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Children's Literature

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A Apple Pie

A Apple Pie by Kate Greenaway. London; New York: F. Warne, [1900].
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Adventures of Miss Minette and Master Jocko.

Adventures of Miss Minette and Master Jocko. New-York: Huestis & Cozans, 1850.
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Two nonsensical stories, one about a mischievous monkey and another about a cat who cooks for her mistress, gets drunk, falls asleep, makes breakfast, and attempts to give the dog a shave. This book is an example of the many humorous picture books produced for children in the second half of the nineteenth century.  

Stennett, R. Aldiborontiphoskyphorniostikos: A Round Game for Merry Parties, with Rules for Playing the Game. New York: Published by S. King, 136 William-Street, 1825.
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Aesop, Junior, in America : being a series of fables written especially for the people of the United States of North America.

Aesop, Junior, in America: Being a Series of Fables Written Especially for the People of the United States of North America. New-York: Printed for the author by Mahlon Day, 1834.
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Includes fifty-one fables fashioned after Aesop’s, with lengthy morals after each one, encouraging good behavior in young Americans. The illustrated title page showing animals conversing with Aesop Junior faces the frontispiece with George Washington sitting before Mt. Vernon, who “performed the duty of protecting industry and restraining fraud and violence ….”

American Spelling Book.

Webster, Noah, 1758-1843. American Spelling Book. [Boston]: Printed at Boston by Isaiah Thomas and Ebenezer T. Andrews, 1790.
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Often referred to as the “Blue-backed Speller,” this book was written by Noah Webster because he was unhappy with the British rather than American points of view in the books available to American children. He spent considerable time and effort promoting an American literature and language, not least of which was his famous dictionary.

The Arabian nights: their best-known tales The Arabian Nights: Their Best-Known Tales / Edited By Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith; illustrated By Maxfield Parrish. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.
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The Baby's Own Aesop

The Baby's Own Aesop: Being the Fables Condensed in Rhyme, With Portable Morals Pictorially Pointed / By Walter Crane. Engraved and Printed in Colours By Edmund Evans. London; New York: George Routledge & Sons, 1887.
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Ballad of the Lost Hare

Ballad of the Lost Hare/ By Margaret Sidney [pseud.]. Boston: D. Lothrop, c1882.
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Baseball A B C. Baseball A B C. New York: McLoughlin Bros., c1885.
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Beauties of the New England.

Beauties of the New England. New York: Published by Samuel Wood & Sons, 1818.
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The illustrations here are more finely executed than in many of the earlier New England Primers, but the aim remains the same. The children are engaged by the illustrations, taught the alphabet, some basics of reading, and Christian principles of the time.

Beauty and the Beast. Smith, Albert, 1816-1860. Beauty and the Beast. New York: Burgess, Stringer & Co., 1845.
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[Billedbog til Jonas Drewsen / compiled by Hans Christian Andersen and A.L. Drewsen.] [Kjøbenhavn, ca. 1862]
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See the blog post: Billedbog to a Boy for more information about this item.

Blue Beard. Bayley, F. W. N. (Frederic William Naylor), 1808-1853. Blue Beard. New York : Burgess, Stringer & Co., 1845.
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The book of the cat : with facsimiles of drawings in colour

The Book of the Cat: With Facsimiles of Drawings In Colour / By Elisabeth F. Bonsall; and With Stories and Verses Written for the Pictures By Mabel Humphrey. New York: Fredrick A. Stokes Co., 1903.
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The Book of Trades

The Book of Trades. Philadelphia : Edward W. Miller, 1847.
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Boston Cries, and the Story of the Little Match-Boy.

Boston Cries, and the Story of the Little Match-Boy. New-York: Published by J.C. Riker, 1844.
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These illustrated cries give the reader a view of street life in Boston in the first half of the nineteenth century and a glimpse of everyday commerce.  

Brandy Drops.

Colman, Julia, 1828-1909. Brandy Drops. New-York: Published by Carlton & Porter, Sunday-School Union, 200 Mulberry-Street, 1858.
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Temperance was a popular topic in the mid-nineteenth century. This example of temperance tracts for children has a band of boys see the misfortunes of a drunken woman, take brandy drops on a dare, repent, and take a pledge to never drink alcohol. The frontispiece, with its winged serpent twisting out of a liquor bottle to attack the drinker is no less subtle. 

Bright Wits

Bright-Wits, Prince of Mogadore / Burren Loughlin and L.L. Flood. New York; Boston: H.M. Caldwell Co., c1909.
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Brownies' Book

The Brownies' Book. New York.Du Bois and Dill 1920-1921.
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See the blog post: Rare Book of the Month: W.E.B. Du Bois' Brownies

The Butterfly's ball, and the grasshopper's feast.

The Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast. Baltimore: Printed and Published by Wm. Raine, 184-.
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Originally published in London in 1807 and written by William Roscoe, a member of Parliament, for his own son. These verses inspired many sequels and imitations in the United States. The illustrations of flies, moths, bees, crickets, and frogs in this edition are hand-colored. The Library of Congress also owns a copy of the 1807 London edition, in black and white.

Cat's Party.

Cat's Party. New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1871.
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The Cat’s Party is an excellent example of how McLoughlin Brothers dominated the picture book industry in the second half of the nineteenth century with inexpensive, colorful, busy, and entertaining books.

The Cheerful Cricket

The Cheerful Cricket and Others / Jeannette Marks; Illustrated By Edith Brown.Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1907.
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Children of Our Town

Children of Our Town / Pictured By E. Mars and M. H. Squire; With Verses By Carolyn Wells. New York : R.H. Russell, [c1902].
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A Child's Garden of Verses

A Child's Garden of Verses / By Robert Louis Stevenson; Illustrated by Charles Robinson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895.
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The Children's Object Book

The Children's Object Book. London; New York: F. Warne & Co., [188-?].
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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol / By Charles Dickens; With Illustrations by A. C. Michael.
New York: Hodder and Stoughton, [1911].
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See the blog post "Highlighting the Holidays: A Tale of Two Publishings" to learn more about this work.

The Circus Procession

The Circus Procession. N.Y. [i.e. New York]: McLoughlin Bro's., c1888.
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Cock Robin's death and funeral.

Cock Robin's Death and Funeral. Boston: Sold at the Bible & Heart in Cornhill, 1780.
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This is the earliest known American edition of the Cock Robin nursery rhyme. The morbid rhyming verses end with, “Who will toll the bell? I says the bull, Because I can pull, So Robin farewell,” a bird-size coffin, a skull and cross bones, and six additional pages of “A description of some of Robin’s acquaintance,” with illustrations and more cheerful verses.

The Complete Collection of Pictures and Songs

The Complete Collection of Pictures & Songs / By Randolph Caldecott; Engraved and Printed By Edmund Evans; With a Preface By Austin Dobson.
London; New York: G. Routledge and Sons, 1887.
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Contes des feŽes. English & French  (Tales of Passed Times).

Perrault, Charles, 1628-1703. Contes des fées. English & French (Tales of Passed Times). London: ImprimeŽ pour S. Van den Berg, 1764.
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This Peter Parley book about America in French was written for American children learning French, not French children learning about America.

Countries of Europe, and the Manners and Customs of its Various Nations.

Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell, 1788-1879. Countries of Europe, and the Manners and Customs of its Various Nations. New York: Published by Edward Dunigan, 1843.
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Sarah Josepha Hale may be best known as the author of “Mary had a little lamb,” and as the literary editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book for forty years. Here she describes, in verse, faraway places with colorful and fun-to-know facts for American children. Hale became an advocate for high-quality literature for children.

A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible, or, Select Passages in the Old and New Testaments, Represented with Emblematical Figures, for the Amusement of Youth: Designed Chiefly to Familiarize Tender Age, in a Pleasing and Diverting Manner, with Early Ideas of the Holy Scriptures. The first Worcester edition. [Worcester]: Printed at Worcester, Massachusetts, by Isaiah Thomas and sold ... at his bookstore, 1788
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Daisy, or, Cautionary Tales in Verse.

Turner, Mrs. (Elizabeth), -1846. Daisy, or, Cautionary Tales in Verse. Philadelphia: Henry F. Anners, 1839.
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Many illustrations in this little book are printed upside down and not opposite the text to which they relate, which is a good example of the errors that can happen with the printing and binding of books in the hand press period. It is also evidence that printing for children was not the highest priority in many American print houses in the early nineteenth century.

The Death and Burial of Poor Cock Robin

Death and Burial of Poor Cock Robin / From Original Designs By H.L. Stephens. New-York: Hurd & Houghton, 1865.
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Denslow's Humpty Dumpty

Denslow's Humpty Dumpty / Adapted and Illustrated by W.W. Denslow. New York: G.W. Dillingham Co., 1903.
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Denslow's Mother Goose: Being the Old Familiar Rhymes and Jingles of Mother Goose

Denslow's Mother Goose: Being the Old Familiar Rhymes and Jingles of Mother Goose / Edited and Illustrated by W.W. Denslow. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1901.
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Denslow's Three Bears

Denslow's Three Bears /Adapted and Illustrated By W.W. Denslow. New York: G.W. Dillingham Co., 1903.
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Diddie Dumps and Tot.

