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).
Topsy and Tim’s Snowy Day by Jean and Gareth Adamson was published in 1964 by Blackie & Sons. It seems to have been part of the first batch of titles that included Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night, Topsy and Tim’s Foggy Day and Topsy and Tim at the Football Match.
My hardback copy cost 4 shillings and sixpence. I can’t find any first edition hardback copies online, so I think there is some rarity value to my copy — even in its current, well-worn condition.
The illustrations from this story about snow-shovelling and mischief-making are delightful. The picture on the title page shows the twins in their matching Fair Isle jumpers and hats making snowballs.
I love this picture of Topsy and Tim doing a ‘snow dance’ around the tree in front of their house, with the milkman and the cat watching the fun.
This image of the twins sporting a light dusting of snow also looks as crisp, bright and charming as it did 50 years ago.
On the final spread of the book, Topsy and Tim get their reward for shovelling snow off the garden path, when their dad hands out ‘snow-shifters’ medals’ — minty chocolates wrapped in gold foil.
Yes, the real joy of Topsy and Tim’s Snowy Day is that it began my lifelong passion for chocolate mint confectionery, which continues with a fondness for Bendicks Bittermints.
The Taft Hotel thanks my dad, Donald Straughan, and my nephew Chris Straughan for help reproducing these beautiful pictures.
Happy New Year, everyone!