Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes
by Charles Madison Curry
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21 ... 23     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

When all the novelists and spinners of elaborate fictions have been read and judged, we shall find that the peasant and the nurse are still unsurpassed as mere narrators. They are the guardians of that treasury of legend which comes to us from the very childhood of nations; they and their tales are the abstract and brief chronicles, not of an age merely, but of the whole race of man. It is theirs to keep alive the great art of telling stories as a thing wholly apart from and independent of the art of writing stories, and to pass on their art to children and to children's children. They abide in a realm of their own, in blessed isolation from that world of professional authors and their milk-and-water books "for children." —C. B. TINKER, "In Praise of Nursery Lore," The Unpopular Review, October-December, 1916.




BY CHARLES MADISON CURRY AND ERLE ELSWORTH CLIPPINGER Professors of Literature in the Indiana State Normal School


Copyright, 1920, by RAND MCNALLY & COMPANY

Copyright, 1921, by RAND MCNALLY & COMPANY All rights reserved Edition of 1926

Made in U. S. A.




General Bibliography 2

The Preface 5

General Introduction 7

1. Literature for Children 7

2. Literature in the Grades 8

3. Story-Telling and Dramatization 10

4. Courses of Study 13



Bibliography 18

Introductory 19

MOTHER GOOSE (Shorter rhymes):

1. A cat came fiddling out of a barn 23

2. A diller, a dollar 23

3. As I was going to St. Ives 23

4. As I was going up Pippen Hill 23

5. As I went to Bonner 23

6. As Tommy Snooks and Bessie Brooks 23

7. A swarm of bees in May 23

8. Baa, baa, black sheep 23

9. Barber, barber, shave a pig 23

10. Birds of a feather flock together 23

11. Bless you, bless you, burnie bee 23

12. Bobby Shafto's gone to sea 24

13. Bow, wow, wow 24

14. Bye, baby bunting 24

15. Come when you're called 24

16. Cross patch 24

17. Curly locks, curly locks 24

18. Dance, little baby 24

19. Diddle, diddle, dumpling 24

20. Ding, dong, bell 24

21. Doctor Foster 24

22. Eggs, butter, cheese, bread 24

23. For every evil under the sun 24

24. Four-and-twenty tailors 25

25. Great A, little a 25

26. Hark, hark 25

27. Here sits the Lord Mayor 25

28. Here we go up, up, up 25

29. Hey! diddle, diddle 25

30. Hickery, dickery, 6 and 7 25

31. Higgledy, Piggledy 25

32. Hickory, dickory, dock 25

33. Hogs in the garden 25

34. Hot-cross buns 26

35. Hub a dub dub 26

36. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall 26

37. If all the sea were one sea 26

38. If all the world was apple-pie 26

39. If I'd as much money as I could spend 26

40. If "ifs" and "ands" 26

41. If wishes were horses 26

42. I had a little pony 26

43. I had a little hobby horse 26

44. I have a little sister 27

45. I'll tell you a story 27

46. In marble walls as white as milk 27

47. I went up one pair of stairs 27

48. Jack and Jill went up the hill 27

49. Jack be nimble 27

50. Jack Sprat could eat no fat 27

51. Knock at the door 27

52. Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home 27

53. Little boy blue, come blow your horn 27

54. Little girl, little girl, where have you been 27

55. Little Jack Horner 28

56. Little Jack Jingle 28

57. Little Johnny Pringle 28

58. Little Miss Muffet 28

59. Little Nancy Etticoat 28

60. Little Robin Redbreast 28

61. Little Tommy Tucker 28

62. Long legs, crooked thighs 28

63. Lucy Locket lost her pocket 28

64. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John 28

65. Mistress Mary, quite contrary 28

66. Multiplication is vexation 28

67. Needles and pins 29

68. Old King Cole 29

69. Once I saw a little bird 29

70. One for the money 29

71. One misty, moisty morning 29

72. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 29

73. One, two 29

74. Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man 29

75. Pease-porridge hot 29

76. Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater 30

77. Peter Piper picked a peck 30

78. Poor old Robinson Crusoe 30

79. Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been 30

80. Pussy sits beside the fire 30

81. Ride a cock-horse to Banbury-cross 30

82. Ride, baby, ride 30

83. Rock-a-bye, baby 30

84. Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green 30

85. See a pin and pick it up 30

86. See, saw, sacradown 31

87. Shoe the little horse 31

88. Sing a song of sixpence 31

89. Star light, star bright 31

90. The King of France went up the hill 31

91. The lion and the unicorn 31

92. The man in the moon 31

93. The north wind doth blow 31

94. The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts 31

95. There was a crooked man 31

96. There was a little boy went into a barn 32

97. There was a man and he had naught 32

98. There was a man in our town 32

99. There was an old man 32

100. There was an old woman, and what do you think 32

101. There was an old woman lived under a hill 32

102. There was an old woman of Leeds 32

103. There was an old woman of Norwich 32

104. There was an old woman tossed up in a basket 32

105. There was an old woman who lived in a shoe 33

106. There was an owl lived in an oak 33

107. This is the way the ladies ride 33

108. This little pig went to market 33

109. Three blind mice 33

110. Three wise men of Gotham 33

111. To market, to market, to buy a fat pig 33

112. Tom, Tom, the piper's son 33

113. Two-legs sat upon three-legs 33

114. When a twister a-twisting 34

115. "Willy boy, Willy boy, where are you going?" 34


116. Milkweed Seeds 34

117. An Anniversary 34

118. Twink! twink! 34

MOTHER GOOSE (Longer rhymes)