Pyrnelle, Louise Clarke. Diddle Dumps and Tot. New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1882.
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Louise-Clarke Pyrnelle grew up on a southern plantation and seeks to defend slavery with her story of affectionate relationships between slave-holders and the enslaved.

Easy and instructive lessons for children. Also, The ladder to learning, or, A selection of fables consisting of words of only one syllable : being an easy introduction to the useful art of reading.

Easy and Instructive Lessons for Children. Also, The Ladder to Learning, or, A Selection of Fables Consisting of Words of Only One Syllable: Being an Easy Introduction to the Useful Art of Reading. Boston: Printed by Manning & Loring for Ezekiel Goodale, Bookseller, Hallowell, 1804.
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The stories and fables in this tiny little book are simplified for the youngest reader, made easier to read by employing words of only one syllable. There is no relief here from the moral tone in children’s literature of the era, but the book is brightened by postage stamp-size woodcut illustrations.

Elsie Dinsmore.

Finley, Martha, 1828-1909. Elsie Dinsmore. New York: M.W. Dodd, 1867.
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The upright and earnest young heroine in this tale causes a great deal of drama in her family by doing such things as defying her father by refusing to sing for his guests and thereby break the Sabbath.

Entertaining History of Giles Gingerbread, A Little Boy Who Lived Upon Learning.

Entertaining History of Giles Gingerbread, A Little Boy Who Lived Upon Learning. Philadelphia : Published and sold by B.C. Buzby, 1810.
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The story is more of a lecture on the merits of industry and education than it is a story, and is not as entertaining as the title implies. 

Fables Choisies pour les Enfants

Fables Choisies pour les Enfants et Illustrées Par B. de Monvel / La Fontaine. Paris: Plon-Nourrit & Cie, Imprimeurs-éditeurs, [1888].
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Flowers for children. Part I, For children eight or nine years old

Child, Lydia Maria, 1802-1880. Flowers for children. Part I, for Children Eight or Nine Years Old New-York: C.S. Francis & Co, 1844.
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Mrs. Maria Lydia Child’s most famous poem in this work was originally titled, “The New-England boy’s song about Thanksgiving Day,” but is known today as “Over the river and through the woods,” and is found here on pages 25-28. The poem is twelve verses long and lives on as a song, put to music by an unknown musician. This book reveals Mrs. Child’s strong abolitionist sentiments in “The little white lamb and the little black lamb,” in which a black nurse explains to a white child that God intends for the lambs to love each other in spite of their differences.

Flowers for children. Part II, For children from four to six years old. Child, Lydia Maria, 1802-1880. Flowers for Children. Part II, For Children from Four to Six Years Old. New-York: C.S. Francis & Co, 1844.
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Gobolinks, or Shadow-Pictures for Young and Old

Gobolinks, or Shadow-Pictures for Young and Old/ By Ruth McEnery Stuart and Albert Bigelow Paine. New York: The Century Co., 1896.
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Goody Two Shoes.

Goody Two Shoes. Printed at Worcester, Massachusetts: By Isaiah Thomas, 1787.
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This rags-to-riches story of Margery Meanwell, whose nickname derives from her elation at having two shoes, after being so poor she had only one, is the longest lived of the children’s stories that began in Newbery’s print shop.  Today, calling someone “a little goody two-shoes” is akin to saying she is self-righteous and somewhat obnoxious; at the time of publication, grateful and humble little Margery was held up as a fine example of young womanhood. 

Goody Two-Shoes : illuminated with ten pictures.

Goody Two-Shoes: Illuminated with Ten Pictures. New York : H.W. Hewet, Engraver and Printer, 1855.
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Published almost a century later than John Newbery’s original, this version of Miss Meanwell’s story has less moralizing and fewer protests against social evils of the day.indian It does maintain the original characters, including the wicked Sir Timothy Gripe and Farmer Graspall, who caused her father’s ruin, shortened his life, and left little Margery and her brother orphans.

The Grasshopper Stories

The Grasshopper Stories / by Elizabeth Davis Leavitt; With Illustrations By Maude Dewey Doan. [S.l. : s.n.], c1912 (sonville, Ill.: Henderson & DePew, printers).
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Grosses bêtes & petites bêtes

Grosses Bêtes & Petites Bêtes: [l’arche de Noé] / images et texte par André-Hellé. Paris: Tolmer & Cie, 13 quai d’Anjou, [1912]
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History of Insects.

