What the Children
NISTER, Ernest / F.E.
Published by E.P.
Dutton, N.Y. .& Ernest Nister, London, .n.d. (1897)
Large – Folio cloth spine pictorial boards - 32 cm x 25.5 cm - 32 pages
including 5 double page pop-ups
Condition - Near
Fine. All 5 pop-ups are all original, complete, without damage, and working
properly. Covers as
well as the brown cloth spine show little wear. Pages have general age
yellowing of the paper but this does not distract from the aesthetics of the
charming drawings and text throughout.Some pages have been
reattached. The book is tight. All parts of the book are original not needing
repairs. The fly sheets are in good condition with a
nice gift inscription "Marler-Malcohm Lowell Tuner from Grandma, Christmas
' 97."Interesting note
concerning current attitudes: Whip would be considered improper and a game
with a fumbling blind man unacceptable as fun.) However, Nister
depicts all such aspects as innocent joyful games of the time.
The title page, a
pen-and-ink drawing by Hilda Robinson, depicts a group of children enjoying a
game of Oranges and Lemons. The lower corner has a small tear repaired. The
book contains verses by Fred E. Weatherfly, C. Bingham and F.F.Seveme and
illustrations throughout E.S. Hardy, E. Lance, E.B. Stanley Montefiore, H.M. Bennet and M. Angell, There are five colorful
pop-up scenes of children's activities, farmyard and other animals.
All pop-ups in fine
1. The background
depicts several barns in a farmyard. In
the first pop-up a large horse pulls a full hay loaded cart with two children
sitting on top, several cows and calves move around, and a smiling lady works at
a water pump with bucket. The top pop-up is a yard of grass and hay full of
many chickens, chicks and ducks.
2. Background a country lane with a house and
fields. A young boy and girls are running with the girl wearing a bridle
pretending to be a horse while the boy runs behind holding the bridle rope and
lifting high a long whip. But their happy smiles let you know it is only a
game. The first pop-up is two children
riding ponies with a dog nearby. The top
pop-up depicts a boy pushing a girl in wheelbarrow with a dog running alongside
and two children on bicycles. All are handsomely dressed, wearing hats and
smiles in assurance they are having great fun.
3. The background
depicts a Victorian drawing room with a mother and small child observing
children playing Blind Man's Bluff. The
first pop-up depicts a boy with a blinder around his eyes as he fumbles to
reach someone in the ring of 10 laughing, playful children surrounding
him. The top pop-up is of a young girl
helping a toddler stand waving its arm with a jumping puppy nearby. The many rich colors of the children's
clothing add to the vivaceous energy of the scene.
4. Background is a
long line of trees and a calm lake. There are 3 layers of pop-ups. The first
pop-up shows two girls, a boy and a calf in a boat. One girl stands pushing the
boat with a pole while the other sits holding the rope of the standing
calf. The boy sits in the middle. Two swans swim nearby. The middle pop-up is a
boy sitting on a wooden pier, fishing with ducks nearby. The top pop-up is of a mother duck carefully
watching six young ducklings swimming nearby.
The entire setting is peaceful and calm in comparison to the two
previous pop-ups full of highly active children.
5. In a very different subject yet still a
peaceful, calming scene a group of deer looking out at you. The background is a wooded area with two deer
standing in the ferns. The first pop-up
depicts two does and their young while the top pop-up depicts a large handsome
antlered stag looking straight at you as if in calm protection of the other
animals. An unexpected scene from the
other pop-ups but a lovely and peaceful setting as the animals calmly focus on
you in a quiet fearless
way. The deep greens of the landscape
and brown hues of the animals enrich the serenity of the scene. Even here Nister depicts
the characteristic version of a pleasing, idealistic world that dominates his