119. A Was an Apple-Pie 34

120. Tom Thumb's Alphabet 35

121. Where Are You Going 35

122. Molly and I 35

123. London Bridge 36

124. I Saw a Ship 36

125. There Was an Old Woman 36

126. Little Bo-Peep 37

127. Cock a Doodle Doo 37

128. Three Jovial Huntsmen 37

129. There Was a Little Man 37

130. Taffy 38

131. Simple Simon 38

132. A Farmer Went Trotting 38

133. Tom the Piper's Son 38

134. When I Was a Little Boy 39

135. The Babes in the Wood 39

136. The Fox and His Wife 40

137. For Want of a Nail 40

138. A Man of Words 40

139. Jemima 41

140. Mother Hubbard and Her Dog 41

141. The Courtship, Merry Marriage, and Picnic Dinner of Cock Robin and Jenny Wren 42

142. The Burial of Poor Cock Robin 44

143. Dame Wiggins of Lee, and Her Seven Wonderful Cats 45

144. This Is the House That Jack Built 47

145. The Egg in the Nest 49

146. Change About 49



Bibliography 52

Introductory 53


147. The Old Woman and Her Pig 56

148. Henny-Penny 58

149. Teeny-Tiny 59

150. The Cat and the Mouse 60

151. The Story of the Three Little Pigs 61

152. Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse 63

153. The Story of the Three Bears 64

154. The Three Sillies 67

155. Lazy Jack 69

156. The Story of Mr. Vinegar 71

157. Jack and the Beanstalk 73

158. Tom Thumb 79

159. Whittington and His Cat 84

160. Tom Tit Tot 89


161. Little Red Riding Hood 92

162. True History of Little Golden Hood 94

163. Puss in Boots 97

164. Toads and Diamonds 100

165. Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper 102

166. Drakestail 106

167. Beauty and the Beast 110


168. Why the Bear Is Stumpy-Tailed 122

169. The Three Billy-Goats Gruff 123

170. The Husband Who Was to Mind the House 124

171. Boots and His Brothers 125

172. The Quern at the Bottom of the Sea 128


173. The Traveling Musicians 131

174. The Blue Light 134

175. The Elves and the Shoemaker 136

176. The Fisherman and His Wife 138

177. Rose-Bud 142

178. Rumpelstiltskin 144

179. Snow-White and Rose-Red 146


180. The Lambikin 150

181. Tit for Tat 151

182. The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal 152

183. Pride Goeth before a Fall 154


184. The Mirror of Matsuyama 156

185. The Tongue-Cut Sparrow 158


186. The Straw Ox 160


187. Connla and the Fairy Maiden 162

188. The Horned Women 164

189. King O'Toole and His Goose 165



Bibliography 170

Introductory 171


190. A Four-Leaved Clover 174

I. The Rabbi and the Diadem 174

II. Friendship 175

III. True Charity 175

IV. An Eastern Garden 176


191. The Lord Helpeth Man and Beast 177


192. The Real Princess 179

193. The Emperor's New Clothes 180

194. The Nightingale 183

195. The Fir Tree 190

196. The Tinder Box 195

197. The Hardy Tin Soldier 200

198. The Ugly Duckling 203


199. The Story of Fairyfoot 209


200. The Happy Prince 217


201. The Knights of the Silver Shield 223


202. The Prince's Dream 227


203. Old Pipes and the Dryad 233


204. The King of the Golden River 245



Bibliography 262

Introductory 263


205. The Shepherd's Boy 266

206. The Lion and the Mouse 266

207. The Crow and the Pitcher 266

208. The Frog and the Ox 267

209. The Frogs Desiring a King 267

210. The Field Mouse and the Town Mouse 268


211. The City Mouse and the Garden Mouse 268


212. The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse 268


213. Androcles 269


214. Androcles and the Lion 270


215. The Wind and the Sun 272

216. The Goose with the Golden Eggs 272


217. The Hen with the Golden Eggs 272


218. The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing 273

219. The Hare and the Tortoise 273

220. The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass 274

221. The Travelers and the Bear 274

222. The Lark and Her Young Ones 275

223. The Old Man and His Sons 275

224. The Fox and the Grapes 276

225. The Widow and the Hen 276

226. The Kid and the Wolf 276

227. The Man and the Satyr 276

228. The Dog and the Shadow 276

229. The Swallow and the Raven 276

230. Mercury and the Woodman 276

231. The Mice in Council 277

232. The Mountebank and Countryman 277

233. The Milkmaid and Her Pail 278


234. The Dairywoman and the Pot of Milk 278


235. The Story of Alnaschar 279

BIDPAI (Indian Fables)

236. The Camel and the Pig 280

237. The Ass in the Lion's Skin 281

238. The Talkative Tortoise 282

239. A Lion Tricked by a Rabbit 283


240. The Cock and the Fox 284


241. The Grasshopper and the Ant 284

242. The Cock, the Cat, and the Young Mouse 285


243. The Hare with Many Friends 286


244. The Musical Ass 287


245. The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab 287

From the BIBLE

246. The Bramble Is Made King 288

247. The Good Samaritan 289

248. The Prodigal Son 289


249. The Anxious Leaf 290


250. The Whistle 291

251. The Ephemera 292


252. The Vision of Mirzah 294


253. The Discontented Pendulum 297


254. Croesus and Solon 299



Bibliography 302

Introductory 303



255. A Story of the Springtime 306


256. The Paradise of Children 309

257. The Miraculous Pitcher 319


258. The Narcissus 330

259. The Apple of Discord 332


260. Icarus and Daedalus 335

261. Admetus and the Shepherd 337


262. Midas 338


263. Phaethon 340



264. Thor's Visit to Joetunheim 343


265. Odin's Search for Wisdom 348


266. How the Fenris Wolf was Chained 351


267. Frey 354


268. The Death of Balder 360



Bibliography 368

Introductory 369


269. The Three Little Kittens 371

270. The Moon 371

271. Runaway Brook 372

272. Ding Dong! Ding Dong! 372


273. The Little Kitty 372


274. Mary Had a Little Lamb 372


275. Baby Bye 373


276. The Brown Thrush 374


277. Thanksgiving Day 375

278. Who Stole the Bird's Nest 375


279. How the Leaves Came Down 377


280. They Didn't Think 377

281. The Leak in the Dike 378


282. Whole Duty of Children 381

283. The Cow 381

284. Time to Rise 381

285. Rain 381

286. A Good Play 382

287. The Lamplighter 382

288. The Land of Nod 382

289. The Land of Story-Books 382

290. My Bed Is a Boat 383

291. My Shadow 383

292. The Swing 383

293. Where Go the Boats 384

294. The Wind 384

295. Windy Nights 384


296. Spinning Top 384

297. Flying Kite 385

298. King Bell 385

299. Daisies 385


300. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod 385

301. The Sugar-Plum Tree 386

302. The Duel 387


303. The Treasures of the Wise Man 387

304. The Circus-Day Parade 388

305. The Raggedy Man 389


306. A Boy's Song 389


307. The Spider and the Fly 390


308. The Wind in a Frolic 391


309. The Cow 392

310. Meddlesome Matty 392


311. "I Like Little Pussy" 393

312. The Star 394


313. Seldom or Never 394

314. An Emerald Is as Green as Grass 394

315. Boats Sail on the Rivers 394

316. A Diamond or a Coal? 395

317. The Swallow 395

318. Who Has Seen the Wind? 395

319. Milking Time 395


320. The Peddler's Caravan 395

321. The Wonderful World 396


322. Good-Night and Good-Morning 396


323. The Butterfly's Ball 397


324. Can You? 398


325. Pippa's Song 399


326. Little and Great 399


327. Casabianca 399


328. Three Things to Remember 400

329. The Lamb 401

330. The Shepherd 401

331. The Tiger 401

332. The Piper 401


333. Try Again 402


334. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat 403

335. The Table and the Chair 404

336. The Pobble Who Has No Toes 404


337. The Walrus and the Carpenter 405

338. A Strange Wild Song 406


339. Against Idleness and Mischief 407

340. Famous Passages from Dr. Watts 408


341. The Skeleton in Armor 408

342. The Day Is Done 410

343. A Psalm of Life 411


344. The Three Fishers 412

345. The Sands of Dee 412


346. "What Does Little Birdie Say?" 413

347. Sweet and Low 413

348. The Poet's Song 413

349. Crossing the Bar 414


350. Abou Ben Adhem 414


351. For Those Who Fail 415


352. Eldorado 415


353. The Destruction of Sennacherib 416


354. To a Waterfowl 416

355. The Planting of the Apple-Tree 417


356. My Garden 418


357. Daffodils 419

358. The Solitary Reaper 419


359. The Arab to His Favorite Steed 420


360. The Inchcape Rock 421


361. Over Hill, Over Dale 423

362. A Fairy Scene in a Wood 423


363. Fable 424

364. Concord Hymn 424


365. Breathes There the Man 424


366. Old Ironsides 425


367. How Sleep the Brave 425


368. The Ballad of Nathan Hale 425


369. The Red Thread of Honor 427


370. Recessional 428


371. Invictus 429


372. The Falcon 429

373. The Shepherd of King Admetus 430


374. The Yarn of the Nancy Bell 430


375. Darius Green and His Flying Machine 432


376. Beth Gelert 436


377. King John and the Abbot of Canterbury 437



Bibliography 442

Introductory 443


378. The Renowned History of Little Goody Two-Shoes 445


379. Eyes, and No Eyes 451


380. The Good-Natured Little Boy 456


381. Waste Not, Want Not 458


382. Jackanapes 478


383. Betty's Ride 496


384. The Big Bear 500


385. The Gift of the Magi 505



Bibliography 510

Introductory 511


386. The Tale of Peter Rabbit 513


387. Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World 514


388. Mr. 'Possum's Sick Spell 516


389. Wild Life in the Farm-Yard 520


390. The Vendetta 524


391. Pasha, the Son of Selim 527


392. Moufflou 534


393. Bird Habits: I. Where He Sleeps II. His Travels 548


394. The Poacher and the Silver Fox 551


395. The Story of a Salmon 556


396. Moti Guj—Mutineer 562


397. Last Bull 566



Bibliography 576

Introductory 577


398. Ali Baba, and the Forty Thieves 579


Reynard the Fox

399. How Bruin the Bear Sped with Reynard the Fox 586

400. The Battle Between the Fox and the Wolf 591


King Arthur and His Round Table

401. How Arthur Became King 594

402. A Tourney with the French 597

403. Adventures of Arthur 598


404. Arthur and Sir Accalon 603


405-411. Stories from Don Quixote

I. Dreams and Shadows 606

II. Preparing for the Quest 608

III. The Quest Begins 610

IV. The Knightly Vigil 613

V. On Honor's Field 615

VI. The Return Home 617

VII. The Battle with the Windmills 618


412. The Proud King 620


413. Robin and the Merry Little Old Woman 623


414. Allen-a-Dale 628



Bibliography 632

Introductory 633


415. How Columbus Got His Ships 635


416. The Boyhood of Washington 642


417. The Autobiography 645


418. Lincoln's Early Days 655


419. In the Western Wilderness 662


420. The Pass of Thermopylae 671



Home Reading Lists by Grades 679

General Index 687





Tappan, Eva March, The Children's Hour. 10 vols.

Neilson, William Patten, and others, The Junior Classics. 10 vols.

Sylvester, Charles H., Journeys through Bookland. 10 vols.

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, and others, The Young Folks' Library. 30 vols.

Mabie, Hamilton Wright, After School Library. 12 vols.

Scudder, Horace E., The Children's Book. [Best single-volume collection for early grades.]

Barnes, Walter, Types of Children's Literature.


Darton, F. J. Harvey, "Children's Books," in Cambridge History of English Literature, Vol. XI, chap. xvi. [Best brief account of development in England. Elaborate bibliography.]

Tassin, Algernon, "Books for Children," in Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. II, chap. vii. [Best account of American development. Extended bibliography.]

Field, Mrs. E. M., The Child and His Book. The history and progress of children's literature in England. [Stops with 1826.]

Moses, Montrose J., Children's Books and Reading. [Deals with both English and American side. Book-lists and bibliographies.]

Ashton, John, Chapbooks of the Eighteenth Century.

Halsey, Rosalie V., Forgotten Books of the American Nursery.

Welsh, Charles, A Bookseller of the Last Century. [John Newbery.]

"Godfrey, Elizabeth," English Children in the Olden Time.

Earle, Florence Morse, Child Life in Colonial Days.



Barnes, Walter, English in the Country School.

Carpenter, G. R., Baker, F. T., and Scott, F. N., The Teaching of English. [Pp. 155-187, "Literature in the Elementary Schools," by Professor Baker.]

Chubb, Percival, The Teaching of English.

Cox, John Harrington, Literature in the Common School.

Barron, Julia S., Bacon, Corinne, and Dana, J. C., Course of Study for Normal School Pupils on Literature for Children. [A syllabus.]

Hosic, James Fleming, The Elementary Course in English.

MacClintock, Porter Lander, Literature in the Elementary School.

McMurry, Charles A., Special Method in Reading in the Grades.

Welch, John S., Literature in the School: Aims, Methods, and Interpretations.


Bates, Arlo, Talks on the Teaching of Literature.

Bennett, Arnold, Literary Taste and How to Form It.

Colby, J. Rose, Literature and Life in School.

Kerfoot, J. B., How to Read.

Lee, Gerald Stanley, The Child and the Book.

Quiller-Couch, Sir Arthur, On the Art of Reading. [Children's Literature.]

Scudder, Horace E., Literature in the Schools.

Smith, C. Alphonso, What Can Literature Do for Me?

Woodberry, George E., The Appreciation of Literature. The Heart of Man.


Arnold, Gertrude W., A Mother's List of Books for Children.

Field, Walter Taylor, Fingerposts to Children's Reading.

Hunt, Clara W., What Shall We Read to the Children?

Lowe, Orton, Literature for Children.

Macy, John, A Child's Guide to Reading.

Moore, Annie Carroll, Roads to Childhood.

Olcott, Frances Jenkins, The Children's Reading.

One Thousand Good Books for Children. [Classified and graded list prepared by National Congress of Mothers' Literature Committee, Alice M. Jordan, Chairman. Issued by U. S. Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C., as Home Education Circular No. 1.]

Stevens, David Harrison, The Home Guide to Good Reading.


Allison, S. B., and Perdue, H. A., The Story in Primary Education.

Bailey, Carolyn Sherman, For the Story-Teller.

Bryant, Sarah Cone, How to Tell Stories to Children. Stories to Tell to Children. [Introduction.]

Cather, Katherine D., Educating by Story-Telling.

Cowles, Julia D., The Art of Story-Telling.

Cross, Allen, and Statler, Nellie M., Story-Telling for Upper Grades.

Forbush, William B., Manual of Stories.

Horne, H. H., Story-Telling, Questioning, and Studying.

Keyes, Angela M., Stories and Story-Telling.

Kready, Laura F., A Study of Fairy Tales. [Chap. iii, "The Telling of Fairy Tales."]

Lindsay, Maud, The Story-Teller for Little Children.

Lyman, Edna, Story Telling: What to Tell and How to Tell It.

McMurry, Charles A., Special Method in Reading in the Grades.

Moore, Annie C., Article "Story-Telling," Cyclopedia of Education. [Ed. Monroe.]

Partridge, Emelyn N., and George E., Story-Telling in the School and Home.

Shedlock, Marie L., The Art of the Story-Teller.

St. John, Edward Porter, Stories and Story-Telling in Moral and Religious Education.

Wiltse, Sara E., The Place of the Story in Early Education.

Wyche, Richard Thomas, Some Great Stories and How to Tell Them.


Briggs, T. H., and Coffman, L. D., Reading in Public Schools. [Chap. x, "Dramatic Reading," and chap. xxiii, "Dramatics."]

Curtis, Elnora W., The Dramatic Instinct in Education.

Finlay-Johnson, Harriet, The Dramatic Method of Teaching.

Gesell, Arnold L., and Beatrice C., The Normal Child and Primary Education. [Chapter on "Dramatic Expression."]

Herts, Alice M., The Children's Educational Theatre.

Nixon, Lillian E., Fairy Tales a Child Can Read and Act.


Moulton, Richard Green, A Short Introduction to the Literature of the Bible.

The simplest and best discussion for teachers of the Bible as literature. The books that follow are good sources for story material from the Bible.

Baldwin, James, Old Stories from the East.

Hodges, George, The Garden of Eden. The Castle of Zion. When the King Came.

Houghton, Louise Seymour, Telling Bible Stories.

Moulton, Richard Green, Bible Stories: Old Testament. Bible Stories: New Testament. [Two volumes of The Modern Reader's Bible for Children. The only variations from the text are by omissions.]

Olcott, Frances Jenkins, Bible Stories to Read and Tell.

Smith, Nora Archibald, Old, Old Tales from the Old, Old Book.

Stewart, Mary, "Tell Me a True Story."


Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, The Story of a Bad Boy.

Du Bois, Patterson, Beckonings from Little Hands.

Gilson, Roy Rolfe, In the Morning Glow.

Grahame, Kenneth, Dream Days. The Golden Age.

Howells, William Dean, A Boy's Town.

Kelly, Myra, Little Citizens.

Larcom, Lucy, A New England Girlhood.

Loti, Pierre, The Story of a Child.

Martin, George Madden, Emmy Lou, Her Book and Heart.

Masters, Edgar Lee, Mitch Miller.

Pater, Walter, The Child in the House.

Shute, Henry A., The Real Diary of a Real Boy.

Smith, William Hawley, The Evolution of Dodd.

Stuart, Ruth McEnery, Sonny.

Walpole, Hugh, Jeremy.

Warner, Charles Dudley, On Being a Boy.

White, William Allen, The Court of Boyville.


Addams, Jane, Youth and Our City Streets.

Adler, Felix, The Moral Instruction of Children.

Antin, Mary, The Promised Land.

Cabot, Ella Lyman, The Seven Ages of Childhood.

Dawson, George E., The Child and His Religion.

Engleman, J. O., Moral Education.

Griggs, Edward Howard, Moral Education.

Hall, G. Stanley, Youth.

Henderson, C. Hanford, Education and the Larger Life.

Hoyt, Franklin Chase, Quicksands of Youth.

Oppenheim, Nathan, The Development of the Child.

Puffer, J. Adams, The Boy and His Gang.




This book is primarily a handbook for teachers in the grades and for students preparing to teach in the grades. Although it does not ignore problems of grading and presentation, the chief purpose is to acquaint teachers and prospective teachers with standard literature of the various kinds suitable for use in the classroom and to give them information regarding books and authors to aid them in directing the selection of books by and for children.

In discussing the early training of children in literature with large classes of young people preparing for teaching in the grades, the compilers found themselves face to face with two difficulties. In the first place, only a limited number of these prospective teachers were in any real sense acquainted with what may be called the basic traditional material. Rhymes, fables, myths, stories were so vaguely and indistinctly held in mind that they were practically of no great value. It was therefore not possible to assume much real acquaintance with the material needed for use with children, and the securing of such an acquaintance seemed the first essential. After all is said, a discussion of ways and means must follow such a mastery of basic material.

In the second place, there was the difficulty of finding in any compact form a body of material sufficient in extent and wide enough in its range to serve as a satisfactory basis for such a course. No doubt the ideal way would be to send the student to the many authoritative volumes covering the various fields dealt with in this collection. But with large classes and a limited amount of time such a plan was hardly practicable. The young teacher cannot be much of a specialist in any of the various fields of knowledge with the elements of which he is expected to acquaint children. The principles of economy demand that the brief courses which specifically prepare for teaching should be such as will make the work in the schoolroom most helpful and least wasteful from the very beginning. Hence this attempt to collect in one volume what may somewhat roughly be spoken of as material for a minimum basic course in Children's Literature.