History of Insects. New-York : Printed and sold by Samuel Wood, 1813.
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Books on bugs, beasts, and other elements of the natural world were very popular in the early nineteenth century. Often presented as pieces of God’s creation, animals and even insects were to be treated with respect and any cruelty to animals was strongly discouraged. The illustrations of the flea, elephant beetle, grasshopper, and other insects in this tiny book are remarkably detailed.

The History of Insects

History of Insects. New-York: Printed and sold by Samuel Wood, at the Juvenile Book-Store, no. 357, Pearl-Street, 1813.
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History of Tommy Two-Shoes, own brother to Mrs. Margery Two-Shoes.

Elliott, Mary, approximately 1792- History of Tommy Two-Shoes, Own Brother to Mrs. Margery Two-Shoes. Hartford: Printed by Sheldon & Goodwin, 1818.
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Little Goody Two-Shoes’ brother Tommy enjoys many adventures which take him farther from home than little Margery ever went, including to Africa, where he subdues a lion and travels with his feline companion through the jungle.

Illustrated primer, or, The first book for children : designed for home or parental instruction : embellished with numerous engravings, and pretty stories, which will please the children amazingly!

Illustrated Primer, or, The First Book for Children: Designed for Home or Parental Instruction: Embellished with Numerous Engravings, and Pretty Stories, Which Will Please the Children Amazingly! New York: Published by George F. Cooledge & Brother, 1844.
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“Oh, what a pretty book, said Charley to Anne,” is the caption under the illustration on the title page. That and “Take it home,” printed above the decorated border, implore parents to buy this book for their children. “It is necessary not only to catch the eye and engage the mind of the learner, but to win him, by natural and easy steps, toward the mysteries of language,” or so says the preface, demonstrating the relatively new effort to hold a child’s attention with illustration and entertainment in the hopes of teaching him to read.

Indian Chief and the Little White Boy.

Indian Chief and the Little White Boy. Philadelphia: Theodore Bliss & Co., 1862.
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This fact-filled and earnest little book is sympathetic to members of the American indigenous population. In the first story a white family attempts to buy Indian land. The chief tests their confidence in him, and when proved well-founded, he declares that if the two cultures could have established trust, “all the bloody wars between the red and white men would never have happened.”

Ivory Hornbook

[Ivory hornbook] [realia]. [England : s.n., 18--]. 1 hornbook: ivory; 12 x 7 cm.
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Books designed for small hands and young minds are a relatively recent innovation. Prior to the eighteenth century, the notion that children were anything other than small versions of adults was a foreign concept. Early children’s literature was didactic, full of worldly lessons and moral strictures.  But introducing children to the world of letters and words prompted fascinating objects. The horn book was developed as the device to drill young students in the alphabet. Often a small handheld wooden piece with printed or incised letters and numbers covered by a transparent sheet of horn, the hornbook served as a young child’s simple aid in memorizing the ABCs.

Jack the Giant Killer.

Bayley, F. W. N. (Frederic William Naylor), 1808-1853. Jack the Giant Killer. New York : Burgess, Stringer & Co., 1845.
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Here Jack takes on particularly American giants, as in the full-page illustration on page 85 with the caption, “Jack slays the Yankee Giant, Catawampus.”

Jimmy Crow Jimmy Crow / By Edith Francis Foster. Boston: Dana Estes & Co., c1902.
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King Winter

King Winter. Hamburg: Gustav W. Seitz, [ca. 1859].
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See the blog post A Book to Bring in the Season to learn more about this book.

Life of George Washington.

Weems, M. L. (Mason Locke), 1759-1825. Life of George Washington. Philadelphia: Printed for the Author, 1808.
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Best known as Parson Weems, the author set out to inspire patriotism in his young readers by exalting their first president and his deeds. It is Weems who created the cherry tree incident about which young George could not tell his father a lie; here in the seventh edition it is recounted on pages 12-14.

Little Ann and Other Poems / By Jane and Ann Taylor; Illustrated by Kate Greenaway; Printed in Colours By Edmund Evans. London; New York: George Routledge & Sons, [1883].
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Little Colonel.

Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows), 1863-1931. Little Colonel. Boston: Joseph Knight Company, 1896.
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This story of the Old South after the Civil War turns on the marriage of a young southern woman who marries a northerner, and the crisis that it creates in her family. The troubles of the post-war south and attitudes towards African Americans are a backdrop to the story.

Little frog and pretty mouse.

Little Frog and Pretty Mouse. Philadelphia: J.B. Keller, 1852.
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The lively hand-colored illustrations and inelegant verse make this book a good example of the toy book genre popular in the second half of the nineteenth century.

