[MANUSCRIPT CHILDREN'S BOOK] DE FRAINE, G. (poet) James W. BENTLEY (illustrator). "The Birthday Book of Barnaby Bing - The Poems of G. de Fraine". March 2nd, 1932.
Landscape 8vo., 25.5 x 17.7cm, dove-grey cloth sketchbook; pp. , with blanks at the rear; titled in manuscript to upper cover and front pastedown in ink by the author and illustrator; with 7 full-page accomplished and detailed pen-and-ink illustrations by James Bentley, all signed, and one smaller vignette alongside 6 pages of manuscript verse; a very good survival with a little wear and flaking to slim spine and minor external dusting; internally clean throughout.
A unique, and high quality, manuscript children's book which is apparently unpublished. The extended nonsense verse (seemingly neatly penned by a young person, or persons) features Barnaby Bing, a character apparently inspired by Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter, who sports an eccentric outfit of tilting top hat, chequerboard trousers, frock coat and bow tie:
"When the sea becomes pink & the grass becomes blue, when to drinks alcoholic all men prefer glue, And when apples are ripe in the season of spring, we shall know it’s the birthday of Barnaby Bing …"
The detailed and proficient artwork nods to the extravagant, but coherent, invented world of William Heath Robinson.