The important thing about this book, then, is the actual literary material included in it. The notes and suggestions scattered throughout are aimed to direct attention to this material either in the way of pointing out the sources of it, or helping in the understanding and appreciation of it, or suggesting some ways of presenting it most effectively to children.

In the case of folk material, an effort has been made to present reliable versions of the stories used. Many of the folk stories, for instance, appear in dozens of collections and in dozens of forms, according to the artistic or pedagogic biases of the various compilers. As a rule the most accessible stories are found in versions written down to the supposed needs of children, and intended to be read by the children themselves. Even if we grant the teacher the right to make extensive modifications, it is still reasonable to insist that some correct traditional form be used as the starting point. Such a plan insures a mastery of one's material. The sources of the versions used in this text are pointed out in order that teachers who wish to do so may extend their acquaintance to other folk material by referring to the various collections mentioned.

Such a book as this must necessarily be selective. No doubt omissions will be noted of poems or stories that many teachers deem indispensable. Others will find selections included that to their minds are questionable. The editors can only plead in extenuation that they have included what they have found by experience to offer a sound basis for discussing with training classes the nature of this basic material and the form in which it should be presented to children. To accomplish these ends it has sometimes seemed well to give parallel versions, and occasionally to give a version that will necessitate the discussion of such subjects as the use of dialect, the inclusion of items of terror or horror, and the soundness of the ethical appeal. These various problems are indicated in the notes accompanying individual selections.

The editorial apparatus does not constitute a treatise on literary criticism, or a manual of mythology or folklore, or a "pedagogy" of children's literature as such, or anything like an exhaustive bibliography of the fields of study touched upon. It aims at the very modest purpose of immediate and practical utility. It hopes to fill a place as a sort of first aid for the inexperienced teacher, and as soon as the teacher gets some real grasp of the elements of the problem this book must yield to the more elaborate and well-knit discussions of specialists in the various subjects treated. The bibliographical references throughout are intended to offer help in this forward step. These bibliographies are, in all cases, frankly selective. As a rule most of the books mentioned are books now in print. In the bibliographies connected with the sections of traditional material some of the more important works in the field of scholarship are named in each case for the benefit of those who may be working where such books are available in institutional or public libraries. Titles of books are printed in italics, while titles of poems, separate stories, and selections are printed in roman type inclosed in quotation marks.

The grouping of material is in no sense a hard and fast one. Those who work in literary fields understand the pitfalls that beset one who attempts such a classification. Only a general grouping under headings used in the ordinary popular sense has been made. Fine distinctions are beside the mark in such a book as this. Popular literature was not made for classification, but for higher purposes, and anything that draws attention from the pleasure-giving and spirit-invigorating qualities of the literature itself should be avoided. Hence, the classifications adopted are as simple and unobtrusive as possible.

Finally, the editors make no pretense to original scholarship. They have not attempted to extend the limits of human knowledge, but to point out pleasant paths leading to the limitless domains of literature. They have tried to reflect accurately the best practices and theories, or to point out how teachers may get at the best. Their obligations to others are too extended to be noted in a preface, but will be apparent on every page of the text. Their most important lessons have come from the reactions secured from hundreds of teachers who have been under their tuition.

Copyright obligations are indicated in connection with the selections used.



The beginnings. During the eighteenth century the peoples of Europe and America turned their attention in a remarkable way to a consideration of the worth and rights of the individual. In America this so-called democratic movement culminated in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The most dramatic manifestation of the movement in Europe was the French Revolution of 1789, but every country of Europe was thrilled and changed by the new thought. Every important democratic movement leads to an awakened interest in the welfare of children, for they are among the weak and helpless. This great movement of the eighteenth century brought such a remarkable change of thought regarding children as to mark the beginning of a new kind of literature, known as literature for children.

Today we think of Andersen, Stevenson, Mrs. Ewing, and scores of others as writers of literature for children. Such writers did not exist before the democratic movement of the eighteenth century. It is true that a few short books and articles had been written for children as early as the fifteenth century, but they were written to teach children to be obedient and respectful to parents and masters or to instruct them in the customs of the church—they were not written primarily to entertain children and give them pleasure. Within the last century and a half, too, many authors have collected and retold for children innumerable traditional stories from all parts of the earth—traditional fairy stories, romantic stories of the Middle Ages, legends, and myths.

The child's inheritance. As has been indicated, children's literature is of two kinds: first, the traditional kind that grew up among the folk of long ago in the forms of rhyme, myth, fairy tale, fable, legend, and romantic hero story; and, second, the kind that has been produced in modern times by individual authors. The first, the traditional kind, was produced by early civilization and by the childlike peasantry of long ago. The best of the stories produced by the childhood of the race have been bequeathed to the children of today, and to deprive children of the pleasure they would get from this inheritance of folklore seems as unjust as to deprive them of traditional games, which also help to make the first years of a person's life, the period of childhood, the period of imaginative play. The second kind of children's literature, that produced in modern times by individual authors, has likewise been bequeathed to children. Some of it is so new that its worth has not been determined, but some of it has passed the test of the classics. The best of both kinds is as priceless as is the classical literature for adults. The world would not sell Shakespeare; yet one may well doubt that Shakespeare is worth as much to humanity as is Mother Goose. To evaluate truly the worth of such classics is impossible; but we may be assured that the child who has learned to appreciate the pleasures and the beauties of Mother Goose is the one most likely to appreciate the pleasures and the beauties of Shakespeare when the proper time comes.

The true purpose of education is to bring the child into his inheritance. For many years educators have talked about the use of literature in the grades as one means of accomplishing this purpose. The results of attempts to teach literature in the grades have sometimes been disappointing because often the literature used has not been for the grades; that is, it has not been children's literature. In other cases the attempts have failed because the literature has not been presented as literature—it has, for example, been presented as reading lessons or composition assignments. Students preparing to teach in the grades have been studying textbooks from which literature for children has been excluded, regardless of its artistic worth. Consequently many teachers have not been prepared to teach literature in the grades. Often they have assumed that the reading lesson would develop in the pupil an appreciation of good literature, not realizing that the reading lesson may cause pupils to dislike literature, especially poetry, unless it is supplemented by appropriate work in children's literature. If the student reads thoughtfully the literary selections in the following sections of this book, he probably will realize that children's literature is also literature for adults, and that it is not only the child's inheritance, but also the inheritance of humanity.

The fact that literature for children is likely to have a strong interest for adults is strikingly suggested in a few sentences in John Macy's A Child's Guide to Reading:

When "juveniles" are really good, parents read them after children have gone to bed. I do not know whether Tom Brown at Rugby is catalogued by the careful librarian as a book for boys, but I am sure it is a book for men. I dare say that a good many pairs of eyes that have passed over the pages of Mr. John T. Trowbridge and Elijah Kellogg and Louisa M. Alcott have been old enough to wear spectacles. And if Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin ever thought that in Timothy's Quest and Rebecca she was writing books especially for the young, adult readers have long since claimed her for their own. I have enjoyed Mr. A. S. Pier's tales of the boys at St. Timothy's, though he planned them for younger readers. We are told on good authority that St. Nicholas and The Youth's Companion appear in households where there are no children, and they give a considerable portion of their space to serial stories written for young people. Between good "juveniles" and good books for grown persons there is not much essential difference.


Reading and literature distinguished. A country school-teacher once abruptly stopped the routine of daily work and, standing beside her desk, told the story of the maid who counted her chickens before they were hatched. One of her pupils, who is now a man, remembers vividly how the incident impressed him. Although he was in the second grade, that was the first time he had known a teacher to stop regular school work to tell a story. Immediately the teacher was transformed. She had been merely a teacher, one of those respected, awe-inspiring creatures whose business it is to make the school mill go; but the magic of her story established the relation of friendship between teacher and pupil. She was no longer merely a teacher. If the story had been read as a part of the reading lesson, it would not have impressed the pupil greatly. It was impressive because it was presented as literature.

A clear distinction should be made between reading and literature, especially in the primary grades. In the work of the reading course the pupil should take the lead, being guided by the teacher. If the pupil is to progress, he must master the mechanics of reading—he must learn to pronounce printed words and to get the meaning of printed sentences and paragraphs. The course in reading requires patient work on the part of the pupil, just as the course in arithmetic does, and the chief pleasure that the primary pupil can derive from the work is a consciousness of enlarged power and of success in accomplishing what is undertaken.

