Thursday, August 29, 2013

English Children's Books

The book shower brunch picturing a smattering of American children's books - Olivia, Curious George, and Dr. Seuss.
We learned last week during our holiday in Wales that we are pretty bad at vacationing, especially where they are more sedentary.  On the brighter side, we learned a lot about English children's books.

We have been careful to avoid turning our small home into a nursery.  The one exception to our stuff aversion is when it comes to children's books, which we have welcomed by the dozens.  My best friend and my sister even threw me a book shower (above and below) while pregnant. We acquired quite the library of classic children's books, and were delighted.

Book shower decorations

"Library" book plates for guests to fill out and insert in their shower gifts.

The shower favors were little boxes of gummy one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.  Cute!

I had dear friends come in from DC and Philly for the shower - here pictured sixish months pregnant with my favorite friends and roomies from Foxhall in Washington, DC.  Oh, those were the days!
After moving back to London, a friend commented that other than those treasures cherished on both sides of the Atlantic (e.g. Beatrix Potter, Winne-the-Pooh, and Dear Zoo), our children's library was American.

My interest piqued, I began a low-burn quest to learn more about English children's books.  Our holiday in Hay-on-Wye with its 23+ bookshops last week helped to satiate my appetite only slightly.  There are of course those classics we all know and love, but a few of which I have never heard.  See which you know, and those you don't:

The Enid Blyton series

The LadyBird (we call them lady bugs) series of Children's classics

"What Katy Did" and "What Katy Did Next"

The William Series - something akin to our Hardy Boys?

"The Railway Children" (sorry for the bad photo), not to be confused with "The Boxcar Children"

One everyone knows - "Winnie-the-Pooh"

Flower Fairies

 Not pictured are Alice in Wonderland and several magazines.  Now for random photos of our trip and a few of a very cute baby...

Janet, this one's for you

Hay on Wye Castle bookshop

The "Warren," close to where we live.

View from the pinnacle of our hike just under Hay Bluff, taken while baby boy took his afternoon nap under a tree

My boys.

the sign says, in Welsh and English, "Hay on Wye, town of books"

A view of the Warren on one of our walks

first apple

One of the treasures acquired on the trip - a first edition of The Children's Homer

Another acquisition - a nearly complete vintage set of Beatrix Potter
(acquired from four different book shops)

We also discovered the "Observer" series, six of which we brought home.

Another acquisition - 1904 edition of a children's version of Gulliver's Travels

And yet another - a 1924 Everyman edition of Cato's Republic

Gideon found a table and chairs just his size at the Hay on Wye children's bookshop

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