Gwyneth Mamlok: Candy and the Golden Eagle

In 2013 I wrote about my love of Gwyneth Mamlok's series of Candy picture books. These were the stories I enjoyed most as a young girl growing up in the 1960s. In my original post I left out pictures of the third book in the series, Candy and the Golden Eagle, which was published by Thomas Nelson... 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 →

Earlier this year I was excited to see the illustrations of Paul Thurlby brightening up the restaurant in a branch of John Lewis. This huge cut-out and a series of window illustrations were part of the store's 'National Treasures' promotion, showcasing the British summer in all its glory. The promotion (and summer) are over, but... Continue Reading →

John Lewis bag for life

Normally I wouldn't consider plastic bags to be a worthy subject for blogging. But I'm making an exception in the case of this John Lewis bag for life. Just 10p buys you this lovely selection of mid-century advertising images from the John Lewis archive. From kitchens, fashion and stylish lighting . . . . .... Continue Reading →

The many faces of crime fiction

I'm looking forward to the movie adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's, The Two Faces of January, which opens in the UK later this week. Hossein Amini's film stars Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) alongside Kirsten Dunst. Though it's not one of Highsmith's better-known novels, The Two Faces of January is sure to feature... Continue Reading →

Rhymes and Ballads of London

My knowledge of poetry is limited, but like many kids I spent my formative years having popular nursery rhymes drummed into my head. Carole Tate's Rhymes and Ballads of London (published in 1971) is a reminder of how many of these old favourites were centred around the capital, its people and its history. "Oranges and... Continue Reading →

Playing Happy Families

It's lucky that my parents live in a large house and never throw anything away; otherwise I would never have rediscovered this pack of Happy Families cards. Strictly speaking, this game is called Jeu des 7 Familles because it was bought during a family holiday in France in 1972. This pack is "Familles Champions", featuring... Continue Reading →

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