In the work with literature, however, the teacher should take the lead. She should open to the pupils the magic treasure house of the world's best story and song. The literature period of the day should be the pupil's imaginative play period, bringing relief from the tension of tired nerves. The teacher who makes the study of literature a mechanical grind instead of a joyous exercise of imagination misses at least two of her greatest opportunities as a teacher. First, by failing to cultivate in her pupils an appreciation of good literature, she misses an opportunity to make the lives of her pupils brighter and happier. Second, by failing to realize that the person with a story and a song is everybody's friend, she misses an opportunity to win the friendship, admiration, and love of her pupils. The inexperienced teacher who is well-nigh distracted in her efforts to guide forty restless, disorderly pupils through the program of a day's work might charm half her troubles away by the magic of a simple story or by the music and imagery of a juvenile poem. Her story or poem would do more than remove the cause of disorder by giving the pupils relaxation from nerve-straining work: it would help to establish that first essential to all true success in teaching—a relation of friendship between pupils and teacher.

Culture through literature. He was a wise educator who said, "The boy who has access to good books and who has learned to make them his close friends is beyond the power of evil." Literature in the grades, in addition to furnishing intellectual recreation, should so cultivate in the pupil the power of literary appreciation that he will make good books his close friends. The child who has heard good music from infancy is not likely to be attracted by popular ragtime. The boy who has been trained in habits of courtesy, industry, and pure thinking in his home life, and school life is not likely to find pleasure in the rudeness, idleness, and vulgarity of the village poolroom. The pupil who is taught to appreciate the beautiful, the true, and the good in standard literature is not likely to find pleasure in reading the melodramatic and sentimental trash that now has prominence of place and space in many book stores and in some public libraries. It is the duty of the teacher, and it should be her pleasure, to cultivate in her pupils such a taste for good literature as will lead them to choose the good and reject the bad, a taste that will insure for them the culture that good literature gives.

Selection of material. In choosing selections of literary worth to present to her pupils, the teacher should keep in mind the pupil's stage of mental development and she should not forget that the study of literature should give pleasure. Often pupils do not like what moral writers think they should like, and usually the pupils are right. Good literature is sincere and is true in its appeal to the fundamental emotions of humanity, and an obvious attempt to teach a moral theory at the expense of truth is no more to be tolerated in literature for children than in literature for adults. The childhood of the race has produced much literature with a true appeal to the human heart, in the form of fable, fairy story, myth, and hero story. Most of this literature appeals strongly to the child of today. For several hundred years the nursery rhymes of "Mother Goose" have delighted children with their melody, humor, and imagery. As literature for the kindergarten and first grade, they have not often been excelled by modern writers. The task of selecting suitable material from the many poems, stories, and books written for children in recent years is difficult, but if the teacher has a keen appreciation of good literature and is guided by the likes and dislikes of her pupils, she probably will not go far astray.

Supplemental reading. If the teacher examines the juvenile books offered for sale by the book dealers of her town or city, she probably will discover that most of them are trash not fit to be read by anyone, and she will realize the importance of directing parents in the selection of gift books for children. A good way to get better books into the book stores and into the hands of children is to give the pupils a list of good books, with the suggestion that they ask their parents to buy one of them the next time a book is to be bought as a present. Such lists of books also will improve the standard of books in the town library, for librarians will be quick to realize the importance of supplying standard literature if there is a demand for it.


Story-telling. Most stories are much more effective when well told than they are when read, just as most lectures and sermons are most effective when delivered without manuscript. To explain just why the story well told is superior to the story read might not be easy, but much of the superiority probably comes from the freedom of the "talk style" and the more appropriate use of inflection and emphasis. Then, too, the story-teller can look at her audience and is free to add a descriptive word or phrase occasionally to produce vividness of impression. Some stories, of course, are so constructed that they must follow closely the diction of the original form. "Henny-Penny" and Kipling's Just-So Stories are of this type. Such stories should be read. Most stories, however, are most effective when well told. The teacher, especially the teacher of one of the primary grades, should not consider herself prepared to teach literature until she has gained something of the art of story-telling.

Selection of stories. Never attempt to tell a story that you do not like. You are not prepared to interest pupils in a story, however appropriate it otherwise may be, if you are not interested in it yourself. Try to choose stories adapted in structure and content to the age and experience of the children of your grade. For the first or second grade, choose a few simple fables, a few short, simple fairy tales, and a few short, simple nature stories, such as "Peter Rabbit," "How Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World," and "Mr. 'Possum's Sick Spell." Remember that a story for the first or second grade should be short.

Two principles. Learn to apply readily the following principles of method: First, use the past tense in telling a story except in direct quotation. The rules of grammar require this, and it is an aid to clearness and effectiveness. For example, do not say, "So he goes" or "Then he says"; but say, "So he went" or "Then he said" (or, for variety, replied, growled, mumbled, etc.). Second, use direct discourse (the exact words of the characters) rather than indirect discourse. For example, do not say, "The Troll asked who was tripping over his bridge"; but say, "'WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?' roared the Troll." Direct discourse always gives life and vividness to a story.

Preparation and presentation. When you have selected a suitable story, read it carefully several times to learn the essential details and the order in which they should come. Keep in mind the fact that you are to use the past tense and direct discourse. If the story is a fable, you probably will see that you should add much conversation and description not in the text. A little description of the witch, giant, fairy, or castle may give vividness to your story. If the story is a long fairy tale, you may see that many details may be omitted. If the story is as concise and dramatic as is the version of "The Three Billy-Goats Gruff" in this book, it may be suitable for presentation without any changes. When you have the story clearly in mind as you wish to present it, tell it to the pupils several times, and then have some of them tell it.

Your story, of course, should not be told in a lifeless monotone. Some parts should be told slowly, and others rapidly. In some parts the voice should be low and soft, while in other parts it should be loud and gruff or harsh. The words of the princess should not sound like those of the old witch or the soldier. The daintiness and grace of elves and fairies should be indicated in the delivery.

Corroborative opinion. The many books on the art of story-telling by skilled practitioners and the emphasis placed upon the great practical value of story-telling by all those charged with the oversight of the education of children show conclusively that the story method in teaching is having its grand renascence. The English education minister, Mr. H. A. L. Fisher, speaking recently on the subject of "History Teaching," set forth admirably the general principles back of this revival:

There is no difficulty about interesting children. The real difficulty is to bore them. Almost any tale will interest a child. It need not be well constructed or thrilling; it may be filled with the most unexciting and trivial incidents, but so long as it carries the mind along at all, it will interest a child. The hunger which intelligent children have for stories is almost inexhaustible. They like to have their stories repeated, and insist that the characters should reappear over and over again, for they have an appetite for reality and a desire to fix these passing figments into the landscape of the real life with which they are surrounded.

One of the great qualities in childhood which makes it apt for receiving historical impressions is just this capacity for giving body to the phantoms of the mind. The limits between the real and the legendary or miraculous which are drawn by the critical intelligence do not exist for the childish mind. . . . It would then be a great educational disaster if this valuable faculty in childhood were allowed to run to waste. There are certain years in the development of every normal intelligent child when the mind is full of image-making power and eager to make a friend or enemy of any god, hero, nymph, fairy, or servant maid who may come along. Then is the time when it is right and fitting to affect some introductions to the great characters of mythology and history; that is the age at which children will eagerly absorb what they can learn of Achilles and Orpheus, of King Arthur and his Knights, of Alexander and Christopher Columbus and the Duke of Wellington. I do not think it is necessary to obtrude any moralizing commentary when these great and vague images are first brought into the landscape of the child's intellectual experience. A little description, a few stories, a picture or two, will be enough to fix them in the memory and to give them body and shape together with the fairies and witches and pirate kings and buccaneering captains with whom we have all at one time been on such familiar terms. Let us then begin by teaching the past to small children by way of stories and pictures.

Dramatization. The play spirit that leads children to play lady, doctor, church, and school will also lead them to enjoy dramatizing stories, or "playing the stories," as they call it. Some stories, of course, are so lacking in action as to be not well suited for dramatization, and others have details of action, character, or situation that may not well be represented in the schoolroom. The teacher may be surprised, however, to see how ingenious her pupils are in overcoming difficulties after they have had a little assistance in playing two or three stories. Unconsciously the pupil will get from the dramatization a training in oral English, reading, and literary appreciation that can hardly be gained in any other way.

