History of Children’s Literature Presented by Prof. T. Méndez ENGL 3440 Children’s Literature in English
Early Works Before the eighteenth century there were no separate categories of books for children. Early books for children were strongly influenced by the conservative English beliefs of the seventeenth century.
Early Works Children were seen as amoral savages needing to be taught right from wrong. Death and damnation Humor and imagination banned
Early Works Johann Amos Comenius, 1592-1670 Joh. Amos Comenii Orbis Sensualium Pictus. London: Printed for S. Leacroft, 1777. Translated as “The Visible World” or “The World Around Us in Pictures, was the first European schoolbook based on the idea of visual education. This book is generally considered to be the first picture book specifically for children.
Early Works John Bunyan, 1628-1688 The Pilgrim’s Progress: From this World to that which is to Come This powerful religious allegory of man’s quest for salvation is one of the most influential books in English literature.
Early Works John Foxe, 1516-1587 Acts and Monuments of Matters Most Special and Memorable, Happening in the Church One of the most widely-read books in England
Early Works Daniel Defoe, 1661-1731 The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Considered one of the first English Novels
Early Works A Little Pretty Pocket-book: Intended for the Instruction and Amusement of Little Mater Tommy, and Pretty Miss Polly First published in English in 1744 by John Newbury Considered the first children’s book
Early Works History of Goody Two Shoes. Baltimore: Bayly and Burns, 1837 Thought to be the first piece of original English fiction written to amuse children. Originally published by John Newbury in 1765. Authorship is attributed to the English poet Oliver Goldsmith.
Early Works Maria Edgeworth, 1767-1849 Frank and the Farmer. Troy, N.Y.: Merriam & Moore, circa 1850. The Irish author Maria Edgeworth was one of the earliest and most important woman writers for children.
Early Works Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of children, first published in 1715 was one of the first books expressly written for children.
Early Works - Chapbooks Chapbooks were small inexpensive stitched tracts sold by itinerant merchants or chapmen, in western Europe and North America from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century.
Chapbooks The Pleasant and Delightful History of Jack and the Giants. Nottingham: Printed for the Running Stationers, 1790. Famous Exploits of Robin Hood: Including an Account of his Birth, Education, and Death. Penrith [England]: Joseph Allison, circa 1800.
Chapbooks The Renowned History of Richard Whittington and his Cat. New-Haven: Sidney's Press, 1826. History of the Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. Glasgow: Printed for the booksellers, 1852 The Polish General, and Faithful Servant: to which is added The Wonderful Deliverance of a Soldier. Norwich: Printed by J. Payne, circa 1800.
Fables Aesop’s Fables Earliest written stories known to children Sir Roger L’Estrange, 1616-1704 Fables of Aesop: and other eminent mythologists: with morals and reflexions L’Estrange added “reflections” which further discussed the moral issues involved in the stories.
Fables The Childs Illuminated Fable-book - William Smith, 1847 The use of chromolithography and the pseudo-mediaeval design reflects the craze of the middle of the nineteenth century for ornate gift books. Improvements in color printing technology made it possible to produce multicolored plates inexpensively.
Fairy Tales Fairy tales, which were passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition, were first collected and published in France in the seventeenth century.
Fairy Tales Cinderella Sleeping Beauty Red Riding Hood Puss in Boots All derived from the “Tales of Long Ago” collected by Charles Perault in 1697. Later on other versions of these stories were presented in different forms.
Fairy Tales Jacob Grimm, 1785 - 1863 The Brothers Grimm collected and published German Popular Stories between 1812 and 1822 They collected over 200 stories from friends, storytellers and old books Stories generally ended happily but filled with violence and trickery.
Books of Instruction In eighteenth century books for children, the main concern was imparting religious and moral instruction and a code of social behavior. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was a movement to extend the child’s education.
Books of Instruction Books began to appear in the homes of the growing middle class. The books often used a conversational approach of question and answer. Used as a monologue on the part of the adult.
Primers Originally the name of a prayer book Simple books for teaching children letters, prayers and simple subjects.
Primers Reproduction of a Horn Book. Boston: Printed by Otto H. Miller. Miller for the Horn Book, 1939. The hornbook was the earliest form of children’s primer in England and America from the late 16th to the late 18th century.
Primers A sheet containing the letters of the alphabet, simple words, and a Bible verse was mounted on a wooden frame and protected with thin, transparent plates of horn.
Primers My Little Primer. Worcester: S.A. Howland, 1800. The verses in this small book include “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “The Lord’s Prayer”.
Primers The New Fun with Dick and Jane. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Co., 1956. From the 1930s to the 1960s, Dick and Jane books were synonymous with learning to read.
Pop-up and Movable Books The books were called “harlequinades” due to the appearance of the Harlequin character in early versions first appearing during the seventeenth century.
Stories: Before 1850 Religious books Requiring a stated moral perspective Fairy tales and folk tales considered a threat to moral order Literature developed to ensure children’s reading would reflect the conservative Protestantism of the time.
Stories: After 1850 Golden age of Children’s Literature in England and the United States. Great writers teamed with great illustrators Industrial revolution led to advances in printing. Growing middle class increase interest in education, expanded audience for children’s books.
Stories: After 1850 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Caroll Little Women - Louisa May Alcott The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
Stories: After 1850 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum Robin Hood and the Men of the Green Wood - Henry Gilbert Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson Jumanji - Chris Van Allsburg
The Book Awards The Newbery Medal Winners chosen every year by the Association for Library Service to Children Established in 1922 The Oldest award for children’s books. Awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literture
The Book Awards The Randolph J. Caldecott Medal Established in 1938 Awarded to the most distinguished American picture book for children