417- Wonk

Going To Sea
Strawberries and Cream
Fireworks
The Secret
The Circus

Wonk was a slightly rotund Koala Bear which had somehow found it's way to the UK and became involved in many adventures. He was perhaps the role-model for Paddington's impresive escape from Peru. He was aided and abetted by a young chap called Peter. Each book actually features two short stories, although the title only refers to one of them. Written by "Auntie" Muriel Levy, (who wrote Cinderella and the Sleeping Beauty) illustrated by Kiddell-Monroe, they made a nice coherent series, with a style all of their own. Wills & Hepworth hadn't yet settled upon a proper house style, but the books are none the worse for this.

The inside covers featured the tiled patterns that were to appear on early Uncle Mac books and the rear pages offered the usual list of other titles. the The Circus and The Secret were also published in French (Le Cirque and Le Secret), if anyone has a copy of either, we'd appreciate a scan of the covers!


The DJs themselves were of typical wartime quality and don't seem to have stood the test of time as well as many Wills & Hepworth jackets. Underneath the DJs, the books featured the same basic cover with different coloured textured paper.

This series seems to have become the "hard-to-find" one, attracting silly prices for mint copies. Even battered DJ-less editions fetch more than most other books. Whilst they are perhaps rare, it's a shame that many collectors have been priced out of this particular market.

 

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