This is M. Sasek

This is M. Sasek is a whistle-stop tour through the life and work of Czech illustrator and artist Miroslav Sasek. He was the creator of the much loved This is... series of children's travel guides, which were first published between 1959 and 1974. The half-title page of This is M. Sasek reads 'In Memories, Documents and Pictures'... Continue Reading →


Waxie-Daxie: a Cold War canine hero

The Taft Hotel loves vintage children's books, but Waxie-Daxie is a bit different from the cute animal-related titles featured elsewhere on this site. This book, written by Samuel Marshak and translated by Dorian Rottenberg, is really more of a pamphlet. It was produced by the Foreign Languages Publishing House in Moscow in 1960 and printed in... Continue Reading →

Noggin and the Moon mouse

Of all the children's books featured on this blog so far, Noggin and the Moon mouse ranks as perhaps my all-time favourite childhood story. It was written by Oliver Postgate and illustrated by Peter Firmin, who went on to create Bagpuss. Decades before Game of Thrones hit our screens, the men of the Northlands were... Continue Reading →

Dick Bruna: The little bird

Dick Bruna, who died in 2017, is best known as the creator of the Miffy books. But there are many other gems from his huge back catalogue, including The little bird, which was first published in Holland in 1959. My copy of The little bird is an early Methuen edition. It was given to me in 1967,... Continue Reading →

Topsy and Tim’s Snowy Day

Four years ago I wrote that I had ruined my vintage copy of Topsy and Tim's Snowy Day by scrawling over it in pen. In a lovely Christmas surprise, I've just unearthed the book and discovered that it's only the front cover that has been spoiled. Fortunately, the back cover image is identical (see above).... Continue Reading →

Stamps of English churches

I'm no expert on philately. You could probably summarise what I know about postage stamps on the back of one of the Royal Mail's finest. I do like architecture, which is the main reason why I bought this beautiful collection of five vintage UK postage stamps. The unused stamps date from 1972 and feature five... Continue Reading →

Vintage clown cut-out

Even the power of mighty Google can't help me identify this jolly clown cut-out from my childhood. If you've visited this blog before, you may remember that I come from a family of hoarders. My mother has carefully preserved all my toys, schoolbooks and childhood artefacts from the 1960s and 70s. So I was very... Continue Reading →

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