Sepia Saturday: Silver Pennies

Both I and my wife still have our childhood copies of this collection of poems for children. I know my folks read to me from it. The minimalist art deco illustrations haunt me still; they evoke not only my childhood of half a century back but a simple, romantic, dreamworld, just past the age of empire, unreachably distant and yet strangely outside of time.
This is perhaps my favorite poem from it, also haunting in its bare and mysterious bones.

Silver Pennies clearly resonates for many people, as is proved by its presence on the following sites.

The Marlowe Bookshelf

Daoine Sidhe

VLS Photo: The Art and Culture of Inspiration

Arthur’s Classic Novels

Told Tales

Check out more illustrations from old children’s books here:

Kat in the Cupboard (flickr)


  1. I have never seen this before. The questions at the start are a tremendous way to get children involved. These type of questions could be asked by writers checking their own work.

  2. This is new to me and I absolutely love it.

  3. I wish the lettering on the book page was big enough for me to read...'fraid it's a bit too small...

  4. Ah! Silly me - one click, and there they were! LOL

  5. My childhood nursery rhyme book was illustrated with black and white photos instead of drawings.

  6. I'm unfamiliar with this book, but will be rectifying that situation soonest.

    "Give them me. Give them me.


    I can easily see why it's a favorite. I'm quite taken with it myself. Thanks for introducing me.

  7. I agree, there is something about the poem which is very mysterious. There is almost a bit of Lewis Carrol in there. Another fine Sepia Saturday contribution.

  8. I can see why you loved this as a child. Magical.

  9. This is a new book and a new poem to me. It's easy to understand the attaction of this poem to a child: being able to repeatedly say "no" and "win." Maybe you'll show us more pages from Silver Pennies in the future?