Monday, August 17, 2009

vintage children's book: wings on wednesday

'wings on wednesday'
written by natalie scott
illustrated by sandra smith
published by paul hamlyn 1969
ISBN 0600039714
(click images to enlarge)

wings on wednesday tells the story of a little girl named hatty. every wednesday, hatty and her mother spend the day with aunt zoe. 'fly out of the room like a good little bird and let me have a nice long chat with your mother' aunt zoe would say to hatty.

hatty would go out to the garden, where a squawking cocky (a parrot) lived. hatty didn't like the cocky, but she did like the feathers it dropped and so she began collecting them each week.

finally, when she had collected enough, she made her self a pair of wings... and off she flew (much to the envy of the caged cocky!) each week, hatty flies off, over the town, until one week she sees a forest. she lands in the forest to find it full of different species of birds who find her fascinating and rare...

all the birds want to talk to hatty, and so each week she returns to talk to a different kind. they all tell her what species they are, and what makes them special or rare.
"but all the birds were certain that hatty, who could take off her wings and leave them on the ground was the rarest of them all"

then her aunt moves away, (apologies for the patchy job of scanning it) and though her parents joke about it, hatty knows what it is like to 'fly out of the room like a good little bird'

i'm not sure where this book came from - i've always had it and i've always been fascinated with the illustrations. my copy is dogeared and missing a cover and back page and i haven't been able to find any information on author natalie scott or illustrator sandra smith, but i love the psychedelic magic marker illustrations with art nouveau overtones. the publisher, paul hamlyn seem to have been behind a number of really fab picture books of that era, lots of psychedelia.

i also own 'firebrand, push your hair out of your eyes' and 'please sit still', also by scott and smith, and although both are excellent i love 'wings' best. if anyone can offer any further information, please comment below. this book has played such a huge part in developing my aesthetic, i would really love to know anything about the ladies who created it.


Anonymous said...

aahhh, i love know i nearly called my charleygirl "Hatty"....lance hated it tho....pest! Must check out more of these boooks, they are very dear!
(just brightened my ever gloomy day of not getting myob to balance!! thanks xx)

Pilgrim Lee said...

Hatty is a great name! we had it on our list of girls names too.

BOO and HISS to MYOB. ;)

strawberry lemonade girl said...

I love the little girl's hair! nifty find, lady! you always have fun/colorful stuff over here.

Pilgrim Lee said...

i reckon you could pull that hair-do off alex! i have such envy for those curls haha

Anonymous said...

I love this book! My parents picked it up at an op shop when we were kids in the early 80s and although it confused me when I was a young child, I became enchanted by it when I grew to value the amazing illustration.

Unfortunately my copy is now badly ripped, and I too have been trying to find out about the author and illustrator, so I'm excited to see another copy online!

Pilgrim Lee said...

How exciting! So nice to find someone else who knows it. I'm going to write a post later about another Sandra smith book so check back soon for more lovely illustrations!

Anonymous said...

I, too, had this lovely, lovely book when I was a child. It was lent to an acquaintance's child, along with 'Firebrand, push your hair our of your eyes', and neither were never seen again. A salutory lesson... I have managed to replace 'Firebrand...' but have been hunting high and low for this book for ages. I'll keep looking, tho'. Thanks for the scans, they bring back happy memories.
Kate in Edinburgh

Sandy said...

I had this book when I was a little girl. I was born in '67 so a while back now. It was my absolute favourite. I've never forgotten the story and I just did a search online for it and found your blog! How wonderful to see pictures that are still, after all these years, fresh in my memory! Thank you :)

Sharyn said...

I was awarded this book when I was a little girl. This was around 1970. I'm 47 now and recall this book as if it was yesterday. I was chatting to some friends about it and was amazed when I found this site. The colours and drawings are amazing. Thank you ;-}

Just Brilliant!

Pilgrim Lee said...

thank you all for leaving your memories of this book! its so lovely to hear other people love it as much as i do. makes me really glad i put it up! :D

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