31. May 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Books, Vintage
TopsyAndTimZoo

Since I first wrote about Topsy and Tim books on here I've been amazed at how many people have found my blog post through search engines whilst trying to find out more about Topsy and Tim books. The search terms used suggest that people are looking for a list of all the books published and to find out more about the old ones that they remember from their childhood. It's been a bit of an ongoing project of mine to try to find out more and to also compile a list – so here's a summary of where I've got to so far!

In short I've struggled to find a complete list published anywhere online – people keep suggesting ones, but when I look at them I find books I have discovered that are not on there, suggesting that it is not a complete list after all. Using the books that I have managed to pick up and the lists they contain of other books published in the series this is my first attempt at a comprehensive list.

  • Topsy and Tim's Monday Book
  • Topsy and Tim's Tuesday Book
  • Topsy and Tim's Wednesday Book
  • Topsy and Tim's Thursday Book
  • Topsy and Tim's Friday Book
  • Topsy and Tim's Saturday Book
  • Topsy and Tim's Sunday Book
  • Topsy and Tim's Birthday Party
  • Topsy and Tim Have a Birthday Party
  • Topsy and Tim's Bonfire Night
  • Topsy and Tim on the Farm
  • Topsy and Tim at the Farm (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Go Fishing
  • Topsy and Tim's Foggy Day
  • Topsy and Tim at the Football Match
  • Topsy and Tim Go on Holiday
  • Topsy and Tim Go to Hospital
  • Topsy and Tim's Paddling Pool
  • Topsy and Tim Go Pony-Trekking
  • Topsy and Tim Go Safely
  • Topsy and Tim At School
  • Topsy and Tim Start School (*)
  • Topsy and Tim At the Seaside
  • Topsy and Tim's Snowy Day
  • Topsy and Tim At the Zoo (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Go to the Zoo (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Take no Risks
  • Topsy and Tim Learn to Swim
  • Topsy and Tim Go Sailing
  • Topsy and Tim Go Hill-Walking
  • Topsy and Tim's Train Journey (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Meet the Monsters
  • Topsy and Tim's Picnic
  • Topsy and Tim's School Outing
  • Topsy and Tim Little Shoppers (*)
  • Topsy and Tim A Special Visit (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Buckets and Spades (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Old Shoes, New Shoes (*)
  • Topsy and Tim The Big Surprise (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Busy Builders (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Red Boots, Yellow Boots (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Little Lost Rabbit
  • Topsy and Tim Go to the Dentist (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Go to the Park
  • Topsy and Tim Look After Their Pets
  • Topsy and Tim Go on an Aeroplane
  • Topsy and Tim Meet the Firefighters
  • Topsy and Tim Meet the Police
  • Topsy and Tim Go to the Doctor
  • Topsy and Tim Make a New Friend
  • Topsy and Tim The New Baby (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Have Itchy Heads
  • Topsy and Tim Help a Friend
  • Topsy and Tim Have Chickenpox (*)
  • Topsy and Tim Car Games
  • Topsy and Tim New Lunchboxes (*)

All books marked (*) are ones that I have managed to get a copy of. Where possible in the above list I have paired together similar titles, for example Topsy and Tim at the Farm and Topsy and Tim on the Farm. Often where this is the case one of these titles is from my chidhood era (i.e. the 1980s and published by Blackie) and the other is a post 2000 Ladybird version. What's interesting is that the stories do differ slightly and whilst all the artwork has been reproduced some of it is very clearly based on that in the original books.

TopsyAndTimElephant

The only example where I have managed to get my hands on both copies is Topsy and Tim at the Zoo (Blackie) and Topsy and Tim go to the Zoo (Ladybird). As far as I know elephant rides no longer happen at zoos here in the UK, but yet both books do include the bit of the story where Topsy and Tim take an elephant ride, and the artwork for that page in both both is very similar.

TopsyAndTimLions

Where the stories deviate though is when it comes to visiting the lions. In the old version of the book Tim gets separated from his parents and swept along with a group of school children who are all rushing to see the lions being fed. Tim does the sensible thing though and finds a responsible adult, tells her that he's lost and she waits with him until his parents re-appear. I'm not sure if it's just so modern day children don't get upset about the idea of getting lost, or if it's due to "stranger danger" but in the more recent book Tim stays with Topsy and his parents and they all just avoid the stampede to the lion enclosure.

Part of me misses the old fashioned tone of the original books and their illustrations, but at the same time I can also understand why publishers wanted to update them and ensure that they were appealing to the children of the day. There are some even more recent versions available in bookshops, but my book buying at the moment is limited to charity shops and stalls at village fetes where these newer versions have not yet surfaced. I'll be keeping my eyes open to do more comparisons between versions though – I'm fascinated to see what they've deemed necessary to change and to try to work out why.

2 Comments

  1. I have about ten of the old books, saved from my children’s childhood, and my grandchildren love them. Somehow the new ones aren’t quite the same.
    I found your blog in the process of searching for more old copies, but as one lady wrote that she did find a copy of one of the books, but it was nearly £300, I think I shall have to give up the search. I am obviously sitting on Topsy and Tim treasure trove! Shall now treat them with due respect!
    Frances

  2. Another grandma says. I have also been an avid collector of the older version of Topsy and Tim which my grandson loves and knows most of them off by heart. I found quite a few here in Kenya where I live. This started the collection but I have also found a lot on Amazon. I think they are lovely books and my daughter likes them as she says they relate to everyday events.
    Diane

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