Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, March 7, 2011


...OF BOOKS FOR CHILDREN by Gertrude Weld Arnold.  I would love to own a copy of this gem.  Click HERE to look through this amazing book, which is full of great quotes and an exhaustive list of all types of books for ages 2-14 (first published in 1909).

"The baby's first book will naturally be a picture-book, for pictures appeal to him early, and with great force.... If we understood children better, we should realize this vitality which pictures have for them, and should be more careful to give them the best." -W. T. Field.

"What an unprejudiced and wholly spontaneous acclaim awaits the artist who gives his best to the little ones! They do not place his work in portfolios or locked glass cases; they thumb it to death, surely the happiest of all fates for any printed book." -Gleeson White.

"The mother sits and sings her baby to sleep; here is one of the very best opportunities for the right literature at the right time." -Mrs. H. L. Elmendorf.

"As color appeals to the child before he has much notion of form, his first picture-book should be colored, and as his ideas of form develop slowly, his first pictures should be in outline, and unencumbered with detail." -W.T. Field.

"Blind Homer and the chief singer of Israel and skalds and bards and minnesingers are all gone, tradition is almost a byword, but mothers still live, and children need not wait until they have conquered the crabbed types before they begin to love literature." -Mrs. H.L. Elmendorf.

"Babies do not want," said he, "to hear about babies; they like to be told of giants and castles, and of somewhat which can stretch and stimulate their little minds". -Dr. Johnson. (Recorded by Mrs. Piozzi.)

"And as with the toys, so with the toy-books. They exist everywhere: there is no calculating the distance through which the stories come to us, the number of languages through which they have been filtered, or the centuries during which they have been told. Many of them have been narrated, almost in their present shape, for thousands of years since, to little copper-coloured Sanscrit children, listening to their mother under the palm-trees by the banks of the yellow Jumna--their Brahmin mother, who softly narrated them through the ring in her nose. The very same tale has been heard by the Northmen Vikings as they lay on their shields on deck; and by Arabs couched under the stars on the Syrian plains when the flocks were gathered in and the mares were picketed by the tents. -Thackeray.

"So, in this matter of literature for the young, the influence of the home teaching is enormous; all the school can do pales before it. Let the mother add to the poet's rhyme the music of her soft and beloved voice; let great fiction be read to the breathless group of curly heads about the fire; and the wonders of science be enrolled, the thrilling scenes and splendid personalities of history displayed. Children thus inspired may be trusted to become sensitive to literature long before they know what the word means, or have reasoned at all upon their mental experiences." -Richard Burton.

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