The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
The Young Barbarians, by Ian Maclaren: third edition (Hodder and Stoughton, 6/-). We do not as a rule know much about Scotch schools and Scotch school-boys, except this--that the outcome are men of renown in many lands. Here we see such men in the making. "Sprug" and his following are not "ower guid laddies," but they are fresh and breezy, and, given a "Bull dog" in the shape of their Mathematical Master, they go far. Their fine scorn of a botanical expedition conveys the soupçon of an idea that it is possible to plan out a schoolboy's life too exactly, that he might with advantage be left a little more to his own initiative. But the question is a knotty one. "Ian Maclaren" allows us to see that there are one or two bad things in the "Academy," though, on the whole, it was a good training-ground for men. The Young Barbarians is capital reading for old or young.
Wonders of the Bird-World, by R. Bowdler Sharpe (Gardner Darton, 6/-). Here we have the gist of Mr. Bowdler Sharpe's lectures on the "Curiosities of Bird-Life"; wonderful and delightful things are told with the convincing simplicity which belongs to the true naturalist. The chapter on the moulting of birds, for example, is full of surprises. We assume conveniently that moulting means the casting of the old plumage in favour of new; so it does, but, according to Mr. Sharpe, this is not the only way in which birds change their dress. The individual feather is a living thing capable of changing colour and pattern. The flight of the Humming-bird, the amazing appendages of the standard-winged Night-jar, the Motmot trimming its tail feathers, the mimicry and protective colouring of birds, the courtship and dancing of birds, playing-grounds of birds, are among the matters upon which the author collects and examines evidence, but does not by any means think it necessary to arrive at hard and fast conclusions. He leaves the bird-world, as he finds it, a wonder-world. Bird-lovers should provide themselves with Wonders of the Bird-World.
Typed by happi, Mar 2020; Proofread by LNL, Apr 2020
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