World Dolls Series: Norway

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World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

We’ve reached Norway in our World Dolls Series – a much-anticipated destination after a tough couple of weeks in Russia and a long trip over.

Front inside cover from World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

 There are great illustrations by Frank Bird for this edition.

Asa and Karl, Norway national dolls from World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

Our guides are Asa & Karl – a colourful, friendly pair with an unmistakable spring in their step.

Lapp and teepee in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

Karl is a Lapp and hails from the far North so we head there first – the coach has a few more miles to do yet!

Lapps in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

Karl shows us the traditional way of life in Lapland and we meet the lovely reindeer.

Lapp child with reindeer in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

Then it’s back down South…

Fishermen in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

…where we take in the picturesque fishing harbours and get stuck into some cod.

Fishermen and cod in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

Sightseeing in Oslo follows…

Asa, Norway national doll from World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

… and some serious R&R in the surrounding forests and on the ski slopes.

Ski jump with reindeer in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

We’ll be naturals before long – we don’t want to get shown up by the local 3-year-olds!

Skiers with reindeer in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

The long, hard graft of that Russian farm is a distant memory.

Mountain village with reindeer in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

We just about squeezed the coach onto the ferry for a trip down the fjords. Simply stunning!

Fiords in World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

Thanks Asa & Karl – our spirits are refreshed.

Asa and Karl, Norway national dolls from World Dolls Series 'Norway' vintage children's book

Hopefully we’ll make a trip to Norway in the real world one day – and we pray it looks like Mr Bird’s illustrations! 

World Dolls Series: Russia

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World Dolls Series - Russia book cover

So, here we are in Russia for our next stop in the World Dolls Series.

World Dolls Series - Russia front inside book cover

Illustrations are by D.White from the Birmingham School of Design. We’re not sure that they listened to the brief properly as our guides are all supposed to be dolls – the clue’s in the title – World DOLLS Series. We seem to have been given a couple of rustic farmers. Ironically, Russia probably has the most famous dolls in the world.

Boris and Anna, dolls from World Dolls Series - Russia

Anyway, we’re sure Boris & Anna are a lovely couple.

Boris and Anna, dolls from World Dolls Series - Russia

There you go – Boris is throwing us a wave – and is that a glimmer of a smile?

working in fields from the World Dolls Series - Russia

Perhaps there’s not much to smile about on the collective farm! Hard graft and huddling round the stove for the long winter apparently.

winter in Russia from the World Dolls Series - Russia

There’s no doubting that the other books in the series have been a tad lighter, more carefree & fun.

wrapping feet in cloth against frostbite from the World Dolls Series - Russia

Life certainly seems quite tough in 1960s Russia.

illustration of the Kremlin and Red Square from the World Dolls Series - Russia

Perhaps a few days sightseeing in Moscow will be fun. Look at the party atmosphere.

illustration of boys playing with a train set from the World Dolls Series - Russia

There are a games at ‘the club’ – and a bit of sunbathing at the Black Sea. Is that President Khrushchev sitting on the right monitoring the deck chair situation?

illustration of people relaxing in deckchairs on the beach at the Black Sea from the World Dolls Series - Russia

We’re off to Norway next – we’ve invested a lot of money in warm clothing which might come in useful. We’ve always wanted to tour around Scandinavia, so we can’t wait to get there.

World Dolls Series: Austria

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vintage 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

We’ve arrived in Austria on our World Dolls Series tour. We might just catch the first of the winter snow, so our timing is perfect.

vintage 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Illustrations are by W. Lewis from The Birmingham school of Design – our resident artist in Germany & Holland too. We love all the artists in this collection of books, but if we were pushed, we’d probably choose W. Lewis as our favourite. The illustrations are both charming and very clever.

Dolls Lisa and Johann from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Our guides are Lisa & Johann, looking resplendent in their national dress.

Alpine skiing scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

We’ve parked the coach up and are going to chill out (quite literally) in the Tyrol for a while.

Ski jumping  scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Our hosts have no shortage of activities lined up – skiing, skating & sledging (it’s the 1960s so it’s pre-snowboarding!)

Cows in an alpine scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

When the snows melt we’re going to get stuck into a bit of farming.

Haymaking scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Picnics and strolls through flower-filled meadows on our downtime.

