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See Homepage. This page: Page 5 in the section featuring boys' and girls' annuals/books, with cars on their covers.

Page 5 in the children's book cover section.

Welcome to the fifth page in this section, which features children's books from the 1920s through to the 1960s. The common link is that they all feature motoring-related illustrations on their covers, by a variety of artists. These are all from my own collection of books, amassed over a period of several years. Later books tended to feature either simpler, less attractive, cover artwork, or switched from artists' illustrations to photographs, which are less appealing in my eyes.
The earliest books I have date to the 1920s, although the majority are from the 1930s to 1950s timeframe.
Links to the other pages in this section of the site:
Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5
Motor and Plane, by Cyril Hall
Motor and Plane.
Often the car(s) portrayed by an illustration on a boy's or girl's book are generic in nature, and not easily attributed to a production model. Here though, the inspiration is quite likely to be a c1930 Morris Cowley, although they were equipped with artillery-type wheels. The relatively boxy lines look very Morris-like to me. A two-seat tourer, with two children consigned to the dickey seat at the rear of the car, is shown. A large bi-plane flies overhead. The name "Blackie" is also given - at first I assumed that this was the illustrator's name, but is in fact the publisher - Blackie and Son Ltd, of Glasgow. The illustrations are by Leslie Carr.
  My Motor Book
My Motor Book.
My Motor Book is a publication from the 1920s, and includes an attributation to Norman Broadhead, who was given the book at school for being Best In Class in the summer of 1929. A colour illustration of a vintage, solid-tyred, omnibus stars on the cover, while inside there are a great number of line drawings and descriptions of ancient motor lorries, cars, motorcycles, and sidecars.
Sports Thrills
Sporting Record Junior Annual - Sports Thrills.
To post-war times now, about 1950s or thereabouts, and a book about many different types of sport. Normally it wouldn't have been of much interest to me, but the presence of two 500cc single-seat racers dicing on a racing circuit, appealed to me. The artwork is by Roland Davies. Buried amongst articles about lesser sports, is a piece by Dennis May that looks at the thrills and spills of motor racing. A V16 BRM heads the article, while Grand Prix greats such as the Alfa Romeo Alfetta, may be found on later pages. My favourite shot though is of Sydney Allard, driving the Steyr-Allard, at the Craigantlet hillclimb.
  Knights of the Wheel
Knights Of The Wheel.
Next, a return to the 1930s, with a book by Alfred Edgar. The illustrations are by Ellis Silas, while publication was handled by George G. Harrap & Company Ltd. This second print of the book, dates to 1932. Unlike the book alongside, Knights Of The Wheel is a heavy book packed with fictional motor-racing stories, rather than factual accounts of actual races and drivers.
Stories for Boys
Stories For Boys.
I've yet to find a date inside this book, but it appears to be from the 1930s. The racing car on the cover reminds me of the Bentley Blower No.1, a supercharged 4.5 litre car. Inside are fictional stories based on a number of different subjects and interests. The publisher was Dean & Son of London.
  On The Road
On The Road - told by Bobbin the Car.
On The Road was published by Raphael Tuck & Son Ltd. Many different types and sizes of road vehicle are drawn onto the front and back covers, by Barnard Way. Inside, are stories that are used to describe all manner of different vehicles, types that the keen reader might see while out on their bicycle, or walking to school. Date? probably 1930 or thereabouts.
The Abbeygate Cricket Cup
The Abbeygate Cricket Cup.
Another contribution by Alfred Edgar now. The first owner of this book was named Tony, and was given it "in remembrance of paddly pools" in 1931, although the publication date was two years earlier, in 1929. A dashing chap, set to race at the Brooklands racing circuit, is the subject of this fictional tale.
  Every Boy's Hobby Annual 1935
Every Boy's Hobby Annual 1935.
Dating this one is simpler than most! Instead of cars, the cover of the Hobby Annual for 1935 instead sees two chaps racing at breakneck speed, on a motorcycle sidecar combination. The book was a gift to someone for Christmas, 1934. I'm sure that whoever received this, was over the moon, as it's packed with interesting articles, stories, and projects to build. There are also a number of fold-out illustrations by Roland Davies, whose name has already been mentioned on this page. Lots to stretch any child's imagination.
The Great Book for Boys
The Great Book for Boys.
Norman Light is the artist responsible for the cracking image on this book's cover, which features an Alfa Romeo 8C or 12C being hounded by a Mercedes Benz during a race. His illustration is dated 1939, and the book itself was published in 1940 - just as WW2 and the Battle of Britain were getting into gear. Indeed, the first three drawings inside the book are of the fire services dealing with burning buildings during an air raid, search lights being used to track bombers overhead, and guns being used in anger. The stories are on a mix of topics, all fictional in nature.
  Warne's Book of Motor-Cars and Aeroplanes
Warne's Book of Motor-Cars and Aeroplanes.
A racing MG and Supermarine's contribution to the Schneider Cup air races, are the subject of renowned artist Terence Cuneo's illustrations for this book cover. The print date was 1934, another publication by Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. of London. Colour plates and b/w line drawings are liberally sprinkled throughout the book's card pages.

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