Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Book of Cheerful Cats and Other Animated Animals

A Book of Cheerful Cats and Other Animated Animals. J.G. Francis. 1879/1903* Century Co. New York. 45 pages**

Some Cat-land fancies, drawn and dressed
To cheer your mind when it's depressed

I am participating in Literary Odyssey's Victorian Celebration, and I thought it would be great fun to see what types of picture books and story books would have been available at the time. This one was first published in 1879, and it went through a LOT of reprints. The edition they have online was the 1903 reprint.

A Book of Cheerful Cats and Other Animated Animals is an interesting collection of poems, drawings, stories, and sketches. While most of them feature cats, not all of them do. In fact, my particular favorite is the "Study of Hedgehog Stealing An Apple." This one does have a table of contents, by the way. To give you some idea of what to expect, here are a sample of pieces: "Some Fun With a Toy Spider," "The Tea Party," "The Giraffe Ride," "The Bicycle Ride," "The Lion in the Barber-Shop," "The Spring Curtain," "Story of the Catnip Ball," "Coasting Cats," "The Cat-o'-nine Tails."

Here are some of my favorite pages:
Bicycle Ride, page 15

"Oh, dear Papa!" three children cried.
"You promised don't you know?
That next when you should take a ride
All three of us should go."
"I Did," that father said, "You know
I never speak at random.
So get your roller-skates. We'll go
Off in a tearing tandem!" 
Study of Hedgehog Stealing Apple, page 16

 And here is my personal favorite, the one about the hedgehog and the apple!!!

I also found "Spring Curtain. A Drama In Five Acts" to be a lot of fun!!! This one is about courtship, if you will. Which tom cat will she choose? And will the rival get his revenge?

The book does exactly what it promises--it seeks to amuse, to charm, to delight. It shows cats being cats, for example.

Read this picture book of rhymes and stories online.

Read A Book of Cheerful Cats
  • If you love cats, love reading about cats, love looking at vintage drawings of cats
  • If you like historical picture books, vintage picture books
  • If you like the Victorian period

*1879, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1890, 1892, 1903
**It is really hard to say how many pages this one has. There are 45 numbered pages with illustrations and/or text. However, there are a LOT of blank pages.

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


o 3:45 PM  

This is lovely :)

Cat 5:40 PM  

I do love cats and this looks delightful. Thanks for the link and I shall go read it.

chrisa511 9:45 PM  

Oh wow, this is so adorable!! I'm going to have to look for this!

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