Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy May from the Golden Almanac (1944)

The Golden Almanac by Dorothy Bennett, pictures by Masha, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1944.

I know about Maypoles because of the Eastern Star Home/Archer School Maypole in Brentwood, and I know about May baskets because of Little Heathens, but I think these May traditions are otherwise long-lost in America. Lovely, but long-lost.

In any case, HAPPY MAY!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"The Queen of Hearts" Illustrated by Raymond Briggs

I'm never sure if nursery rhymes are the Curriculum of Toddlerhood or just pointless 18th-century doggerel (or both), but we do have a lot of Mother Goose books and they're probably worth the cost of admission just for the frequently delightful illustrations.

Tonight we were reading Fee Fi Fo Fum, illustrated by the great Raymond Briggs, and this illustration of the Queen of Hearts really jumped out at me. Raymond Briggs is a Brit known for his children's book illustrations, including quite a few fairy tale compilations (as retold by Virginia Haviland and/or Ruth Manning-Sanders). He created this little volume, published in 1964 by Coward-McCann, "with grateful acknowledgment to [noted folklorists] Iona and Peter Opie."

"The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
All on a summer's day

The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
And took them clean away...

"The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
And beat the Knave full sore;

The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts
And vowed he'd steal no more."