Tag Archives: children’s literature

The Acquisitions Table: Afternoon Tea

play-time

Afternoon Tea: Rhymes for Children. New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons; London: Frederick Warne and Co., ca. 1880. This delicate color-printed illustration of children at play is taken from a book of children’s poetry published jointly in New York and London by the England-based houses of Thomas Nelson and Sons and Frederick Warne.  Both publishers were ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Death and Burial of Poor Cock Robin

Poor Cock Robin

The Death and Burial of Poor Cock Robin.  Philadelphia: Davis, Porter & Coates, ca. 1866-1868. This poignantly humorous image of the owl digging departed Cock Robin’s grave is taken from an “indestructible” picture book that had its pages reinforced with cloth for the hard use of young and eager hands.  This hand-colored wood engraving is characteristic ...

Adopt-a-Book 2014

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This year the American Antiquarian Society will be holding its 7th annual Adopt-a-Book event on Tuesday, May 6th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  This event has been an entertaining and successful fundraiser for the library’s continued acquisitions of historic material. The money raised helps curators buy more books, pamphlets, prints, newspapers, and manuscripts.  On May 6th, participants ...

A Young Reader’s Appreciation for Johnny Tremain

Tremain 1998

Editor’s note: In a twist that follows up on Jackie Penny’s account of reading pre-1900 fiction to her children, retired AAS director of book publication Caroline F. Sloat turned to her ten-year-old grandson for an enthusiastic recommendation of Esther Forbes’s Johnny Tremain. Our bags were packed and we were ready to leave for the airport ...

The Acquisitions Table: New Little Mittens

New Little Mittens

Barrow, Frances. New Little Mittens. New York & London: D. Appleton and Co., 1869. This wood-engraved frontispiece is a comic scene set in the culture clash between a Chinese gentleman going out for a stroll, and an ignorant American sailor who pulls his queue and says “My stars and stripes! What a long tail our pussy ...

The Acquisitions Table: Reynard the Fox

Reynard the Fox. After the German Version of Goethe by Thomas James Arnold. London: Trubner & Co.; New York: Theo. Stroeffer, 1870. This is a folio format edition of the celebrated animal adventurer Reynard the Fox. This luxurious metal engraving of Reynard reclining after a busy day of hunting prey was engraved by Rudolph Kahn after ...

Santa and the Christmas Tree in Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Books

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Although we might think of Santa and an evergreen Christmas tree as inevitably wedded in nineteenth-century children’s book illustration, that was not necessarily the case.  Until about 1840, New Year’s Day was favored over Christmas as the family-appropriate winter holiday in the young American Republic, particularly in New England, where the descendants of the Puritans ...

Recommended Reading: Marcy, the Blockade Runner

Cover of the author

Editor's note: In this week's recommended reading for "fiction published before 1900," AAS member and Councilor Chuck Arning, park ranger and AV specialist at the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, talks about a nineteenth-century book that was passed down through his family. Unlike all of the other books in this series (see Philip Gura's ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Adventures of Teasing Tom and Naughty Ned with a Spool of Clark’s O.N.T. Cotton

?The Adventures of Teasing Tom and Naughty Ned with a Spool of Clark’s O.N.T. Cotton. New York: F.B. Patterson, 1879. Books printed as advertisements were frequently directed at children, as is the case of this chapbook hawking Clark’s cotton thread. Not only do Tom and Ned play hooky from school, but they use a spool of ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Flower People

Mann, Mary Peabody.  The Flower People. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co., 1875. First published in the early 1840’s, Mary Peabody Mann’s The Flower People introduced the study of botany to children under the guise of conversations between a girl named Mary and various plants.  In this case, Mary is speaking to a leaf that she ...