When the pupils have learned a story thoroughly, they are ready to make plans for playing it. The stage setting may be considered first, and here the child's imagination can work wonders in arranging details. The opening under the teacher's desk may become a dungeon, a cave, a cellar, or a well. If a two-story house is needed, it may be outlined on the floor in the front part of the schoolroom, with a chalk-mark stairway, up which Goldilocks can walk to lie down on three coats—the three beds in the bed-chamber of the three bears.

The pupils can probably soon decide what characters are necessary, but more time may be required to assign the parts. To play the part of a spider, bear, wolf, fairy, sheep, or butterfly does not seem difficult to a child who has entered into the spirit of the play.

The most difficult part of dramatization may be the plan for conversation, especially if the text version of the story contains little or no direct discourse. The pupils should know the general nature of the conversation and action before they begin to play the story, although they need not memorize the parts. Suppose that the fable "The Shepherd's Boy" is to be dramatized. The first part of the dramatization might be described about as follows:

The shepherd boy, tending his flock of pupil-sheep in the pasture land at one side of the teacher's-desk-mountain, looked toward the pupil-desk-village at one side of the room and said quietly, "It certainly is lonely here. I believe I'll make those villagers think a wolf has come to eat the sheep. Then perhaps they'll come down here, and I'll have a little company and some excitement." Then he jumped around frantically, waving his yardstick-shepherd's crook, and shouted to the villagers, "Wolf! Wolf!"

The villagers came rushing down to the pasture land, asking excitedly, "Where's the wolf? Has he killed many of the sheep?"

"Oh, oh, oh," laughed the boy, "there wasn't any wolf. I certainly did fool you that time."

"I don't think that's very funny," said one of the villagers.

"Well, we might as well go back to our work," said another. Then they went back to the village.

After they had gone, the boy said, "I guess I'll try that joke again."

If the teacher puts much direct discourse in a story of this kind when she tells it to the pupils, the task of dramatizing will naturally be made easier.

Some stories lend themselves in the most natural manner to dramatization. An interesting example of such a story may be found among the tales dealing with the Wise Men of Gotham. These Wise Men are referred to in one of the best known of the Mother Goose rhymes. It would seem that the inhabitants of Gotham, in the reign of King John, had some reason of their own for pretending to be mad, and out of this event the legends took their rise. The number of fishermen may be changed to seven or some other number to suit the number in the acting group. Here is the story:

On a certain time there were twelve men of Gotham that went to fish, and some stood on dry land. And in going home, one said to the other "We have ventured wonderfully in wading. I pray God that none of us come home to be drowned." "Nay, marry," said the other, "let us see that, for there did twelve of us come out." Then they counted themselves, and every one counted eleven. Said the one to the other, "There is one of us drowned." They went back to the brook where they had been fishing and sought up and down for him that was drowned, making great lamentation.

A stranger coming by asked what it was they sought for, and why they were sorrowful. "Oh!" said they, "this day we went to fish in the brook; twelve of us came together, and one is drowned." Said the stranger, "Tell how many there be of you." One of them, counting, said, "Eleven," and again he did not count himself. "Well," said the stranger, "what will you give me if I find the twelfth man?" "Sir," said they, "all the money we have got." "Give me the money," said the stranger, and began with the first, and gave him a stroke over the shoulders with his whip, which made him groan, saying, "Here is one," and so he served them all, and they all groaned at the matter. When he came to the last he paid him well, saying, "Here is the twelfth man." "God's blessing on thy heart," said they, "for thus finding our dear brother."


As an aid to inexperienced teachers, it seems well to suggest in a summary how a selection of material suitable for each grade might be made from the material of this book. The summary, however, should be regarded as suggestive in a general way only. No detailed outline of a course of study in literature for the grades can be ideal for all schools because the pupils of a given grade in one school may be much more advanced in the knowledge of literature and the ability to understand and appreciate it than are the pupils of the same grade in another school. Many literary selections, too, might appropriately be taught in almost any grade if the method of presentation in each case were suited to the understanding of the pupils. Robinson Crusoe, for example, may appropriately be told to second-grade pupils, or it may be read by fourth- or fifth-grade pupils, or it may be studied as fiction by eighth-grade pupils or university students. All poems of remarkable excellence that are suitable for primary pupils are also suitable for pupils in the higher grades and for adults, and the same is true of many prose selections.

The summary that follows, then, is to be regarded as "first aid" to the untrained, inexperienced teacher. The teacher's own personal likes and dislikes and her success in presenting various literary selections should eventually lead her to modify any prescribed course of study. If a teacher of the sixth grade discovers that her pupils should rank only second grade in knowledge and appreciation of literature, she may very properly begin with traditional fairy tales. Another outlined course of study is given in Section XII of this book.

First, second, and third grades. Since pupils in the primary grades read with difficulty if at all, the teacher should tell or read all selections presented as literature in these grades.

No kind of prose is better suited for use in the primary grades than traditional fairy tales. About half a dozen might well be presented in each of the three grades. For the first grade, the simplest should be chosen, such as "The Old Woman and Her Pig," "Teeny-Tiny," "The Cat and the Mouse," "The Three Pigs," "The Three Bears," and "The Elves and the Shoemaker." As suitable stories for the second grade, we might choose "The Three Sillies," "Little Red Riding-Hood," "Cinderella," "The Three Billy-Goats Gruff," "The Straw Ox," and "The Horned Women." For the third grade, somewhat longer and more complex stories might be chosen.

About half a dozen fables might also be used appropriately in each of the primary grades. Simple Aesopic fables in prose seem best for the first two grades. More complex forms might be chosen for the third grade, for example, "The Story of Alnaschar," "The Good Samaritan," "The Discontented Pendulum," "The Musical Ass," "The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab," and "The Hen with the Golden Eggs."

Much of the nature literature of the primary grades may be in the form of verse, but some simple nature prose may be used successfully. From the selections in this book, "Peter Rabbit" should be chosen for the first grade, while "Johnny Chuck," and "Mr. 'Possum's Sick Spell" are appropriate for the second and third grades.

The simplest of Andersen's Fairy Tales may be used in the third grade, and perhaps in the second. Some suitable stories are "The Real Princess," "The Fir Tree," "The Tinder Box," "The Hardy Tin Soldier," and "The Ugly Duckling."

The ideal verse for the first grade is nursery rhymes, which may be chosen from the first 135 selections of this book. These may be supplemented by such simple verse as "The Three Kittens," "The Moon," "Ding Dong," "The Little Kitty," "Baby Bye," "Time to Rise," "Rain," "I Like Little Pussy," and "The Star." In the second and third grades, traditional verses from those following Number 135 in Section II may be used. The poems by Stevenson are ideal for these grades, and those by Field, Sherman, and Christina Rossetti are good. In addition the teacher might select such poems as "The Brown Thrush," and "Who Stole the Bird's Nest."

Fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. Although pupils in these intermediate grades may be expected to read some library books, the teacher should read and tell stories frequently, for this is the surest way to develop in the pupil a taste for good literature. The teacher should remember, too, that the story she recommends to the pupils as suitable reading should be about two grades easier than those told or read by the teacher. Probably every poem presented as literature in these grades should be read or recited by the teacher because pupils are not likely to get the charm of rhythm, melody, and rhyme if they do the reading. Pupils who dislike poetry are pupils who have not heard good poetry well read.

Myths are appropriate for each of the intermediate grades. Most teachers prefer for the fourth grade the simpler classical myths, such as "A Story of Springtime," "The Miraculous Pitcher," "The Narcissus," and "The Apple of Discord." In the fifth grade, the teacher may use the more difficult classical myths, reserving the Norse myths for the sixth grade.

Modern fairy and fantastic stories are also appropriate for each of these grades. Suitable stories for the fourth grade are "The Four-Leaved Clover," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Nightingale," and "The Story of Fairyfoot." Stories appropriate for the fifth grade are "The Happy Prince," "The Knights of the Silver Shield," and "The Prince's Dream." In the sixth grade, the teacher might use "Old Pipes and the Dryad" and "The King of the Golden River."

Two or three symbolic stories or fables in verse from the last part of Section V should be used in each of these grades.

