Sahara on a search for rock paintings,