Mothers List Of Books For Children Personal Use Ebook

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SKU: 12841

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It is said, in that earliest collection of English proverbs which was made by John Heywood, more than three hundred years ago, that “Children must learn to creep before they can go.” This little book for which I am asked to write a brief preface is, so far as I can find out, the first consistent effort yet made towards teaching children to read on John Heywood’s principle. It is safe to say that it is destined to carry light and joy into multitudes of households. It is based upon methods such as I vaguely sighed after, nearly fifty years ago, when I was writing in the North American Review for January, 1866, a paper entitled Children’s Books of the Year. The essay was written by request of Professor Charles Eliot Norton, then the editor of that periodical, and I can now see how immensely I should have been relieved by a book just like this Mother’s List, a device such as nobody in that day had the wisdom and faithful industry to put together.

In glancing over the books discussed in that early paper of mine, it is curious to see how the very titles of some of the most prominent have now disappeared from sight. Where are the Little Prudy books (p. xii) which once headed the list? Where are the stories of Oliver Optic? Where is Jacob Abbott’s John Gay; or Work for Boys? Even Paul and Virginia have vanished, taking with them the philosophic Rasselas and even the pretty story of Undine. Nothing of that list of thirty titles is now well remembered except Cooper’s Leatherstocking and Jane Andrews’s Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball That Floats in the Air, a book which has been translated into the languages of remote nations of the globe, I myself having seen the Chinese and Japanese versions. Thus irregular is the award of time and we must accept it. Meanwhile this new book is organized on a better plan than any dreamed of at that former period, the books being arranged not merely by classes alone, but according to the age of the proposed readers and stretching in regular order from two years old until fourteen. The whole number of books being very large, there is no overdue limitation, and this forms the simple but magical method of reaching every variety of childish mind.

Thus excellent have been the changes: yet it is curious to (p. xiii) observe on closer study that the two classes of books which represent the two extremes among the childish readers—Mother Hubbard and Shakespeare—may still be said to be the opposite poles between which the whole world of juvenile literature hangs suspended. A child needs to be supplied with a proper diet of fancy as well as of fact; and of fact as well as fancy. He is usually so constituted that if he were to find a fairy every morning in his bread and milk at breakfast, it would not very much surprise him; while yet his appetite for the substantial food remains the same. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland seem nowhere very strange to him, while Chaucer and Spenser need only to be simply told, while Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast and Hughes’s Tom Brown’s School Days at Rugby hold their own as well as Jack and the Bean-Stalk. Grown up people have their prejudices, but children have few or none. A pound of feathers and a pound of lead will usually be found to weigh the same in their scales. Nay, we, their grandparents, know by experience that there may be early cadences in their ears which may last all their lives. For instance, Caroline (p. xiv) Fry’s Listener would now scarcely find a reader in any group of children, yet there is one passage in the book—one which forms the close of some beggar’s story about “Never more beholding Margaret Somebody and her sunburnt child”—which would probably bring tears to the present writer’s eyes today, although he has not seen the book since he was ten years of age.

It may be that every mature reader will miss from the list some book or books of that precious childish literature which once throve and flourished behind school desks. They were books founded partly on famous history, as that of Baron Trenck and his escapes from prison, Rinaldo Rinaldini, and The Three Spaniards. I am told that children do not now find them in a pedlar’s pack as we once found them, accompanied by buns and peddled like them at recess time. Even if we should find them both in such a place, they might have no such flavor for us now. It is something if the flowers of American gossip are retained in similar stories, even if their atmosphere is retreating from all the hills. It is enough to know that we have for all our children the works of Louisa Alcott and Susan Coolidge; that they (p. xv) have Aldrich’s Story of a Bad Boy and Mrs. Dodge’s Hans Brinker and Miss Hale’s Peterkin Papers and The William Henry Letters by Mrs. Diaz. We need not complain so long as our children can look inexhaustively across the ocean for Andrew Lang’s latest fairy-book and Grimm’s Household Stories as introduced to a new immortality by John Ruskin.

Other Details

- 4 Ebooks (PDF, DOC), 189 Pages
- 1 Ecover (JPG)
- Year Released/Circulated: 2008
- File Size: 1,480 KB

License Details:

[YES] Personal Use
[YES] Use For Your Sites
[YES] Use For Client Projects
[NO] Any Resale Rights
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