1920’s children’s book: Frowzy Frump, Horace Bristle, et al

The Did and Didn't Book by Paul Wing, pub. 1925

Our personal copy of the The Did and Didn’t Book by Paul Wing, pub. 1925

“A New Book for Boys and Girls,” The Westfield Leader, Nov. 11, 1925, p. 16

When I was a small child, I could stare at Harry Linnell’s  illustrations in The Did and Didn’t Book for what seemed like hours. The cover image, in particular, left me completely transfixed.

The book, written by Paul Wing and published in 1925 by C.E. Rock Co., NY, belonged to my mother, who would have been two at the time of its publication. It ended up on her shelf of children’s books for her own children many years later. It’s still under copyright, so I can’t publish the contents here (yet, anyway).

Suffice it to say, it is a short book containing a persuasive story as to why little children should bathe and brush their teeth. The main characters are David and Lorraine, Horace Bristle, a little white Teletubby-like creature called Igloo, a fellow with no teeth named ‘Didn’t’, and a mud-covered character (obviously not a regular bather!) called Frowzy Frump.

At the end of the book, a surprise awaited the children of the 1925 purchasers of the book: a ‘Does It Kit,’ containing a little cake of soap, a wash cloth, toothpaste, and a toothbrush resembling Horace Bristle. Mom has no memory of those inclusions; but no matter, they were destined to disappear quite quickly anyway. But the book–now in very worn condition–still sits on our shelves. And I still occasionally leaf through it, enjoying the illustrations more than anything. I don’t know how much of a rarity this book is, but like many other children’s books with captivating illustrations, it is a testament to the power of an illustrator’s paint brush and the lingering impact their images can have on a child’s imagination.

New York Sun, 8 December 1925 (Credit: FultonHistory.com)

New York Sun, 8 December 1925 (Credit: FultonHistory.com)

Some children who may well have been recipients of The Did and Didn’t Book appear in the photo below. I treasure this photo of my dad’s 1927 birthday party which was attended by my mother! For the moment, I’ll leave it to my family of regular readers to try to figure out which children they are.

Brodhead_Charles_BdayParty

How about you? Any favorite illustrated books from your childhood come to mind? (Frankly, I recall none devoted to the topic of bathing and tooth brushing!) As a child of the sixties, my personal favorites are The Adventures of Mr. Gilfump, many of the Dr. Seuss books, and of course, Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Note: Another children’s hygiene book from that era is 1913’s Yourself and Your Wonderful House. Full of all sorts of advice for parents on raising children, it is viewable online on the Open Library website. Some images from that book can be seen below.

*From: http://archive.wmlnj.org/TheWestfieldLeader/1925/1925-11-11/pg_0016.pdf

Categories: Antiquarian publications, Children's books, Westfield Union Co NJ | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “1920’s children’s book: Frowzy Frump, Horace Bristle, et al

  1. Thank You, Love reading your post and absolutely love the 1927 party Photo! Funny how times change, apparel changes but people don’t

    Like

  2. The toothbrush in the first illustration is delightful. –Curt

    Like

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Bruno Biancardi

LANDSCAPE OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Briar Rose Blog

a lifestyle blog by Briar Rose

The Walking Sketchbook

Creating Outdoors in Nature

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

Dr. Mary Ann Niemczura

Author of "A Past Worth Telling"

Very Nearly Tea Time

Celebrating the best about the ritual of tea

Outlander Online

Your #1 Source For All Things Outlander

A Dog's Life ... and mine ... and yours!

Life with Ray ... and the world in general!

Gerry's Family History

Sharing stories from my family history

The History Interpreter - Janet Few

Presenting and Preserving the Past

What Florida Native Plant Is Blooming Today?™

Daily Photo of Plants Native to Florida

Jet Eliot

Travel and Wildlife Adventures

The Chiddicks Family Tree

Every Family has a story to tell..........Welcome to mine

kelleysdiy

Where Creativity and Imagination Creates Wonderful Ideas for Your Home!

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

thedihedral.wordpress.com/

Climbing, Outdoors, Life!

MaritimeMac

Go Explore

Dusty Roots & Forgotten Treasures

Researching, Preserving, and Sharing Genealogical Information For Future Generations

WitzEnd Family History

Adventures in Genealogy of the Witzel and Kroening Families

American in Korea

Everything International

The Genealogist's Craft

My aim is to tell interesting stories of how genealogical information comes to be. Please pull up an armchair ...

omordah.wordpress.com/

Art by Susan M. L. Moore

Lee's Birdwatching Adventures Plus

Birdwatching from a Christian Perspective

Story_Trails

Family history in stories recalled by Edie and Leo. Edith GAYLORD Allen, Leo ALLEN, Jr

Princes, Paupers, Pilgrims & Pioneers

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel is essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…

Myricopia

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar ....

Sits down with The Two Doctors and .....

MarileeWein.com

DOUBLE GENEALOGY: the ADOPTION WITNESS

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

allenrizzi

Sempre in Movimento! Published Every Monday and Friday at 12 PM EST

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Smart Veg Recipes

Welcome to home made, vegeterian, healthy & kids friendly recipes

ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES

Walk and Bike in France and Europe www.walk-bike-camino.com

The Lives of my Ancestors

Lives, Biographies and Sketches of my Family History

Down the Rabbit Hole with Sir LeprechaunRabbit

Serious about Genealogy? Let this Olde Grey hare show you about

Diggin' Up Graves

Genealogy and family history, dirt and all.

Momoe's Cupboard

Low Budget Meals and Ideas

Generations of Nomads

On the Trail of Family Faces, Places, and Stories Around the World

Your daily Civil War newspaper [est. 1995]

All the Civil War news fit to re-print

Author Adrienne Morris

The Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

Travels with Janet

Just another WordPress.com weblog

%d bloggers like this: