Walter Crane’s Toy Books Series
Books for babies are called Toy Books. Prior to Walter Crane, they were often unremarkable. Then Crane produced a series of Toy Books that gradually transformed the toy book into a sophisticated art form. Some of them become the most popular children’s books of the day.
Books in the Walter Crane’s Toy Books series:
A traditional tale of cock robin, the sparrow and a bow and arrow. Shown above is the rear cover of the very rare Painted Toy Book.
Cock Robin and Jenny Wren (1865)
A well-known nursery rhyme.
The Comical Cat (1865)
A humorous poem similar to Old Mother Hubbard.
The Farmyard Alphabet (1865)
An alphabet based on familiar farmyard scenes. Read for free online at Internet Archive.
House that Jack Built (1865)
A well-known rhyme.
This version includes outline pictures, opposite the colored plates, to be filled in by the user.
The Railroad Alphabet (1865)
A picture alphabet based on the railroad. Read for free online at State Library of South Australia.
This is the reissue of this nonsense poem.
A nonsense poem.
Here is the game based on it at archive.org.
Another copy at FSU.
Sing a Song of Sixpence (1866)
Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye.
This is the cover for a later edition.
Chattering Jack (1867)
A unique approach to arithmetic. Read for free online at the Toronto Public Library. NOTE: that link downloads a very large file.
The Old Courtier (1867)
An old ballad of the English gentry. Read for free online at the University of Florida.
Grammar in Rhyme (1868)
An introduction to the parts of speech. Read for free online at the University of Florida.
How Jessie Was Lost (1868)
A young girl runs away from her nurse at the park and is taken to the keeper’s house where her loud weeping attracts her parents. Read for free online at Toronto Public Library.
Includes Walter Crane’s Farm-Yard Alphabet.
Annie and Jack in London (1869)
An illustrated tour of London in the 1860’s. Read for free online at the University of Florida.
One, Two Buckle My Shoe (1869)
A counting rhyme. Read for free online at Internet Archive.
The Adventures of Puffy (1870)
A fluffy white Maltese dog gets into no end of trouble. Read for free online at the University of Florida.