I hope everyone had lovely holidays! Down in Special Collections & Archives, we are all rested up, and are welcoming in 2016 by featuring a lovely shape book of stories and nursery rhymes, published by Ernest Nister in the 1890s.

Ernest Nister (1842–1909), was a publisher born in Oberklingen, Germany, best known for high-quality colour printing and movable books. By 1888, he had opened offices and design studios in London, but all of the printing was done in Germany, taking advantage of their high-quality chromolithographic printing processes. The Nister catalog included a full range of publications: annuals, storybooks, toy books, poetry, and religious stories, as well as calendars, greeting cards, embossed pictures, and even games. Nister produced more than five hundred mostly undated illustrated books for children. (Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature)

This edition of Red Riding Hood features that story first, followed by a selection of nursery rhymes, including Jack and Jill, Old Mother Hubbard, and Little Miss Muffet.

Call number: H0614

Front cover

The front cover. The line across her face is a tear in the paper; unfortunately, to my eyes, she now looks as if she were on oxygen.

illustrations from Red Riding Hood

Some of the illustrations accompanying Red Riding Hood. The captions are, "'What large eyes you have, Grandmamma', said Red Riding Hood", "Pull the bobbin and the latch will lift off", and "The Wolf putting on Granny's Nightcap".

The Babes in the Woods

Oddly enough, I don't think I'd ever heard the Babes in the Wood story before, though the idiom is certainly familiar enough. This particular version seems a trifle abrupt to me. I also note that, despite the enjoinder to remember them, the author has forgotten their names.

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