Nature prose should appeal more and more to children as they advance from the fourth to the eighth grade. Many pupils in the fourth grade will enjoy reading for themselves books by Burgess and Paine, while fifth- and sixth-grade pupils will get much pleasure from the simpler books by Sharp, Seton, Long, Miller, and Roberts. In the intermediate grades, the teacher may read such stories as "Wild Life in the Farm Yard," "The Vendetta," "Pasha," "Moufflou," and "Bird Habits."

Stories of various other kinds may be read by the teacher in the intermediate grades. "Goody Two-Shoes" and "Waste Not, Want Not," are suitable for the fourth grade. The biographies "How Columbus Got His Ships" and "Boyhood of Washington" are excellent in the fifth or sixth grade as an introduction to history study, and the romance "Robin Hood and the Merry Little Old Woman" may be used appropriately in any of these grades, especially if it is made to supplement a discussion of the Norman conquest.

Most of the poems up to about No. 342, and a few beyond that, are within the range of the work for these grades.

Seventh and eighth grades. Although pupils in the seventh and eighth grades may be expected to read simple narrative readily, the teacher should read to the pupils frequently. It cannot be too much emphasized that reading aloud to children is the surest way of developing an appreciation of the best in literature. In poetry especially this is a somewhat critical time, as the pupil is passing from the simpler and more concrete verse to that which has a more prominent thought content. The persuasion of the reading voice smooths over many obstacles here. Outside the field of poetry, the teacher's work in these grades is mainly one of guidance and direction in getting the children and the right books in contact. Children at this period are likely to be omnivorous readers, ready for any book that comes their way, and the job of keeping them supplied with titles of enough available good books for their needs is indeed one to tax all a teacher's knowledge and experience.

The demand for highly sensational stories on the part of pupils in the upper grades is so insistent that it constitutes a special problem for the teacher. It is a perfectly natural demand, and no wise teacher will attempt to stifle it. Such an attempt would almost certainly result in a more or less surreptitious reading of a mass of unwholesome books which have come to be known as "dime novels." Instead of trying to thwart this desire for the thrilling story the teacher should be ready to recommend books which have all the attractive adventure features of the "dime novel," and which have in addition sound artistic and ethical qualities. While many such books are mentioned in the bibliographies in the latter part of this text, it has seemed well to bring together here a short list of those which librarians over the country have found particularly fitted to serve as substitutes for the dime novel.

Alden, W. L., The Moral Pirate.

Altsheler, Joseph A., The Young Trailers. Horsemen of the Plains.

Barbour, Ralph H., The Crimson Sweater.

Bennett, John, The Treasure of Peyre Gaillard.

Burton, Charles P., The Boys of Bob's Hill.

Carruth, Hayden, Track's End.

Cody, William F., Adventures of Buffalo Bill.

Drysdale, William, The Fast Mail.

Grinnell, George Bird, Jack among the Indians. Jack, the Young Ranchman.

Hunting, Henry G., The Cave of the Bottomless Pool.

Janvier, Thomas A., The Aztec Treasure House.

Kaler, James Otis, Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus.

London, Jack, The Call of the Wild.

Malone, Captain P. B., Winning His Way to West Point.

Masefield, John, Jim Davis.

Mason, Alfred B., Tom Strong, Washington's Scout.

Matthews, Brander, Tom Paulding.

Moffett, Cleveland, Careers of Danger and Daring.

Munroe, Kirk, Cab and Caboose. Derrick Sterling.

O'Higgins, Harvey J., The Smoke Eaters.

Quirk, Leslie W., The Boy Scouts of the Black Eagle Patrol.

Sabin, Edwin L., Bar B Boys.

Schultz, James Willard, With the Indians in the Rockies.

Stevenson, Burton E., The Young Train Despatcher.

Stevenson, Robert Louis, Treasure Island.

Stoddard, William O., Two Arrows. Talking Leaves.

Trowbridge, John T., Cudjo's Cave. The Young Surveyor.

Verne, Jules, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

Wallace, Dillon, Wilderness Castaways.

White, Stewart Edward, The Magic Forest.





c. 1760. Mother Goose's Melody. [Published by John Newbery, London.]

No copy of this issue known to be in existence.

c. 1783. Ritson, Joseph, Gammer Gurton's Garland, or the Nursery Parnassus. [1810, enlarged.]

c. 1785. Mother Goose's Melody. [Reprint of Newbery, by Isaiah Thomas, Worcester, Mass.]

[1889. Whitmore, W. H., The Original Mother Goose's Melody, as first issued by John Newbery, of London, about A.D. 1760. Reproduced in facsimile from the edition as reprinted by Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, Mass., about A.D. 1785. With introduction and notes.]

1824 ff. Mother Goose's Quarto, or Melodies Complete. [Various issues by Munroe and Francis, Boston.]

[Hale, Edward Everett, The Only True Mother Goose Melodies. Exact reproduction of the text and illustrations of the original edition (Mother Goose's Melodies: The Only Pure Edition) printed in Boston in 1834 by Monroe and Francis. With an introduction.]

1826. Chambers, Robert, Popular Rhymes of Scotland. [1870, enlarged.]

1834. Ker, John Bellenden, An Essay on the Archaeology of Popular English Phrases and Nursery Rhymes. [Supplemented 1840 and 1842.]

1842. Halliwell (Phillips), J. O., The Nursery Rhymes of England.

1849. Halliwell (Phillips), J. O., Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales.

1864. Rimbault, Edward F., Old Nursery Rhymes with Tunes.


Baring-Gould, Sabine, A Book of Nursery Songs and Rhymes.

Headland, I. T., Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes.

Jerrold, Walter, The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes.

Lang, Andrew, The Nursery Rhyme Book.

Newell, W. W., Games and Songs of American Children.

Saintsbury, G. E. B., National Rhymes of the Nursery.

Welsh, Charles, A Book of Nursery Rhymes.

Wheeler, William A., Mother Goose's Melodies.


Crane, Walter, The Baby's Bouquet, a Fresh Bunch of Old Rhymes and Tunes.

Homer, Sidney, Songs from Mother Goose.

Le Mair, H. Willebeck, Our Old Nursery Rhymes.

Le Mair, H. Willebeck, Little Songs of Long Ago.

Perkins, Raymond, Thirty Old-Time Nursery Songs.


Bolton, H. C., Counting-out Rhymes of Children, Their Antiquity, Origin, and Wide Distribution.

Earle, Alice Morse, Child Life in Colonial Days. [Especially chap. xiv.]

Eckenstein, Lina, Comparative Studies in Nursery Rhymes.

Godfrey, Elizabeth, English Children in the Olden Time. [Especially chap. ii.]

Gomme, A. B., The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 2 vols.

Green, P. B., The History of Nursery Rhymes.

Halsey, Rosalie V., Forgotten Books of the American Nursery.

Field, W. T., Fingerposts to Children's Reading, pp. 193 ff.

Moses, M. J., Children's Books and Reading, pp. 40 ff.



A flawless literature. The one literature that is supremely adapted to its purpose is the collection of rhymes associated with Mother Goose. To every child it comes with an irresistible appeal. It has a power so natural and fundamental that it defies explanation. The child takes it for granted just as he does his parents. It has a perfection of rhythm and structure not attainable by modern imitators. It has been perfected through the generations by the surest of all tests, that of constant popular use. Much of it is common to many different nations. It is an international literature of childhood. While much of it is known to children long before they enter school, these jingles, like all folk literature, never lose their charm through repetition. The schools have long since learned the value of the familiar in teaching. The process of learning to read is usually based on some of the better known rhymes. Teachers of literature in more advanced classes think they can generally detect the students who have been especially "learned" in "Mother Goose her ways" by their quick responsiveness to the facts of verbal rhythm and rhythmical structure in more sophisticated products. "If we have no love for poetry to-day, it may not impossibly be due to the fact that we have ceased to prize the old, old tales which have been the delight of the child and the child-man since the foundations of the world. If you want your child to love Homer, do not withhold Mother Goose."

Who was Mother Goose? The answer to this, as to other questions suggested below, may be of no direct or special interest to the children themselves. But teachers should know some of the main conclusions arrived at by folklorists and others in their investigations of the traditional materials used for basic work in literature. All the evidence shows that Mother Goose as the name of the familiar old lady of the nursery came to us from France. Andrew Lang discovered a reference to her in a French poem of 1650, where she figures as a teller of stories. In 1697 Perrault's famous fairy tales were published with a frontispiece representing an old woman spinning, and telling tales to a man, a girl, a little boy, and a cat. On this frontispiece was the legend, Tales of Our Mother Goose. (See note to No. 161.)

