The White Fathers published various books over the ages, and none were more popular than the Wopsy series for young children.
At one point, they could proudly boast that over 80,000 copies had been sold.

Their author, Fr Gerard Scrivens WF, was a gifted storyteller who had a talent for writings stories that could also be read aloud to children. Consequently, the books were very popular as bedtime stories for the very young, or for reading to Infant / Junior school children.

Each of the four books was beautifully illustrated with the simplest of line drawings by Sister Mary Barbara CRL
— such as this little devil:

It is likely that many young seminarians would have been very familiar with the Wopsy books — particularly if they (like me) were raised in a parish run by the White Fathers. This reason alone justifies their presence on this website, though I'd have found some other excuse to include them if challenged !

Many thanks are due
to Tony Smyth (Ottawa), as well as Margaret and John Morton (Sutton Coldfield), for entrusting me with these rare mementoes — and
for waiting patiently for their return.


(source : John & Margaret Morton and Tony Smyth)

7th September 1943 (Price 4/-)

Chapter One

"Taking Charge"

Now at that time there was in Heaven, a very small angel whose name was Wopsy. It wasn't really an angel's name, for they have to be long and beautiful, but even the Archangels were hard put to remember Wopsy's real name, for it had fourteen letters and was pronounced differently from any of the fourteen.

Ever since Wopsy could remember, and he had a very long memory for such a small angel, he had spent all his time loving God and had never had even two shakes of a cat's tail to do anything else. Then one day (as a matter of fact it was just at the end of the Bishop's Novena) God called him by his long and beautiful name and Wopsy paid attention quickly because it was so unusual. And God said : "Wopsy, you are going to be a Guardian Angel and watch over people as well as loving Me."

When Wopsy heard this he just couldn't help clapping his hands, which were angel's hands of course, and made a beautiful sound like little silver bells tinkling. You see he had always envied, in quite an angelly sort of way, of course, the important angels who guarded people from harm and big and little devils and so on. Wopsy wasn't a bit afraid of devils, for whom he had a great contempt, quite out of proportion to his size.

Then God told Wopsy that because he was only small and without any experience of guarding people he would start with a very small person. Just a baby it was to be and . . . .

(source : John & Margaret Morton and Tony Smyth)

Seventeenth Impression, November 1967 (Price 4/-)

(Taken from the back cover of "Wopsy Again")
(source : John & Margaret Morton and Tony Smyth)

Seventeenth Impression, November 1967
Price 4/-

(source : John & Margaret Morton and Tony Smyth)

Ninth Impression, Undated
Price 4/-

"Over 80,000 Copies of the Wopsy books have already been sold"

The first chapter of "Wopsy and the Witch Doctor" can be read by clicking here.

Warning : these books were written decades ago and therefore reflect the culture of that time. Whilst they are to be commended for their wonderful story-telling and inspired illustrations, some of the language used and attitudes shown would be wholly unacceptable in modern times. In other words, they are no longer suitable as bed-time stories for young children !

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