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Even more Laura E. Richard

Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010 in children's books

The visitor logs to my site show that there is a lot of interest in the old Childcraft books and their poems. So by popular demand I’m offering you a few more poems and illustrations by a particularly loved author.

This poem isn’t as well know as some of her others.

Alice's Supper illustration

Alice’s Supper

Far down in the meadow the wheat grows green,
And the reapers are whetting their sickles so keen;
And this is the song that I hear them sing,
While cheery and loud their voices ring:
” ‘Tis the finest wheat that ever did grow!
And it is for Alice’s supper, ho! ho!

Downstairs in the kitchen the fire doth glow,
And Maggie kneading the soft white dough,
And this is the song that she’s singing today,
While merry and busy she’s working away:
” ‘Tis the finest dough by near or by far,
And it is for Alic’s supper, ha! ha!”

Laura E. Richards

My sister taught me how to sing the following poem. I have sung it to my husband, too. Apparently it has greater appeal to the young.

Illustration for Antonio poem

Antonio

Antonio, Antonio,
Was tired of living alonio.
He thought he would woo
Miss Lissamy Lu,
Miss Lissamy Lucy Molonio.

“On, nonio, Antonio!
You’re far too bleak and bonio!
And all that I wish,
You singular fish,
Is that you will quickly begonio.”

Antonio, Antonio,
He uttered a dismal moanio;
Then he ran off and hid
(Or I’m told that he did)
In the Antecatarctical Zonio.

Laura E. Richards

I’ve always wanted to insult someone by calling them a singular fish, but have never had the confidence to do so. I just don’t know if them are fightin’ words or not.

I apologize for not quoting the poems in their entireties, but I’m assuming that the Richard family still holds the copyrights. I also wish I could tell you who did the illustrations, but they weren’t recognized by the publisher.

  1. I love your site! Thanks for keeping the old Childcraft stories and poems alive!

  2. Thank you so much Deirdre.

  3. The illustrator for “Antonio” was Thomas Handforth. Unfortunately, in my used copy of Volume I (which contains a list of “Contributing Artists”), there is one name which is wholly missing because of a rip in the page. . .and I’m pretty sure that is the name of the illustrator for “Alice’s Supper.” The same person did the illustrations on pages 66-7, 70-1, and 104-5. The first initial is pretty definitely M., and the last name seems to be spelled something like Br[i/e][v/n]a[un/m]ed If the first vowel is an e, it has an accent on it. . .I’ve tried running a Google search, but am not coming up with any useful results.

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