Treasures of Childhood: Books, Toys and Games from the Opie Collection

Treasures of Childhood: Books, Toys and Games from the Opie Collection

by Iona Archibald Opie, Robert Opie, Brian Alderson

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This stately catalogue offers an enchanting view of the children's books and playthings amassed over 40 years by Iona and the late Peter Opie ( The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren ), well known for their seminal researches into children's folklore. Coauthored with Alderson, the Opies' son, a collector in his own right, and Alderson, London Times children's book editor, the volume surveys the field, from the early 17th century--painfully moralistic ``drab little books''--to glories of the mid-19th century (Edward Lear's madcap A Book of Nonsense and Heinrich Hoffmann's alarming Struwwelpeter ) to modern works (Maurice Sendak's Lullabies and Night Songs ). The trinkets include yo-yos (large and luminous) dating to ``the craze of 1789'' and luxe dolls' houses in which the cupboard has probably never been bare. Fastidiously designed and crisply narrated, the steadfastly informative book carefully avoids nostalgia-mongering, and is bound to spur the general reader's curiosity. (Apr. )
Library Journal - Library Journal
While writing the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951) and their many other studies of children's folklore and literature, Iona and Peter Opie amassed a collection of 20,000 children's books, as well as vast numbers of more ephemeral printed works and a variety of toys and games. After the death of Peter Opie in 1982, much of the collection was transferred to the Bodleian. This handsomely printed book describes not only the books and toys themselves but also how the collection came to be and the role it played in the Opies' daily lives. The book concentrates on 18th- and 19th-century children's books, with hundreds of immaculate copies of rare publications. Coverage of toys is briefer, limited primarily to examples of specific types. This is an important book for larger public libraries and for all collections on children's literature, toys, and publishing.-- Frederick A. Schlipf, Urbana Free Lib. & GSLIS, Univ. of Illinois

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Anova Books
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9.84(w) x 12.20(h) x (d)

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