A Little Pretty Pocket-Book

A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, Intended for the Instruction and Amusement of Little Master Tommy, and Pretty Miss Polly / Printed at Worcester, Massachusetts. By Isaiah Thomas, and Sold, Wholesale and Retail, at His Bookstore, 1787.
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The caption under the frontispiece of this significant piece of children’s literature reads, “Instruction with delight.” Isaiah Thomas reprinted this work and many others that originated with John Newbery in London. This title, possibly more than any other, marks the point at which children’s literature turns from overwhelmingly instructional to being entertaining as well. Understanding his American audience and its Puritan heritage, Thomas includes, “163 rules for behavior in children.” On page 43 the reader will find the first use in print of the word “baseball.”

Little Prudy.

May, Sophie, 1833-1906. Little Prudy. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1864.
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The mid-nineteenth century brought some more realistic, believable characters to American children’s literature as seen in this review from the North American Review, January 1866: Genius comes in with Little Prudy. Compared with her, all other book children are cold creations of literature only; she alone is the real thing.

Little Red Riding Hood. Bayley, F. W. N. (Frederic William Naylor), 1808-1853. Little Red Riding Hood. New York: Burgess, Stringer & Co., 1845.
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Little Songs of Long Ago

Little Songs of Long Ago: More Old Nursery Rhymes / the Original Tunes Harmonized By Alfred Moffat; Illustrated By H. Willebeek Le Mair. London: Augener: For the Book Trade, A. & C. Black; New-York: G. Schirmer, c1912.
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London town

London Town / Designed and Illustrated By Thos. Crane & Ellen Houghton. London; New York: Marcus Ward & Co., [1883].
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Malleville; A Franconia Story.

Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879. Malleville; A Franconia Story. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1850.
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Jacob Abbott’s Franconia stories and Rollo books rivaled Samuel G. Goodrich’s for popularity in the mid-nineteenth century. Like Goodrich he was a follower of Maria Edgeworth and thought that fairy tales and nursery rhymes were not good for children. Malleville was the first in this famous series about children in the New England countryside and their wholesome adventures. 

Marmaduke Multiply.

Marmaduke Multiply. New York: Blakeman & Mason, 1862.
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Marmaduke Multiply’s Merry Method of Making Minor Mathematicians, or, The Multiplication Table, was the original title of the first London edition of this picture book on arithmetic. “4 times 11 are 44, I bought this book at Francis’ store,” and, “6 times 8 are 48, Dear Aunt, your dress is out of date,” are two amusing examples. 

Mary's Little Lamb

Mary's Little Lamb: A Picture Guessing Story for Little Children: With 500 Pictures By the Author / By Edith Francis Foster. Salem, Mass.: S.E. Cassino, c1903.
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Metamorphosis, or, A transformation of pictures, with poetical explanations, for the amusement of young persons.

Sands, Benjamin. Metamorphosis, or, A Transformation of Pictures, with Poetical Explanations, for the Amusement of Young Persons. New York: Published by Samuel Wood, no. 357 Pearl Street, Printed by Joseph Rakestraw, Philadelphia, 1814.
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This early precursor to today’s elaborate pop-up and lift-the-flap books was high entertainment for children in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Over thirty-six editions of the Metamorphosis were printed in America between 1787 and 1820. In this example the first illustration opens and closes to change a lion to a griffin and an eagle and back again.

Mother Goose Finger Plays

Mother Goose Finger Plays / Selected and Adapted By Irene Margaret Cullison. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co., [1915].
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Mother [Goose] in hieroglyphics.

Mother [Goose] in Hieroglyphics. New-York: Published by Sherman & Co, 1855.
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This elaborate rebus retells favorite nursery rhymes, replacing nouns with illustrations. The publisher thinks highly of his work and includes this in his introduction, “There is nothing like books with pictures to keep children quiet, and this is the best that was ever written, as everybody knows.”

My Very First Little German Book

My Very First Little German Book. New York, Hodder & Stoughton [19--?].
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New England Primer Improved.

New England Primer Improved. Boston: Printed for and sold by A. Ellison, 1773.
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Religious instruction and learning to read went hand in hand in colonial America. “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all,” is how generations of Americans learned and remembered the letter “A.”  It would be difficult to exaggerate how popular this little book was in early AmeriBetween six and eight million copies of the New England Primer were printed from 1691 to 1830. It became known as “the Little Bible of New England.”

New Hieroglyphical Bible for the Amusement & Instruction of Children.

New Hieroglyphical Bible for the Amusement & Instruction of Children. Reprinted at Jaffrey, N.H.: By Salmon Wilder, 1814.
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Booksellers learned early on that illustrated books sold well, and book buyers knew that illustrations held the attention of young readers. This children’s Bible printed in 1814 is filled with 500 woodblock illustrations that replace nouns in popular verses, entertaining young readers and encouraging them to learn scriptures at the same time.

