Folk Crafts for Kids

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folk crafts for friendship

Folk Crafts for World Friendship

This is one of those books that has a great idea, but doesn’t quite deliver. My particular copy was a little sad and yellowed, and should have been weeded on condition. Even for 1976, the artwork and pictures are a bit stale. From the cover, I would not have expected craft projects to do. The look of this book makes me think of an adult museum publication rather than a book for kids. I do like the idea of craft projects for kids from around the world. It just ought to look like a book on crafts for kids from around the world.


PS. I lived in the UK for 2 years in the 1990s and never heard of “pearlies.” Obviously, I missed something. Can someone enlighten me?

folk crafts inside flap

Greek Puppets

making a puppet


decorating a jacket


  1. Pearlies were street entertainers. The name comes from the buttons that covered their clothes. Traditionally, they were Cocknies.

  2. I have never heard it as a plural. The Pearly King is a thing I saw once in one of those old shows they roll out for the very elderly, with songs from the 1940s to sing-along to. So from that I know that a Pearly King is a cockney entertainer dressed in clothes blinged up with mother-of-pearl buttons. I don’t know what that would be in reality…

    A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me it was/is done to raise money for charity, so that’s nice.

  3. I think the brief history in the book is correct, and that, as the other 2 have said, they were usually Cockney. Seems to me that Pearlies showed up in a Disney or other movie from my childhood, in the 1960s. And I agree with Mary that this does not look like a kid’s craft book at all, even from the ’70s. T

  4. There was an animated Pearly band in the original Mary Poppins film. A woman with the large feathered hat was playing a concertina while a man was playing an improvised bass with a washtub and a broomstick.

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Tessie O’shea would dress as a Pearly queen while singing ‘Knees up, Mother Brown’ on American variety TV shows. It was quite the novelty.

  5. The Pearly band isn’t in the book. In the movie it’s an animated introduction to ‘Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious’.

  6. I remember the cartoon pearly band in Mary Poppins when I watched it as a kid. It’s what first came to mind when I saw the photo in this book.

  7. Oh! This adds context to a terrific Traffic song , “Pearly Queen!” It starts out, “I bought a sequined suit from a Pearly Queen, and she could drink more wine than I’d ever seen…” Fantastic album from 1968, entitled “Traffic.” It was their second one — first was “Mr. Fantasy.”

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