Vintage Reader

The Big Red Bus, Childrens Reader 1955The Bad Red Bus, published in London, 1955
MacMillan & Co Ltd.

I really like children’s readers…they are especially funny to read as an adult, but even as a child I thought that Dick and Jane were…weird. They were strangely dressed children, with stilted speech patterns. Mind you, the parents spoke with a limited vocabulary too:

“Now I must buy a present,” said Father.
“Here is a little horse,” said Ken.
“Pamela could sit on it and we could rock her.”
“Yes, Mother and I will give her that horse. We will take it home with us.” [Gay Days, 1961 p.14]

This was a book that was before my time at school- The Bad Red Bus– but it was on the Australian school syllabus and many people I know read it as a child. Children remember titles with the word “Bad” in them…and boy, was this bus bad!

Unusually for the time, both the author and illustrator were women; not unusually for the time, the story line is very eurocentric and gave Australian children a small glimpse of the animals and customs of England in the 50s.

The Big Red Bus is in good vintage condition, it shows sign of wear to the cover and has been handled by many, many children. It is for sale: $AU15

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