Posts Tagged ‘book’

World Dolls Series: Scotland

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book

This week we’re touring Scotland in our World Dolls Series of books.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustrations by M. Russon

There are twelve little books in the series. We’ve managed to get hold of them all, so we can do quite a comprehensive tour of Europe now.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book featuring dolls Andrew and Sheena

Our doll guides for this trip are Andrew & Sheena – sporting their national costumes which they wear for high days & holidays (jeans & T-shirt the rest of the week!)

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a castle

Fabulous illustrations once more – this time the work of M. Russon from the Birmingham School of Design.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of children wearing tartan outfits playing with a snowman

They’re very atmospheric with a distinct 1960s feel.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of houses and boats in Aberdeen

We love the colours in this book – subtle shades of green, ochre & blue with flashes of bright red.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a thistle

Some illustrations are full of tiny detail, but they retain a simple, spare quality too.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a steamboat and highland cattle

We take in towns, harbours and the wonderful Scottish countryside.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a red tractor

We love the depiction of life on the croft.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a flock of sheep with Sheena and a piper

Next week we’re heading off to Wales – hope you’ll join us!

Going Dutch!

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

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vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

We picked up this charming little book recently.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

It dates from 1964 and comes from the World Doll Series by Irene Dark – a collection of 12 books each dedicated to a different country.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

Dolls in traditional costumes proudly take you on a tour of their homeland. Our Dutch guides were Hans & Wilhelmina – and they took us on a trip around Holland – through the bulb fields, past windmills and along canals.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

We were very taken by the illustrations by W.Lewis from the Birmingham School of Design. We’d never come across this artist’s work before.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

They’re beautifully drawn – colourful, whimsical & very charming. We really think they hold their own against work by more famous illustrators such as Bill Charmatz & Miroslav Sasek.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

They’re perfect books for children of course – educational & fun, but we’re sure they’ll have many grown up fans too. We have an ever expanding pile of vintage children’s books which we collect for the gorgeous artwork. With quite a few books in this particular series, there’s an opportunity to collect many more examples of W. Lewis’ work.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

If you’re as taken with the illustrations as we were, then there are a few examples of the books up for sale on eBay, Amazon, Alibris and AbeBooks at the moment. We’re actually giving out this information before we’ve got a full set – the sacrifices we make for our readers!! :-D

Bookmarks: My Vietnamese Kitchen

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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cover of "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book with dried noodles, pak choi, lime, chilli, ginger and garlic

My Vietnamese Kitchen is the most recent, successful undertaking of Saigon-born Londoner, Uyen Luu.

title page of "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Amongst other things, she’s a prop stylist, photographer, film-maker and supper club host.

fried fish recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

It’s a gorgeous book – full of culinary delights with striking colour and flavour combinations.

breakfast chapter from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

A distinctive feature is the wonderful photography and superb staging of ingredients & prepared dishes.

rice roll recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

It really makes the food live!

omelette soup recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

The first section covers the wide variety of herbs, spices, rice & noodles that are staples – then moves onto chapters featuring breakfast, soups, snacks, noodles, lunch & dinner and sweets.

herb photo from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Recipes are clear & easy to follow – a quick browse and you’ll want to get cooking at the first opportunity.

beef stew recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Uyen’s mother is a great influence – and there are many family dishes, methods and memories. She also draws in the culture & ceremony of food in Vietnam.

sticky fingers chapter from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Compared to say Chinese, Indian or even Thai food, Vietnamese cuisine is not the most widespread or indeed available outside its own borders. Uyen makes the cuisine very accessible – the book really conveys the fresh, healthy & exciting range of fare.

pork belly recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Whilst dishes are distinctly South East Asian, there’s also a French influence in places. Don’t these filled baguettes look irresistible? A perfect illustration.

sandwich photo in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

The book is a real insight into Vietnamese tastes, lifestyle & customs – and we can thoroughly recommend it as cookery course, travel brochure or food styling guide. You’re also sure to get some interiors inspiration too!

skewer recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Also available on Hive, Amazon and our A-store

avocado ice cream from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

[Many thanks to Ryland Peters & Small for this review copy]

Gimme Five! Cookbooks

Friday, December 13th, 2013

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Selection of 5 cookbooks

Everybody loves to get a book for Christmas. I especially love to find a new, glossy, hardback cookbook under the tree to add to my collection!

