Nature Books for Children

Arthur Ransome

In 1906 Arthur Ransome was commissioned by a small publisher, Anthony Treherne & Company, to write a series of short books on "the seasons, the garden, ponds and streams, woods, fields, and country lanes." Only three of the planned six books were published before the publisher went bankrupt. According to Wayne Hammond in his Bibliography, Ransome called them 'three silly little nature books for children' and 'unlucky books'. They were certainly unlucky for Ransome, as he was paid nothing but a small advance.

The three books which were published, The Child's Book of the Seasons, Pond and Stream, and Things In Our Garden, appear as entries A4-A6 in Hammond's Bibliography.

Mr. Clint Heitman of Boston, Massachusetts, became the owner of a set of the books, rapidly became entranced by them, and set about replicating them as a labor of love. In the process he created digital images of every page and illustration in the books, and in addition to his paper reproduction, decided to create a boxed CD set for his own enjoyment. Mr. Hietman has provided a short narrative about how he came by the books, and what was involved in replicating them, at A Tale of Three Books.

The illustration at the right shows the original books, his replicas, and two versions of his CD set. A larger image is available by clicking on the illustration. Please Note: the CDs and CD sets are only shown for illustration and are not available.

Clint has graciously made PDFs of his three books in somewhat lower resolution so that they would be of manageable size, and has made those PDFs available to All Things Ransome at the links below. Be warned that these PDFs are around 26MB each.

These PDFs are made available on All Things Ransome by permission of the Arthur Ransome Literary Estate. Our heartiest thanks to Clint and to the Literary Executors for making it possible for many more Ransome fans to see the books in a beautifully restored state.

The Books

The Child's Book Of The Seasons
Pond and Stream
Things In Our Garden

The titles of the three books appear to have mutated during their writing and production as can be seen by the frontispiece of each book and as follows. The titles we have used for the links are those recorded in Wayne Hammond's Bibliography. However, the titles shown on the picture at the top, and on the first page of the PDFs, are those printed on the actual book covers of the books themselves.

The Nature Books for Children are ©1906 by Arthur Ransome. Copyright is held by The Literary Estate of Arthur Ransome, who have graciously given their permission for these PDFs to be made available upon this website.

Back to the Literary Pages
Back to All Things Ransome