The fable of a proud poppy - or, The shipwreck of "The Cynthia"
"Here is a sweet, lovely, and beautifully illustrated story. I would not call it a fable, but it makes a strong point. In its first phase, the beautiful poppy hosts a ball and invites all the most beautiful people. A number of birds and flowers are pointedly not invited. It is a wondrous evening. Most charming of the guests is the kingfisher, who makes a perfect romantic partner for the beautiful poppy. Among the uninvited are Twit, a young sparrow, and his mother, Mrs. Twit. Twit wants at least to watch the ball, and after other trees refuse them, the oak and her acorns welcome them. After all, only ten of the hundred acorns were invited, and those ten refused the invitation because of its limitation. In a second phase, the story involves children launching a boat the next day and making flowers its passengers. Poppy and the kingfisher are of course among the passengers. One acorn gets thrown in as cargo. A storm comes up and wind snaps the strong by which the children hold onto the boat. It soon capsizes. The kingfisher saves himself by hiding his head under his wing in the reeds. The little acorn is about to drown when Mrs. Twit rescues him and brings him back. Sometime later, Thistle wants to give a party in Mrs. Twit's honor and invites her and her son to specify which guests would be worthy. "Whom do you want to invite, Twit?" "Everyone!" The coloring of the wood-engravings is gorgeous! One of the best scenes is the dance itself on 15. I cannot tell if this is somehow a later edition or the small original hand-colored edition advertised by the colophon: 25 copies each -- French and English -- on Japan paper. What is missing is the promised signature of the artist. What an unusual book!"