So I found this little storybook called “The story of Little Black Bobtail” in one of the shops I work in. I bought it for a £1 because it was going in the bin.
“We can’t sell books like THIS!!!!” exclaimed the manager in horror…..
but boy its old, and that’s why I love it so much.
I opened the first page and look at the date
1909! (Its written in pencil, haha….you wouldn’t get pencil writing lasting that long now)
Anyway the spine has come away from the book and there is no information on who wrote it, so I looked it up. It was written by a Helen Bannerman (who incidentally was Scottish!), and she wrote books like “Little Black Sambo”. Mainly because her husband was an officer in the Indian Medical Service, so Indian and Tamil children were her source of inspiration, naturally.
Look at the adorable illustrations! I don’t know if she drew them herself, but they have such a quaint naivety about them. I love them!
The story is rather dramatic isn’t it?!
The pages are yellowing and aged damaged. Crumbling away from the spine. Interestingly enough, the overleaf of the illustrated pages are left blank, so throughout the book, there are lots of spaces (I thought at first it meant missing pages, but no…its meant to be like that) I did wonder if I should remove the pages and frame them, but I won’t. I do love the book as it is in its raw form.
I hope “Annie” whoever she was, enjoyed it too!