Sixteenth Day of Advent

In Canada, North America, and some parts of Russia where the winters are longer and much more severe than in this country, the children amuse themselves by sledging.

from The Seasons – Winter, by A.S., in The Bright Surprise for Little Eyes, published in London by the Sunday School Union, 1884.

This picture is from one book  in a packet of twelve published by the Sunday School Union. Each little book has four pages of rhyming text illustrated by four colour pictures. This particular book is credited to A.S. (they are all by different people) – but who the mysterious A.S. was, and whether they were the author or illustrator, or both, we don’t know.  I understand that the status of cheap, mass produced children’s books was lower than that of other publications of the time, but it is frustrating not to know whose creative work enriched the imagination of so many Victorian children. Granted it is not great art work in most cases – the likes of Phiz (Hablot Knight Browne), one of Dickens’ illustrators, whose magical illustration adorned our Second Day of Advent post, are exceptional artists and deserve their fame and reputation. But there was clearly a considerable pool of artistic talent from which publishers could draw in producing their children’s books, creatives who deserve to be acknowledged for playing their part in bringing colourful, enchanting pictures and lively rhymes and stories, to young children.


#victorianchildrensbooks #victorianchristmas #adventcalendar #victorianpicturebooks #advent #childrenspicturebooks #victorianillustration #victorianillustrators

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *