Thursday, 12 March 2015

Raymond Sheppard and The Favourite Wonder Book (Part Two)

Favourite Wonder Book title page
(Art opposite is by Reginald Mount)

In my previous blog article about this Odhams title I expressed frustration about editions, dates, endpapers, etc etc. And now I discover that this was justified!

Endpapers (Artist Unknown)
I happened to keep a search alert going on eBay for this book hoping that one day I might find out what went on with its publication and amazingly I have discovered something else that helps me in my search for Raymond Sheppard's work. I showed the illustration to 'Little Trotty Wagtail' in the above mentioned blog and it appears on page 183 in my two copies of the book, one with a reprint date and one with no date.It was only when looking carefully at the title page (above) that one ebayer had uploaded to eBay I noticed that the name P.G. Wodehouse was the first name listed. My copies have A.A.Milne as the first name listed.

I asked the question whether Sheppard had illustrated anything (knowing about the wagtail illustration in mine) and imagine my surprise when they replied about the wagtail and 'Time Signals'

Five older boys chase and threaten three younger schoolboys
The story is about the "Dipcote First Boat race" and I must confess was a struggle to read, not just because of the dated language and school terminology but because, to be honest, I found it very boring! Here are the other pictures in the story.

Could they regain that extra half length?
Two boats in a race with coxs and a crowd on the river bank

Softly Jimmy crept forward
Two boys sneak into a a sleeping man's bedroom. They both hold alarm clocks

A policeman disentangled the combatants
A policeman pulls a man in pyjamas off a top-hatted gentleman on a cobbled street

And for completeness sake and for other collectors, here are the contents of this 1938 version of Odham's Favourite Wonder Book. There are 768 pages in this edition of the book.

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