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The Song of Sixpence Picture Book   By: (1845-1915)

Book cover

First Page:

THE SONG OF SIXPENCE PICTURE BOOK

[Illustration: CONTAINING SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE PRINCESS BELLE ETOILE ALPHABET OF OLD FRIENDS]

WALTER CRANE'S PICTURE BOOKS

LONDON & NEW YORK: JOHN LANE

[Illustration] [Illustration]

THE SONG OF SIXPENCE PICTURE BOOK

CONTAINING SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE; PRINCESS BELLE ETOILE; AN ALPHABET OF OLD FRIENDS: WITH THE ORIGINAL COLOURED DESIGNS BY WALTER CRANE

INCLUDING A PREFACE AND OTHER EMBELLISHMENTS

[Illustration]

LONDON & NEW YORK JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD

PREFACE

Whether the Poet undertook to write and SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE for that popular price is not stated in his simple rhyme, but, at all events, we learn that he started with "a pocket full," and proceeded to draw on his imagination for all it was worth. What that famous blackbird pie really cost except in black birds is not disclosed, though the King seemed to show some anxiety about the state of his treasury, as he was discovered "in his counting house" imediately after the feast. But while the Queen, regardless of expense, regales herself on "bread and honey" in "the parlour", and her Maid of honour, or perhaps of all work, is engaged at the clothes line, nothing is said about a princess.

No doubt there was a princess, and that Princess might have been PRINCESS BELLE ETOILE? Anyway here she is in the same boat I mean book and certainly her adventures are romantic enough to prevent any surprise at the company in which Her Highness now finds herself.

Even princesses cannot do without Alphabets, and so in her train comes AN ALPHABET in which will be discovered many OLD and tried FRIENDS of the Nursery.

Thus we launch another volume of our series, like a fairy ship with a rather mixed cargo, in the hope that to change the metaphor like the blackbird pie, it may prove, when opened, to be "a pretty dish to set before " their Babyships.

Walter Crane

[Illustration]

Kensington. Sept: 1909

[Illustration] [Illustration]

SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE

[Illustrations, with each couplet]

Sing a song of sixpence, A pocket full of rye,

Four and twenty black birds, Baked in a pie

When the pie was open'd The birds began to sing

Was'nt that a dainty dish To set before the King?

The King was in his counting house, Counting out his money.

The Queen was in the parlour, Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden, Hanging out the clothes;

There came a little blackbird, And nipp'd off her nose.

[Illustration] [Illustration] [Illustration] [Illustration]

PRINCESS BELLE ETOILE.

Once upon a time there were three Princesses, named Roussette, Brunette, and Blondine, who lived in retirement with their mother, a Princess who had lost all her former grandeur. One day an old woman called and asked for a dinner, as this Princess was an excellent cook. After the meal was over, the old woman, who was a fairy, promised that their kindness should be rewarded, and immediately disappeared.

Shortly after, the King came that way, with his brother and the Lord Admiral. They were all so struck with the beauty of the three Princesses, that the King married the youngest, Blondine, his brother married Brunette, and the Lord Admiral married Roussette.

The good Fairy, who had brought all this about, also caused the young Queen Blondine to have three lovely children, two boys and a girl, out of whose hair fell fine jewels. Each had a brilliant star on the forehead, and a rich chain of gold around the neck. At the same time Brunette, her sister, gave birth to a handsome boy. Now the young Queen and Brunette were much attached to each other, but Roussette was jealous of both, and the old Queen, the King's mother, hated them. Brunette died soon after the birth of her son, and the King was absent on a warlike expedition, so Roussette joined the wicked old Queen in forming plans to injure Blondine... Continue reading book >>




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