COLE'S FUNNY LITTLE PICTURE BOOK
A "best of" we curated from the much-loved Cole's Funny Picture Book first published in 1879.
EW Cole's Book Arcade in central Melbourne was Australia's most loved and renowned bookshop for more than 50 years. It was a riotous and incredible retail experience with tea salons, live animals, a speakers corner as well as jugglers and buskers, a hall of funny mirrors and the Cole's Book Arcade band.
A true eccentric, EW Cole was a one man publicity machine, writing columns in the paper, a staunch adversary of the White Australia Policy and even advertising for a wife on the front page of the Herald in 1875: "I require a woman chaste, sober, honest, truthful, intelligent, industrious, frugal, cleanly, neat, not dressy, good-tempered, moderately educated and a lover of home."
Leaving a legacy of several best-selling publications, his most famous was the Cole's Funny Picture Book. A ‘family' book filled with parlour games, puzzles, riddles, illustrations and games, it took Australia by storm and sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
This new edition of the Australian classic contains facsimiles from the original books of humorous rhymes and poems, puzzles, stories, songs and cartoons, optical illusions, illustrations of crazy inventions and machines and much more. Chapters include Dolly Land, Girl Land, Boy Land, Play Land, Drawing Land, Monkey Land, Froggy Land, Piggy Land, Temper Land, Stealing Land and Laziness Land.
Read Brady's article 'Curating Cole' here.