Illustration of a salt mine from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

It’s going to be hard to drag ourselves away from this idyllic life, but for a bit of urban culture & retail therapy we might stop by Vienna.

Illustration of Vienna from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Well, we do need to get that coach moving again before it seizes up. Next time it’s Russia.

World Dolls Series: Italy

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'Italy' front cover from the vintage World Dolls series of books

We’ve crossed the border and travelled from Germany to Italy in the World Dolls Series – we’re certainly clocking up the miles! 🙂

'Italy' front inside cover from the vintage World Dolls series of books

The lovely illustrations are by Philippa Walters this time.

Map of italy from the vintage World Dolls series of books

Our guides are Lisa & Pietro. They’re a cheery couple, always singing & dancing. Pietro with his guitar & Lisa with her tambourine.

Gondola in Venice in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

We’ve spent the last few weeks watching the hard-hitting & brilliant Gomorrah on TV – as you might imagine this is a more light-hearted view of Italy! We start in the North with its mountain scenery and work our way down to the hot & sunny South – taking in cities like Venice & Rome.

Lisa and Pietro dolls in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

The pretty villages & harbours are much celebrated – along with the stunning countryside.

criss-crossing washing lines hung with washing

These narrow streets & steps are a classic scene that springs to mind when we think of the Mediterranean holidays that we’ve taken.

Procession of worshippers in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

There are lots of processions & festivals too – and pretty whitewashed houses with painted shutters, ornate railings and flowers in pots. See, we told you it wasn’t Gomorrah.

Balcony with flowers in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

Makes us want to pack a small rucksack and jump in a camper van. I’m sure they could do with a hand (or foot) for the grape treading.

Grape-pickers in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

Join us next time when we’ll be in Austria.

World Dolls Series: Germany

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World Dolls Series: Germany children's book cover

As promised, we’ve arrived in Germany for the next leg of our tour in the World Doll Series of books.

Front inside cover of World Dolls Series: Germany children's book

Charming illustrations once more – this time the work of W. Lewis from the Birmingham School of Design.

map showing Munich from World Dolls Series: Germany children's book

Our German guides are Gretel & Gunther who spend a lot of time singing & dancing when they’re not shepherding us lot around.

illustration of German dolls standing on a table

We’re taken on a trip through a land of contrasts.

line drawing of Berlin

Vibrant cities & the industrial powerhouses…

illustration of German shops

…to the beautiful countryside with forests, mountains, lakes & rivers.

illustration of German cafe

From bustling shipyards on the coast to serene fairy tale castles in the hills.

illustration of figures ice skating outdoors

Hot & sunny in the summer for cycling, swimming and open air cafés, cold & snowy in the winter for skiing, skating and cosy log fires. Perfect!!

illustration of figures dancing around a giant Christmas tree

And the Germans are very good at doing Christmas too. You’re going to have a job dragging us away!! But onwards we must go – Italy next. So it’s Auf Wiedersihen from the good folk of Germany.

World Dolls Series: France

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front cover of the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Bonjour! We’ve hopped across the channel to France in our World Dolls Series tour.

front inside cover of the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Illustrations for this edition are by Janet Meeson from the Birmingham School of Design.

French dolls Marie and Pierre from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Are guides for this trip are Marie & Pierre – resplendent in their traditional costumes.

French dolls Marie and Pierre from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

A bit of gentle sun on our faces – we’re all relaxed and mellow – so the large shillelagh stick to keep order on the coach that Patrick had in Ireland has been dispensed with!

illustration of town-houses from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Marie & Pierre have joined us from their toy shop window in Paris.

illustration of a tree-lined avenue from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

All the classic Parisienne sights. Wide, tree-lined avenues…

illustration of a pavement café from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

…colourful cafés, classic architecture, beautiful bridges, the River Seine….

illustration of a steamboat from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

…and of course – the Eiffel Tower.

illustration of town-houses from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

We then head into the idyllic countryside to take a look at the vineyards & orchards.

illustration of a castle in the hills from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Then onto the coast for a spot of sunbathing – where we can all get very brown! 🙂

illustration of people sunbathing on a beach and sitting under umbrellas from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

And finally we take in a festival – the Blessing of the Boats.

illustration of the festival of the Blessing of the Boats from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

We just love the illustration below.

illustration of priests standing on the harbour and fishermen in boats from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Join us next time when we’re in Germany.