TANKARY 13, 1921
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for laur ry work, too
Observer was born, he becomes the and occasionally produced such max-
more certain in his estimate. ims as this, "It is a mean and scanda-
lous Practice among Authors to put
Turning from fields where he ad- Notes to Things that deserve no No-
mittedly is but a casual though some- tice"-this is a note on Margery Daw.
what dogmatic onlooker the Observer Another striking thing is the modern
encounters another in which he at ness of the books. Grant, if you will,
least is a constant browser-that of that the children of one age are like
illustrated fairy tales. Here too, he those of another; the fact remains
has the advantage of support of a- that adults are not, and it is adults
thority, for the particular volume at who write books. But the stuff writ-
hand carries with it the approval of ten for the youngsters of 1750 was
many centuries. Few fairy tales have very much like that written for chil-
the standing of those in "Stories From dren today-little magazine stories
the Arabian Nights" (George H. Doran and poems, biographies of mice, spid-
Co., $3.50), retold by Laurence Htuos- ers, and pussy-cats, and tales of all
man, and illustrated by Edmund Du- varieties of magic. All in all, there-
lac. And, it must be admitted by fore, the children's books of the cen-
even rival authors, few versions of tury for which Miss Barry writes are
these stories are better rendered than very much like those belonging to the
those by Mr. Housman. Of course, century of which she writes. Indeed,
it is very fine to imagine the beautiful some of thestories still hold; few
Scheherazade, story-teller supremse, of us have not heard of "Goody Two
and heroine of the Thousand and One Shoes" and Margery Daw. Some of
Nights, whose art in weaving togeth- the moralizing stories are with us
er and elaborating ancient stories too; last week I refused to buy a very
saved her IfM) and won the heart of a pretty book because it contains a re-
sultan. Some folks, captured by the vamped version of "Waste Not, Want
picture insist that the form of Sehe-! Not." Clarence Darrow is not the
herazade's narrative should be re- only person who has fiddled away
tained untouched, quite forgetting useless hours in saving pieces . of
that the fair story-teller herself is a String because of that story, and I re-
fiction, and that there are two dozen fuse to do anything to pass the curse
and one "original" versions for every on to a coming generation. Had the
story of the whole thousand, and that story been one of Lamb's.,
seldom is one of them an example
of really good story-telling. MR. FRANCK ON
There is, therefore, no sacrilege in CHINA
the modification which the storiesC
have undergone at (be hands of Mr.
Housman. On the other hand, there is WANDERING IN NORTHERN CHINA
decided improvement, both in color, by Harry A. Franck. The Century
effect, and technique. So far as the Co. $.
Observer knows, there is but one ver- Mr. Franck is coming to be as much
sion that is better-a little, plaid- of an American institution as the
bound, Swiss-printed affair that was Stoddard Lectures and the National
his introduction o Sinbad, Ali Baba, Geographical Magazine. Reading one
and the Queen of the Ebony Isles. of his travel books is like spending
Unfortunately, it has no pictures, and a week with an old friend who has
it is pictures which form the second just returned from far regions one
beauty of Mr. Housman's book. There always has wanted to see and never
are sixteen of them in rich colors, expects to. One asks all sorts of
though of a more subdued sort than questions-about places, people, build-
the Observer generally thinks of as ings, customs, food; the friendly Mr.
suitable for children. But doubtless Franck answers all of them and
the Observer is wrong; children of throws in a great deal of other isfor-
today may not care for the gaudy mation besides.
things he liked, just as they are not The "Wanderings in Northern
old enough and rebellious enough to China" carried the author through
enjoy the scarlet trees and vermil- Japan to Cho-sen, north to Vladivos-
lion roads of Ainsfield. The world is tok, across Manchuria, over to Peking.
becoming less uniform and pattern- through the Mongolian desert and
made, in spite of Presidential messag- the Gobi wastes, to soviet (not bol-
es and Kiwanis clubs; perhaps the shevik) Urga, and back through the
Observer's neices will clap their hands interior of the Yellow Empire. Mr.
over both etchings and lithographs Franck took these journeys seriously,
while he still is vainly attempting to learning as much as he could of the
understand Picasso and Art Young. languages encountered, seeking ear-
Be that as it may, he can read the nestly after the thoughts and desire
Arabian Nights, equal with the best of the peoples, and trying his best to
of youngsters. . - - lure out the meaningof all sorts of
-The Observer, things which the ordinary tourist dis-
misses with a shrug. Therefore, un-
BOOKS like that tourist, he admits that he
(Continued from Page Six) knows very little about China, and
ity that was almost as bad as the mor- makes no dogmatic statements.
alizing of Perrault's predecessors. It is net mere entertainment, there-
Even a child will get tired of an end- fore, which one gets from reading his
less succession of Montessori mothers book. It is chock full of iformato
and well-meaning, desperately serious wvel written and intere-ting, but
fathers who never do anything that information nvertheless. And much
renmotely resembles reality. Perhaps or it is thought provoing. For thi
a few folks followed out in practice reason, unless you are an enthussast
the theories of the books-middle age on China, you will take this book in
is always prone to take with distress- smail d"ses bw nsh much incidental
ing seriousness the things it reads, reading, and plenty of time to let new
or nowadays, sees in the movies. But things soak in. You will have to lose
it is safe to say that no child ever many i teas' about bandits and mi'-
willingly submitted to the scheme, sirares, lack of bound feet and cdiy-
since he feels that perfection of any phtg of pigtais, and ideals of deco.'-
variety does not fit comfortably. And racy. Having lost thse, you will pt
he is not old enough to reason out that new ones in their places, and some of
what is uncomfortable is best because the.m will refuse to stick because you
someene says it should be best. do not like them. But in the end you
swill 'rofit. To quote the friend, new-
Of course, when cne reads of books iyn'm from Lai-Chow, who advis '
written two hundred, or a hundret me to read ti bock: "Atlrng dr.
fifty years ago. he expects qusintnrss. C ani: "e ' et hnor'wmch Ci.n
Naturally he is a bit surprised, then, as;tty a nod, it is st'." An(! you :o.
to find the eighteenth century suite Carroll fan tento-.
even with the twentieth-and some-
times Just one -huctkle ahead. :of 'S
even Godsmith could keen his fac. '''
straightt slene Sriting hs morals