On the Fourth of July I featured a newer item that was tucked away inside an older book. Here's another piece of ephemera along those lines. It's a pocket calendar (slightly larger than a credit card) for the year 1970, courtesy of Good News Publishers of Westchester, Illinois, and the Christian Book Shop at 255 West Market Street here in York.
Good News Publishers dates to 1938 and still continues under the name Crossway. You can read about its history here.
The Adventures of Blacky the Wasp.
The book was written by Chas. E. Robinson1, illustrated by Charles Ramsay and published by the Gospel Publishing House of Springfield, Missouri. That publisher is still in existence.
The nature of this 88-page volume can be gleaned from the blurb on the title pages, which states:
"Filled with many strange, little-known facts, stated with scientific accuracy, about John Bartram's Great Black Wasp whose life history cannot be explained by the supposed laws of Evolution."(Bartram (1699-1777), who was born in the Pennsylvania Colony, was a Quaker botanist, horticulturist and explorer.2 In 1749, he wrote a letter to Mr. Peter Collinson in which he described the Great Black Wasp.)
Here's an excerpt from Robinson's tale about Blacky, to give you a taste of the author's approach:
"Blacky the Wasp is a great digger. Indeed such wasps as she is are called, by men who study about such things, Digger Wasps. Since Blacky found the place for her home on the side of the clay bank by Laughing Little Brook she has dug and carried out a great deal of clay. The clay that Blacky has carried out of the hole she has made if it were weighed would weigh as much as one thousand seven hundred wasps the size of Blacky. ... God made Blacky so that she knew without being told what she ought to do, and just how to do it. He made her so she didn't need anyone to tell her to hurry with her work, and get it done. Isn't it a wonderful God who would take the pains to put it into little Blacky's head the knowledge that she must dig a deep hole in the side of a bank, and that she must dig it in a certain distance in one direction and then change and dig it in another direction until she has dug it deep enough?"
1. One source indicates that the E. stands for Elmo. According to the author biography on the final page of The Adventures of Blacky the Wasp: "Charles E. ("Daddy") Robinson understands that the child receives many of his first and lasting impressions from the living things about him. So Mr. Robinson makes nature speak out to the glory of God. He causes the birds and insects to give a vocal lesson on faithfulness and the wonderful provisions of the heavenly father." Other books by Robinson included The Adventures of Sally Cottontail, The Gnat's Lifeboat and Other Stories, The Adventures of Keo the Colt, and The Adventures of Hush-Wing the Owl.
2. Bartram wrote a book titled Observations on the Inhabitants, Climate, Soil, Rivers, Productions, Animals, and other Matters Worthy of Notice, made by Mr. John Bartram in his Travels from Pennsylvania to Onondaga, Oswego, and the Lake Ontario, in Canada.