Friday, 22 October 2010

Smiles on a rainy day

Another wet day here in England's Lake District and just to prove it I've taken a couple of photos for you showing my rain soaked roses looking pretty sorry for themselves. But wait ........... this isn't going to be a post about rainy day blues because wet weather means I have the perfect excuse to stay snug and warm whilst pottering about indoors. When I've finished pottering I can sit quietly with a warming cuppa and enjoy a good book or magazine......... bliss!

I have no new magazines to browse through today so my Lucie Attwell annuals were my chosen reading material (no surprise there!) Mabel Lucie Attwell annuals were printed from 1922 to 1974 which means there are 53 to collect. For the first 27 years the books were printed in monochrome but in 1949 full colour was introduced which must have delighted children (and mothers) everywhere. 

Over the past couple of years I've built up a small collection of 11 books, mainly from the 1950s. After this date many of the illustrations were produced by MLA's daughter Peggy and, although beautifully drawn, they don't have quite the same appeal as the earlier ones.

I never fail to be completely charmed and amused by the illustrations and little stories each annual contains.

Let me introduce you to this busy little mouse who always makes me smile. She's quite tiny and you have to look closely into a picture to actually find her. She never plays any part in the story but as she appears in several annuals I think MLA must have been fond of her.

My childlike imagination tells me that every time some action took place Mistress Mouse just happened to be passing. (I think we all know someone like that!).

In the picture below the barrow deposited its load across the ground just as the mouse and an elderly gentleman strolled by.

And look........ here she arrived just as the picnic began. How lucky is that?

And here she is again, this time shaking her umbrella at some jovial youngsters having fun! 

What a great idea it is to encourage young children to looking really closely at pictures in order to spot small or disguised objects. Top of my 'can you spot?' list would have to be Richard Scarry's Goldbug book entitled 'Cars and Trucks and Things that Go'. (Available from Amazon).

In order to write this post I sent my (adult) son a text message asking him to email me some pictures of Goldbug. He willingly put aside the scientific research paper he is busily writing in order to oblige and the pictures were returned within 15 minutes!

'Cars and Trucks and Things that Go' is my son's favourite book of all time. He was approaching two years old when we gave it to him and you can see by its condition that it has been well used. Each double page spread is crowded with vehicles of every shape and size. Amongst the drivers and passengers there is just one little yellow character 'Goldbug' and the object of the exercise is to find him. As a tiny tot my son spent many happy hours on his dad's knee searching for Goldbug.

Above is my son's much loved book. Note the scientific research document below that has been set aside whilst photographs were taken. My son knows how to prioritise!

Can you spot Goldbug?

Can you see him on the bus?

And here he is being carried away by a breakdown truck (this was always cause for both concern and amusement).

My daughter was also passionate about Richard Scarry books and I thought I'd finish this post with one of her books which contains 500 things to colour and make. A definite favourite for wet days like today.

We all love Richard Scarry books in this family, perhaps you do too.

Have a happy weekend wherever you are.