As a teller of prose tales, Mother Goose came to England with the translation of Perrault about 1730. We do not find her name connected with verse until after the middle of the eighteenth century. About the year 1760 a little book called Mother Goose's Melody was issued by John Newbery, a London publisher and a most important figure in the history of the production of books for children. It is a pleasant and not improbable theory that this first collection of nursery rhymes, upon which later ones were built, was the work of Oliver Goldsmith, who was for some years in Newbery's employ. However that may be, it is certain that from this date the name of Mother Goose has been almost exclusively associated with nursery rhymes.

Newbery's Mother Goose's Melody was soon reprinted by Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, Massachusetts, and thus came into the hands of American children early in our national life. A long-since exploded theory was advanced about 1870 that Mother Goose was a real woman of Boston in the early eighteenth century, whose rhymes were published by her son-in-law, Thomas Fleet, in 1719. But no one has identified any such publication and there is no evidence whatever that this old lady in cap and spectacles is other than purely mythical.

Whence came the jingles themselves? It is certain that many nursery rhymes are both widespread geographically in distribution and of great antiquity. Halliwell and others have found references to some of them in old books which prove that many of the English rhymes go back several centuries. They are of popular origin; that is, they took root anonymously among the folk and were passed on by word of mouth. When a rhyme can be traced to any known authority we generally find that the folk have extracted what pleased, have forgotten or modified any original historical or other application the rhymes may have possessed, and in general have shaped the rhyme to popular taste. "Thus our old nursery rhymes," says Andrew Lang, "are smooth stones from the book of time, worn round by constant friction of tongues long silent. We cannot hope to make new nursery rhymes, any more than we can write new fairy tales."

Here are a few illustrations of what scholars have been able to tell us of the sources of the rhymes: "Jack and Jill" preserves the Icelandic myth of two children caught up into the moon, where they can still be seen carrying a bucket on a pole between them. "Three Blind Mice" is traced to an old book called Deuteromalia (1609). "Little Jack Horner" is all that is left of an extended chapbook story, The Pleasant History of Jack Horner, Containing His Witty Tricks, etc. "Poor Old Robinson Crusoe" is a fragment from a song by the character Jerry Sneak in Foote's Mayor of Garratt (1763). "Simple Simon" gives all that the nursery has preserved of a long chapbook verse story. "A Swarm of Bees in May" was found by Halliwell quoted in Miege's Great French Dictionary (1687). These and numerous like facts serve only to impress us with the long and honorable history of the nursery rhyme.

Can nursery rhymes be helpfully classified? This question seems of more consequence to the teacher than the previous ones because it deals with the practical organization of his material. The most superficial observer can see that Nos. 3, 36, 46, 59, 62, and 113, on the following pages, are riddles; that Nos. 22 and 30 are counting-out rhymes; that Nos. 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41 are replies that might be made to one who indulged unduly in suppositions; that No. 27 is a face game, No. 75 a hand game, and No. 108 a toe game; that Nos. 42, 81, 82, 107, and 111 are riding songs; that Nos. 7, 10, 23, 67, and 137 are proverbial sayings; that Nos. 64 and 89 are charms; and so one might continue with groupings based on the immediate use made of the rhyme, not forgetting the great number that lend themselves to the purposes of the crooned lullaby or soothing song.

Halliwell made the first attempt at any complete classification in his Nursery Rhymes of England (1842), using eighteen headings: (1) Historical, (2) Literal, (3) Tales, (4) Proverbs, (5) Scholastic, (6) Songs, (7) Riddles, (8) Charms, (9) Gaffers and Gammers, (10) Games, (11) Paradoxes, (12) Lullabies, (13) Jingles, (14) Love and Matrimony, (15) Natural History, (16) Accumulative Stories, (17) Local, (18) Relics. Andrew Lang follows Halliwell, but reduces the classes to fourteen by combining (2) and (5), (7) and (11), (8) and (12), and by omitting (17). These classifications are made from the standpoint of the folklore scholar, and are based on the sources from which the rhymes originally sprang. Professor Saintsbury scouts the value of any such arrangement, since all belong equally in the one class, "jingles," and he also rightly points out that "all genuine nursery rhymes . . . have never become nursery rhymes until the historical fact has been practically forgotten by those who used them, and nothing but the metrical and musical attraction remains."

Without denying the great significance of popular rhymes to the student of folklore, we must look elsewhere for any practical suggestion for the teacher in the matter of arrangement. Such a suggestion will be found in the late Charles Welsh's Book of Nursery Rhymes, a little volume that every teacher interested in children's literature must make use of. The rhymes are grouped into three main divisions: (1) Mother Play, (2) Mother Stories, and (3) Child Play, with subordinate groupings under each. About 250 rhymes are included in Welsh's collection, and the arrangement suggests the best order for using them practically, without dropping into any ironclad system.

It may be argued that any attempt at classification of material so freely and variously used as the Mother Goose rhymes is sure to stiffen the work of the class and render it less enjoyable. Spontaneity is more vital here than at any other stage of one's literary education.

What is the secret of the nursery rhyme's appeal to children? Here at least we are face to face with what may be called a final fact, that these jingles do make an appeal so universal and remarkable that any attempt to explain it seems always to fall far short of completeness. Perhaps the best start may be made with Mr. Welsh's suggestion that this appeal is threefold: first, that which comes from the rhyming jingle, as in "Higgledy, piggledy, my fat hen"; second, that which comes from the nonsense surprises, as in "Hey diddle diddle," "Three wise men of Gotham," and "I'll tell you a story"; third, that which comes from the dramatic action, as in "Little Miss Muffet," and "Little Jack Horner." This summary does not differ much from Mr. Walter Taylor Field's conclusions: "The child takes little thought as to what any of these verses mean. There are perhaps four elements in them that appeal to him,—first, the jingle, and with it that peculiar cadence which modern writers of children's poetry strive in vain to imitate; second, the nonsense,—with just enough of sense in it to connect the nonsense with the child's thinkable world; third, the action,—for the stories are quite dramatic in their way; and fourth, the quaintness." Mr. Field also emphasizes the probable charm of mystery in the face of the unknown facts beyond the child's horizon, which appear in many of the rhymes.

Other commentators do little beyond expanding some of these suggestions. All of them agree in stressing the appeal made by rhythm, the jingle, the emphatic meter. This seems a fundamental thing in all literature, though readers are mainly conscious of it in poetry. Just how fundamental it is in human life has not been better hinted than in a sentence by Mrs. MacClintock: "One who is trying to write a sober treatise in a matter-of-fact way dares not, lest he be set down as the veriest mystic, say all the things that might be said about the function of rhythm, especially in its more pronounced form of meter, among a community of children, no matter what the size of the group—how rhythmic motion, or the flow of measured and beautiful sounds, harmonizes their differences, tunes them up to their tasks, disciplines their conduct, comforts their hurts, quiets their nerves; all this apart from the facts more or less important from the point of view of literature, that it cultivates their ear, improves their taste, and provides them a genuinely artistic pleasure."

Professor Saintsbury, as usual, adds a fascinating turn to the discussion when, after agreeing that we may see in the rhymes, "to a great extent, the poetical appeal of sound as opposed to that of meaning in its simplest and most unmistakable terms," he continues: "And we shall find something else, which I venture to call the attraction of the inarticulate. . . . In moments of more intense and genuine feeling . . . [man] does not as a rule use or at least confine himself to articulate speech. . . . All children . . . fall naturally, long after they are able to express themselves as it is called rationally, into a sort of pleasant gibberish when they are alone and pleased or even displeased. . . . It must be a not infrequent experience of most people that one frequently falls into pure jingle and nonsense verse of the nursery kind. . . . I should myself, though I may not carry many people with me, go farther than this and say that this 'attraction of the inarticulate,' this allurement of mere sound and sequence, has a great deal more to do than is generally thought with the charm of the very highest poetry. . . . In the best nursery rhymes, as in the simpler and more genuine ballads which have so close a connection with them, we find this attraction of the inarticulate—this charm of pure sound, this utilizing of alliteration and rhyme and assonance." Those who have noticed the tendency of children to find vocal pleasure even of a physical or muscular sort in nonsense combinations of sounds, and who also realize their own tendency in this direction, will feel that Professor Saintsbury has hit upon a suggestive term in his claim for "the attraction of the inarticulate" as a partial explanation of the Mother Goose appeal.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21 ... 23     Next Part
Home - Random Browse