A vintage self-made book of stories and collages

I love, love, love this book. I found it on Ebay and I think it is a delightful view into a child’s mind as well as a piece of social history (you will gather from the stories that the ‘author’ grew up in a comfortable environment). The spelling is unusual but I will reproduce the original text – I am sure you can work it out – and not doing so would spoil the experience. Just as lovely are the collages that accompany each story. I guess you could call it ‘outsider art’.

Thank you to the Vintage Toy Advertiser, who has identified the maker as ‘Avril Podmore’ He found out some info about a later work by her, written and drawn while seemingly still a child at Pigtailsinpaint and he feels (and I concur) that my find is an early example of her stories and pictures.The handwriting and style is certainly very similar.

While the Clergy Mutual Almanack Diary, 1917 gives a hint of when these were written, I also have no clue of where she lived. Any help from you is welcome!

A hint of what’s to come?
“The Spirit of the tempel” is the image before everything else.


  • Out for a Piknic                    1
  • In the play                            2
  • Our new Pony                      3
  • Holades times                      4
  • Bath time                             5
  • The Suprize                          6
  • Out for a Walk                     7
  • Tea in the Garden                8
  • Playing in the Nursery         9
  • Playing with Nurse             10
  • In the Garden                       11
  • Story telling                          12
  • The Party                              13
  • Naughty Ethel                      14
  • Madges Birch                       15
  • Bday time                             16
  • Out to tea with Aunt           17
  • In the Evning                        18
  • Shy John                               19
  • Joices Rira                            20
  • Sumer times                         21
  • Out to town                          22
  • Playing Shop                        23
  • Spring Clea-ning                24
  • In the evening                      25
  • Stop baby                             26

I’ll post all 26 stories by and by.

If you can’t wait – you can see the whole book here. But first of all, the author’s Preface:

Dear Children,
i thort that i wold make this book For you to look at. I had these cutting outs when I was a little girl and i stuk them with Paist with love
From Avril Polmore

First story: Out for a picnic

Mothe said Jack it is a lovely day do lets go somewere Well Jack wold you like to go to a PICKNICK Yes mother do and he went to tell May. May was dlited When they time came thy were co happy When they got thir thy plaid games and thy haid such a nice tea. Thin thy played at I can see something.

I hope you enjoyed this story – more soon!


  1. Hi Wibi, I think the child author is called ‘Avril Podmore’, and this is an early example of her stories and pictures. I found out some info about a later work by Avril Podmore (written and drawn while seemigly still a child), link: https://pigtailsinpaint.org/2016/07/a-little-girls-guide-to-personality-avril-podmoor/

    The handwriting and style is similar to your examples, along with perhaps the drawing style too.

    Will copy and paste this comment into your other blog post.
    Cheers, Ford.

      1. A pleasure, Wibi. It’s an intriguing and charming collectable you have, and I think I recognised the name ‘Podmore’ because I used to work with someone whose surname was that, so it kind of stuck out.
        Big hugs, Ford xx

  2. I adore this too ! Something very special about it… and I love Avril’s chapter titles … Bath time… Shy John… and especially Stop baby haha – wondering if I could possibly re-use/quote one or two of them at some point … thanks for the post, Wibi !

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