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E Nesbit: Queen of Children’s Literature

Edith (E.) Nesbit was the queen of children’s literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her best-known work is The Railway Children (1906), a story of three children trying to prove the innocence of their father, who is falsely imprisoned for espionage. Nesbit’s writing went beyond children’s books to adult novels, political writing, […]

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Tips For Reading to Children

My colleagues Richard and Christi put together this great video (above) about the importance of reading to children, and even provided some helpful guidelines on how to get started, and how to get the most out of your bedtime (or anytime!) reading. I’ve added the tips below as well, for reference, as well as a […]

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Pioneering Schoolgirl Fiction from Angela Brazil

Angela Brazil is long forgotten, but this English author pioneered modern schoolgirl fiction with more than 40 books over 40 years. Victorian literature advocated moral principles for young women but Brazil offered pure entertainment. It was a new dawn for female readers. Step back into the classroom with Brazil’s novels and their eye-catching artwork, and […]

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Louis Wain and His Cats

Louis Wain was a British artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, best known for his whimsical and chaotic drawings of cats. If you’ve come across any of Wain’s art, you know it’s memorable. The cats and kittens are depicted with large, wide eyes, often with crazy, spiky fur, and with psychedelic patterns […]

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30 Books For a Six-Year-Old

The book at bedtime is just part of the daily routine for many families, but choosing the right titles to read aloud to an inquisitive six-year-old can be difficult. Can’t be boring, can’t be too slow and can’t be too simplistic. Put together by a father with two daughters, this list comes from experience. It […]

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Detailed & Mythical: Willy Pogany’s Art

Books illustrated by Hungarian-born illustrator Willy Pogany are treasured by collectors who love the combination of art and literature. Known for his precise artwork and motifs of mythical animals, Pogany’s illustrations can be ranked alongside the best of Edmund Dulac, N.C. Wyeth and Arthur Rackham. From Faust to the Three Bears, discover the art of […]

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Tales That Live Forever: The Brothers Grimm

In December 1812, two scholarly linguists published a collection of dark and sometimes violent folktales that would become a cornerstone of modern popular culture known as the Brothers Grimm. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm popularized the fairy tale with Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and many other famous stories. While the stories […]

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Mee-a-ow! Or, Good Advice to Cats and Kittens

The cover of this vintage children’s book caught my eye. You can see why: It’s an 1860 children’s book called Mee-a-ow! Or, Good Advice to Cats and Kittens by Robert Michael (R.M.) Ballantyne. Ballantyne was a 19th-century Scotsman who lived in Canada and worked for the early Hudson’s Bay Company. He was an incredibly prolific […]

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The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson, the marvelous British actress we all know and love (did you see her in the Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing? Fabulous as Beatrice!) has written a book: The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit. I can think of fewer challenges more intimidating and daunting than writing a follow-up to anything by […]

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When the Authors of Adult Books Write for Children

Many authors, well known for writing serious literature for adults, have turned their attention to younger readers and written for children. Aldous Huxley went into a brave new world of crows and Ian Fleming shelved 007 to invent a magical car. With the experience, insight and sophistication of excellent writing at their fingertips, these authors […]

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