Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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9.  James Bishop.  Painted Picture Playbook.  London: Dean and Son, ca. 1855.

Victorian authors of books about outdoor activities for boys looked down on the store-bought kite, which might cost at least three shillings (the necessary paper, paste, lathes, and string required to make one was one-third the price).  But these illustrations suggest why the temptation to buy a ready-made kite from the genial proprietor of a London toy shop would have been hard to resist.  Boys who were not especially handy must have begged their indulgent mamas for the money instead of emulating the thrifty, ingenious hero in story books, who could figure out how to get the materials for nothing and fashion them into a flight-worthy kite.