I have a lot of children’s classic books, some which originally belonged to my own children but quite a lot of them I bought because I hadn’t read them and I wanted to catch up with things which I had somehow missed out on.
But the books in the photo above were recent purchases from an Edinburgh bookshop and were incredible bargains. The first one, the small blue hardback is called The Children of Primrose Lane by Noel Streatfield. I swithered about buying this one but when I opened it up and read what Noel Streatfield had written as a preamble, I only got to the first sentence before deciding to buy it, she says: This book is about wartime Britain. That was enough for me.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Graham Rust. Well, who doesn’t love that book and this one is lovely, actually far nicer than the Folio edition, surprisingly.
The Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning and illustrated by Kate Greenaway. Beatrix Potter was appalled by Greenaway’s slightly out of scale drawings but I love them. I have a thing about classic fairy tales, probably because I wasn’t told any by my mother, she told me horror stories about concentration camps instead! Honestly it’s a wonder I turned out so normal, well I think I am! Of course the fairy tale versions that we know have all been sanitized for wee ears. Originally they were scarier and quite naughty.
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrated by Pauline Baines. It’s a book of verses which was published after The Hobbit. Pauline Baines also did the book covers for C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books in the 1960s.