Our Flag Our Flag: Its History and Changes From 1620 to 1896. 2d ed. New Haven, Conn., Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1896.
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Our Old Nursery Rhymes Our Old Nursery Rhymes / the Original Tunes Harmonized by Alfred Moffat; Illustrated By H. Willebeek Le Mair. London: Augener; New-York: G. Schirmer, c1911.
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Old King Cole, [Paisley]

Old King Cole, [Paisley]: Gleniffer Press, 1985.
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Peter Parley's Tales About America.

Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold), 1793-1860. Peter Parley's Tales About America. Boston: S.G. Goodrich, 1827.
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Peter Parley is the creation of Samuel Griswold Goodrich, who says of himself, “I am an old man. I am very grey and lame. But I have seen a great many things and had a great many adventures in my time and I love to talk about them.” In his many Peter Parley books Goodrich continues this chatty and engaging tone, calling children to gather around him to learn history and geography and about cultures throughout the world.

Peter Parley's Tales About Europe.

Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold), 1793-1860. Peter Parley's Tales About Europe. Boston: S.G. Goodrich, 1828.
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Samuel Griswold Goodrich’s Peter Parley books were often less than accurate, and gave voice to the racial stereotypes of the times. Page six of this title, with an illustration of Earth, offers his comparison of Africa and Europe.

Picture book for little children.

Picture Book for Little Children. Philadelphia: Published by Kimber and Conrad, No. 93, Market Street, 1812.
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A brief, well-illustrated little book, this picture book strives to inspire not only religious behavior, but apparently also book-buying habits in young readers, “The bible is the best of all books.  Children who can read the bible may go to Kimber & Conrad’s Store and buy one for themselves.”

Pictures and stories from Uncle Tom's cabin.

Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom's Cabin. Boston: John P. Jewett & Co, 1853.
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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was the best-selling book in nineteenth century America. This thirty-eight page version for children, written in prose and verse, was to “foster in their hearts a generous sympathy for the wronged Negro race of America.”

 

The Pied Piper of Hamlin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin / By Robert Browning; Illustrated by Kate Greenaway. London; New York: Frederick Warne and Co., [1910].
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Prodigal daughter, or, A strange and wonderful relation.

Prodigal Daughter, or, A Strange and Wonderful Relation. Hartford: Printed for the Travelling Booksellers, 1799.
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This moral tale told in verse is a good example of the small books or pamphlets called chapbooks, which, in the eighteenth century, were often sold by merchants who travelled through the countryside hawking their wares. Here this is clearly indicated in the imprint, “Printed for the travelling booksellers.”  In this story a proud and disobedient daughter is taught the error of her ways with a near-death, spiritual experience.

Puzzling-Cap.

Puzzling-Cap. Philadelphia: Printed by John Adams, 1805.
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Riddle books have been popular with children for generations. This little chapbook is a window into what was commonplace and amusing in the early nineteenth century. The ninth riddle begins, “Without a bridle or a saddle, Across a ridge I ride and straddle …” Answer: A pair of spectacles. 

Ragged Dick; or Street Life in New York Among the Boot Blacks.

Alger, Horatio, Jr., 1832-1899. Ragged Dick; or Street Life in New York Among the Boot Blacks. [Boston]: Loring, publisher, 1868.
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The name Horatio Alger is synonymous with the rags to riches stories he wrote in the second half of the nineteenth century. His approximately 100 titles had one basic plot, a poor boy who achieves wealth and admiration through grit, honesty, and hard work. His stories were not high literature, but they were best sellers, and supported the popular American ideal that anyone who works hard can “make it” in America.

Red Riding Hood.

Very, Lydia L. A. (Lydia Louisa Anna), 1823-1901. Red Riding Hood. Boston, Mass.: Published by L. Prang & Co, 1863.
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Shape books were popular in the toy book genre, as seen here with Little Red Riding Hood being both a story book and a paper doll. Louis Prang puts his talents with chromolithography to good use with Little Red’s cloak, basket, and the wolf wrapped around her feet.

Rip Van Winkle.

Irving, Washington, 1783-1859. Rip Van Winkle. Boston: S.E. Cassino, 1888., 1888.
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Here is an elegant edition of a well-loved story expertly illustrated by Frank Thayer Merrill. The story itself first appeared in Washington Irving’s Sketchbook, published in 1819, along with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other tales.

The Rocket Book

The Rocket Book / By Peter Newell. New York: Harper & Brothers, c1912.
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Rollo in London.

Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879. Rollo in London. Boston: W.J. Reynolds & Company, 1855.
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Jacob Abbott’s Rollo went on many journeys abroad with his Uncle George who acted as his mentor and helped him make his way in the world. These books were recommended for children well into the twentieth century for their practical wisdom and way in which they introduced children to a larger world.

School Song Book.

Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell, 1788-1879. School Song Book. Boston: Allen & Ticknor, 1834.
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Sarah Josepha Hale’s best known verses are here on pages 14 and 15, and begin, “Mary had a little lamb, Its fleece was white as snow …“   “Mary’s Lamb” first appeared in the Juvenile Miscellany, September-October, 1830, appeared later in McGuffey’s Second Reader in 1857, and has been reprinted and recited throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden / By Frances Hodgson Burnett. New York: F.A. Stokes, 1911.
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Seven little sisters who live on the round ball that floats in the air : with illustrations.

Andrews, Jane, 1833-1887. Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball that Floats in the Air: with Illustrations. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1864.
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The sisters introduced in this innovative book are seven little girls from around the world, including Agoonack, “the esquimaux sister, and how she lived through the long darkness.”  This modern concept was followed up with “Ten Boys who lived on the Road from long ago till now, published in 1885.

Sketches and Scraps. Richards, Laura Elizabeth Howe, 1850-1943. Sketches and Scraps. Boston: Estes & Lauriat, 1881.
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The Slant Book The Slant Book / by Peter Newell. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1910.
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The Song of Sixpence Picture Book

The Song of Sixpence Picture Book: Containing Sing a Song of Sixpence, Princess Belle Etoile, An Alphabet of Old Friends / With the Original Coloured Designs by Walter Crane, including a Preface and Other Embellishments. London; New York: John Lane, The Bodley Head, [1909].
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The Square Book of Animals The Square Book of Animals / By William Nicholson; Rhymes By Arthur Waugh. New York: R. H. Russell, 1900, c1899.
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Stories from Hands Andersen Stories From Hans Andersen / With Illustrations By Edmund Dulac. London: Hodder & Stoughton, [c1911].
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The Story of the Three Little Pigs The Story of the Three Little Pigs / With Drawings By L. Leslie Brooke.
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Tales of Peter Parley About America. Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold), 1793-1860. Tales of Peter Parley About America. Boston: Carter, Hendee, and Co, 1832.
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Token for Children.

Janeway, James, 1636?-1674. Token for Children. Boston: Printed and sold by Z. Fowle, 1771.
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This account of the pious lives and noble deaths of Christian children was the most widely read children’s book in Puritan America, and remained popular for many generations. Hard-to-believe stories include that of a young girl who loved to recite the catechism from her crib at the age of two. American editions included accounts of similarly God-fearing young New Englanders, added by the Reverend Cotton Mather. A Token for Children offers great insight into attitudes of the times, including views on the afterlife, child rearing, and the place of children in society. 

Tom the Piper's Son.

Tom the Piper's Son. Philadelphia: Published and sold wholesale by Wm. Charles, and may be had of all the book-sellers, 1808.

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William Charles was best known as a political cartoonist. He also produced many amusing engraved children’s books, of which Tom the Piper’s Son is a fine example.

Topsys & Turvys.

Newell, Peter, 1862-1924. Topsys & Turvys. New York: The Century Co., 1893.
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Peter Newell’s innovative and off-beat approach to books is seen here where the text and illustrations can be read right-side up and upside down. His creativity with the book format can be seen in later titles too.  The Rocket Book has a rocket go off in a basement and travel through twenty floors, with die-cut holes in the center of each page incorporated into the illustrations. The Slant Book is a rhombus rather than the expected rectangle and tells the story of a baby carriage racing downhill.

The Twelve Magic Changlings The Twelve Magic Changelings / By M.A. Glen. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., c1907.
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Two Little Confederates.

Page, Thomas Nelson, 1853-1922. Two Little Confederates. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1888.
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Thomas Nelson Page bases his story of boys growing up on a southern plantation during the Civil War in part on his own childhood, and attempts to create a better understanding between the northern and southern states with his tale.

Uncle Remus.

Harris, Joel Chandler, 1848-1908. Uncle Remus. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1881.
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Joel Chandler Harris explains his purpose in writing this book in his preface, “to preserve the legends themselves in their original simplicity, and to wed them permanently to the quaint dialect … I have endeavored to give the whole a genuine flavor of the whole plantation.”

Uncle Tom's Cabin for Children

Uncle Tom's Cabin for Children / By Harriet Beecher Stowe; Adapted By Helen Ring Robinson; designed By W.M. Rhoads. Philadelphia: The Penn Publishing Co., [c1908].
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Uncle's Present : A New Battledoor.

