The Acquisitions Table: The Boys’ and Girls’ American Annual

The Boys’ and Girls’ American Annual: A Christmas and New Year’s Present for Young People. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1861.

This utterly charming chromolithographed winter scene of a boy feeding deer is the frontispiece to our newly acquired copy of The Boys’ and Girls’ American Annual. It is unabashedly devoted to leisure reading. The first chapter gives suggestions to its young readers on how to stage a holiday dance and charade party. Casting aside any lingering distrust of Christmas as a popish holiday, the preface proclaims, “Ring the merry bells of your hearts, my little ones, and let their clappers—your tongues—tell of joy and gladness, good cheer, good spirits, good fun, and good feelings.”

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