Uncle Oojah’s Annual 1935?

The main story is fairly obviously about ‘red indians’. It starts with Jerry and Snooker playing, but it does not take long for Oojah to join in and involve all the usual suspects in their game across the river. It would probably have been simpler to invite Lord and Lady Lion and Pa Piggins, but Jerrywangle and Snooker seem to have enjoyed abducting them. In fact, kidnapping was a frequent pastime in Oojahland in the 1930s. What is more surprising is the appearance of actual native American people. I mean, who would have thought, just over the Wide Wetwater River in Oojahland there was a whole tribe of first nation people just waiting to join in with a game of red indians?

This is not an action packed story but there are some fun moments. Binky Bear takes up smoking the peace pipe and immediately falls ill, but by this time, the pretend indians have already appointed a pretend Medicine-Man (aka Doctor Dromedary).

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In other stories, Jerrywangle ousts an irritating tiger, there is an ill-advised trip downstream in a bath tub, children make sea monsters out of balloons and the origin of weeds is explained with the help of some fairies. There is also another story about squabbling cutlery although it does not result in the full scale hostilities of previous years (see The Battle of the Pantry, Once Upon a Time Children’s Annual 1921).

The best thing about this annual is the range of activities. It is remarkable any have survived intact as readers are constantly encouraged to colour in, paint and cut out models and images. You will find an easy way to draw a wooden horse, cut out dancing clowns, make shadows on the wall, conjuring tricks to amaze your friends and instructions on making simpe pottery. If you manage to work out where ‘The Jungle Boys’ are going, do let me know. I held the book sideways, level with my eyes, as instructed, but nothing came of it.