Uncle's Present: A New Battledoor. Philadelphia: Published by Jacob Johnson, 1810.
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The Battledore is an early illustrated alphabet book printed on sturdy paper.  This example is printed in Philadelphia but the text is based on London street cries as seen for the letter “G,” which declares, “Great news in the London Gazette!”

Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants: Avec Accompagnements / de Ch. M. Widor; Illustrations Par M.B. de Monvel. Paris: E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie, [191-].
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A visit from Saint Nicholas

A Visit From Saint Nicholas. Illustrated From Drawings By F.O.C. Darley. New York, J. G. Gregory, c1862.
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Here is another poem best known by its first line, “’Twas the night before Christmas.”  F.O.C. Darley, admired for his enchanting illustrations in mid-nineteenth century America, decorated Clement Clarke Moore’s poem 40 years after it was written. This is one of the earliest originally American stories in children’s literature and is remarkable in its lack of the didacticism so prevalent at the time.

Visit from St. Nicholas.

Moore, Clement Clarke, 1779-1863. A Visit From St. Nicholas. Boston: Published by L. Prang & Co., 1864.
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This tiny accordion-style book was printed by Louis Prang and illustrates the Christmas classic with warmth and glee.  Chromolithography, as applied here, revolutionized the use of color in book illustration. Prang went on to further success with this printing technique when he introduced the Christmas card in 1875.  

William Tell told again

William Tell Told Again / By P.G. Wodehouse; With Illustrations In Colour By Philip Dadd, Described In Verse By John W. Houghton. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1904.
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Wonder Book.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864. Wonder Book. Boston: Ticknor, Reed and Fields, 1852.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne retells six Greek myths, including the stories of Medusa, King Midas and his golden touch, and Pandora’s box. He frames the telling of his beloved myths inside a story of a young man telling tales to children at Tanglewood in western Massachusetts.  The sequel, Tanglewood Tales, was published the next year.  Hawthorne reportedly tested his versions of the famous myths on his own young children with apparent success.

Wonder Book.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864. Wonder Book. Cambridge [Mass.]: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1893.
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Walter Crane, famous for his books of nursery rhymes printed by Edmund Evans in London, puts his talents to illustrating this deluxe edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Greek myths adapted for children.

A wonder book for girls & boys

A Wonder Book For Girls & Boys / By Nathaniel Hawthorne; with 60 designs By Walter Crane. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1893, c1892.
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The wonderful wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz / By L. Frank Baum; With Pictures by W.W. Denslow. Chicago; New York: G.M. Hill Co., 1900, c1899.
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Also see the exhibit: The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairy Tale A look at the creation of this timeless American classic and traced its rapid and enduring success to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the book’s publication.

The wonders of a toy shop

The Wonders of a Toy Shop. New-York: J.Q. Preble, [185-?].
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[Wood hornbook] [Wood Hornbook] [realia]. [United States?: s.n., 18--]
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World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down, or, No News, and Strange News. York: Printed and sold by J. Kendrew, Colliergate, [1820?].
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Yankee Doodle : an old friend in a new dress.

Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911. Yankee Doodle: An Old Friend in a New Dress. New York: Printed by Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1881.
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This much-loved classic is illustrated by the young Howard Pyle.  The influence of Randolph Caldecott is clear in his humorous and delightful color illustrations of the youthful American’s view of the Revolutionary troops and ordnance.

 

Young Artist's Coloring Guide, No. 12.. New York: Charles Magnus, 185?
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Young child's ABC, or, First book.

Young Child's ABC, or, First Book. New-York: Samuel Wood, 1806.
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Samuel Wood, a Quaker printer in New York City, printed many books for the nursery-age reader, and this is his first. The engaging illustrations are believed to have been carved from wood by Alexander Anderson, America’s most celebrated wood engraver.

Youth's instructer in natural history.  Volume 1.

Youth's Instructer in Natural History. Volumes 1-7. New York: E. Bliss, 1832.
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This little multi-volume set of illustrated books about mammals is a good example of the informational chapbooks popular at the time.  Books like these fed a child’s natural curiosity about the world around him. 

Zigzag Journeys in India, or, The Antipodes of the Far East : a Collection of the Zenašnaš tales.

Butterworth, Hezekiah, 1839-1905. Zigzag Journeys in India, or, The Antipodes of the Far East: a Collection of the Zenašnaš Tales. Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1887.
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Hezekiah Butterworth follows the tradition of books for boys about adventures in faraway lands from earlier in the century and adds an element of luxuriousness. The illustrated covers, decorated endpapers, and gilt stamping made these books popular Christmas gifts. His books include legends and ballads and emphasize the cultures of other lands.

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