From Robert Carter & Bros. comes Fanny's Birthday Gift, by that charming writer, Joanna H. Mathews.
One of the heroes of this pleasant story is Robbie, Fanny's little brother, who, on her birthday, presents to her a picture of his own execution. Like many another produciton of genius, it is something of a puzzle at first, but proves, according to Robbie's explanation to be "Balaam's ass carryin' on and kickin' up like anything, 'cause the Philistines tied a tin kettle to his tail; and George Washington, who was always kind to animals, was tryin' to take it off." How Fanny kept a straight face when that picture was explained, it is hard to see; but she did, -- the book says so, -- and thanked the little artist, just as heartily as she thanked the others for their more elegant gifts.
--"Books for Boys and Girls," St. Nicholas (Jan. 1874)
Review appears courtesy of Pat Pflieger. More information about 19th-century children's periodicals can be found at her excellent 19th-Century American Children and What They Read website