Anyone who follows this blog will know that we love baking bread, cakes, pastries and cookies as well as using foraged ingredients. Here are five cookbooks that will go a long way towards extending our cookery repertoire!

  1. The Delia Collection – Baking: £10.03, Hive
  2. The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook: £14.60, Foyles
  3. Tartine box set: £45, Blackwells
  4. Hedgerow (River Cottage Handbook, No.7): Amazon, £10.34
  5. Pie: Delicious Sweet and Savoury Pies and Pastries from Steak and Onion to Pecan Tart: from £11.37, AbeBooks

Bookmarks: The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales book with a teddy bear and lit candle

This edition of The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen edited by Noel Daniel is a sumptuous collection of the author’s work.

TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales book cover

The book opens with a detailed biography which is truly fascinating.

The Heart and Soul of the Modern Fairy Tale

In describes how Hans rose from humble origins to become one of the most famous authors of the time – much celebrated by society – even fêted by royalty of the day.

The Little Mermaid illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

His father was a shoemaker but had taught himself to read and unusually for the time actually owned a cupboardful of books. He could actually provide his son with “story time” – probably a rare treat for children of the time.

The Swineherd illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

His mother was illiterate, but strongly influenced by the verbal story telling tradition of the region. She was actually deeply superstitious and firmly entrenched in the world of Scandinavian folklore where creatures such as goblins, trolls, witches & spirits roamed.

Thumbelina illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

You can see how the combination of these two important role models would lead Hans on his path to literary fame.

The Princess and the Pea illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Hans himself became a voracious reader and spent much time alone immersed in books. He also had a puppet theatre – no doubt a magical world where he developed story lines & characters, made costumes, adapted language & voices.

The Nightingale illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Another important influence was actually his local asylum! His grandmother tended the garden there and Hans often accompanied her. He would sneak off to the spinning room – the social heart of the place, where old women of the town would tell tales to amuse themselves whilst spinning. It was full of gossip & exciting chatter for a small boy – a place where he could get wrapped up in the oral tradition of peasant folktales. In this world even inanimate objects had their own minds & special powers. An ability to anthropomorphize objects became a hallmark of his work.

The Ugly Duckling illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

He was actually very ambitious and craved recognition. We like this quote of his: “Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg”. A true statement of intent.

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

His stories have become classics, much loved by successive generations – The Ugly Duckling, The Princess & The Pea, The Tinderbox, The Snow Queen, The Darning Needle, The Little Match Girl – to name but a few.

The Darning Needle illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Each tale has its own dedicated chapter. The title page has a few introductory words encompassing a short overview, origins, influences and other little snippets related to that particular story. Then follows the tale itself with accompanying illustrations.

The Little Match Girl illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

This collection of tales is again illustrated by a wonderful array of artists. The artwork is stunning throughout and everyone will have their own favourites. It might even change with each reading!

The Little Match Girl illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Josef Palecek (The little mermaid), Einar Nerman ( The Swineherd), Katharine Beverley & Elizabeth Ellender (The Snow Queen) are some that particularly caught our eye.

The Snow Queen illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

The Snow Queen illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

The Snow Queen illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

In fact we loved the Snow Queen so much we’ve included 3 illustrations. They were done in the 1920s. The stark black & white with flashes of red is just stunning.

The Tinderbox illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

 The book closes with artists’ biographies; again well researched & very interesting.

Artist biographies in TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

We reviewed companion publication, The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm last year – it complements this Andersen collection perfectly!

TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales and Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales books

A wonderful book for adults & children alike – you never know where “story time” might lead!!

The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen is available from its publisher TASCHEN, Amazon and Hive.

[Many thanks to TASCHEN for this review copy]