This book, as one would expect with an Oxford publication, states its aim clearly in the preface: "..a gathering of verses that have been written for children, or written with children prominently in mind, which either were cherished in their own day, or which have stood the test of time. Its object is thus to make available in one place the classics of children's poetry..." Anyone who has loved poems in childhood will surely find their favourite here, from Chaucer to Ogden Nash.
Iona Margaret Balfour Opie, CBE, FBA (1923–2017) and Peter Mason Opie (1918–1982) were a married team of folklorists, who applied modern techniques to children's literature, summarised in "The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes" (1951) and "The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren" (1959). They were noted anthologists, and assembled large collections of children's literature, toys, and games.
Our book, a first edition copy, and signed by both editors on the front fep, is in excellent condition, with no dust jacket (?as issued). The blue cloth exterior is only minimally worn at corners and at top & bottom of the spine, and the gilt title etc on front and spine is bright; the iimpressed decorative line border on the front is mirrored with gilt decorative lines at top & bottom of the spine. There is a darkish stain at the bottom of the back cover, hardly noticeable to the naked eye. Inside, the binding is firm, all pages clean and bright, and the book appears almost unused.