09 December, 2009

Vintage Children's Books - The Adventures of Pinocchio

In the past few months I have been trawling opp shops (Thrift stores to US readers!) and stores for vintage children's annuals and children's books. I especially love old English books like Enid Blyton (Noddy, Famous Five and Secret Seven) and Australian classics such as 'Seven Little Australians'. As well as being visually beautiful, the language in them is really quite exquisite and much more enjoyable to read than many modern books. Recently I found a lovely 1950's version of 'The Adventures of Pinocchio' by Charles Collodi.

Bought at Lost and Found Market, Collingwood, Melbourne for $10 (see short review below at end of blog) 

The illustrations, as with many vintage books, are beautiful.

The story is a little different in parts to the Disney version (by the way, I love the Disney version too - I think Walt Disney was fantastic).  For instance, there is a section in which the 'assassins' hang Pinocchio on the oak tree and another part where a man wants to make a drum out of Pinocchio's skin! Perhaps unsurprisingly, these were not included in Disney's version.

But the thing that really stands out is the beautiful language used in the book eg: from Chapter 1:

"Once upon a time where was  . . .  "A King!" my small readers will exclaim. No, children, you are mistaken.  Once upon a time where was a piece of wood.
It was not the best wood, but just a common piece, such as we use in stoves and fireplaces to kindle a fire and warm our rooms in winter".

I am a university teacher and I just wish that my students could write like this (seriously!).

I would recommend this book to you all - adults and children (I am reading it myself, just to savour the language).  Really very beautiful.

I am an avid book reader, so keep your eye out for future book reviews and suggestions! I would love to hear yours too.

Happy reading!

PS I bought this book in the great vintage store in Melbourne, Lost and Found Market (12 Smith St Collingwood VIC 3066 - (03) 9419 4477 - see photo of the market at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellodaniel/3186597384/). The Lost and Found market is, in my opinion, not so great for quality vintage, but is great for cheaper 60's and 70's stuff. The prices are generally quite reasonable and the selection is HUGE. You will need at least one hour to see everything, perhaps two.

04 December, 2009

A Very Vintage Christmas Competition

The fabulous blogger Super Kawaii Mama has organised a 'Very Vintage Competition':


This is my entry:


I'm Dreaming of Vintage Christmas
(apologies to Bing Crosby!)

I’m dreaming of a vintage Christmas
Just like the ones my mother used to know

Where my 50's earrings glisten   
And I stop to listen
To Andy from the Collectors, it is my favourite show!

(see Super Kawaii Mama on the Collectors at 7.30pm on ABC Television Australia, Friday 11 December - http://www.superkawaiimama.com.au/2009/09/15/is-it-summer-already/
I’m dreaming of a vintage Christmas
With every ebay bid I make
For a Christian Dior suit

and a 50's 'Coro' necklace

I hope they are genuine vintage, and not fakes!

I’m dreaming of a vintage Christmas
Of sleighs and big fat lovely Santas!

May your vintage Christmas be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white!


The 12 days of Vintage Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

A Lilli Ann of San Francisco suit

On the second day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

Two bosoms like Joanie from Mad men (!)

On the third day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

Three 50’s dresses

On the fourth day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me  . . .

A husband who looks exactly like Don Draper (!)

On the fifth day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

A job selling vintage at Circa in Fitzroy

(The lovely Nicole Jenkins of Circa Vintage Clothing http://www.circavintageclothing.com.au/ holding her fabulous new book, Love Vintage - highly recommended)

On the sixth day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

Gorgeous hair like Super Kawaii Mama

Photo courtesy of SKM, see http://www.superkawaiimama.com.au/tag/hair/

On the seventh day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

Snow and sleighbells in Glen Waverley  (mmm. . . perhaps not!)

On the eighth day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

Children without computer games

On the ninth day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

Suburban mothers looking glamorous

On the tenth day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . . .

A 25 inch waist!

(Oh my goodness!)

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

the Darnell Collection . . .(well, some of it at least!)

Charlotte Smith, custodian of the Darnell Collection: see   http://thedarnellcollection.blogspot.com/                                  

and . . .

On the twelth day of Christmas, Vintage Santa gave to me . . .

no more global warming

Merry Christmas everybody!

** Dear Candice,  I have recorded me singing (!) the first song but could not put it on this blog as my blogger website does not currently allow directly uploading of video or audio. I have put it on your competition facebook site, hope you enjoy it! Rather embarassing!

Thank you for organising such a great competition.