A History of Children's Books in 100 Books

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Product Details

Firefly Books
Publish Date
9.0 X 1.1 X 11.2 inches | 3.6 pounds

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About the Author

Roderick Cave is a print historian and librarian who has worked with rare book collections and developed information science courses in libraries and universities around the world. He is the author of Impressions of Nature: A History of Nature Printing. Sara Ayad is an art historian and picture researcher, with a special interest in book history.


Although the focus is on Britain and the former British Empire, the authors present a global history of children's literature, tracing from oral traditions and pre-literacy to primers and chapbooks to fairy tales and the Harry Potter novels. Also addressed is the topic of books as technology. Each of the 100 books is highlighted on a double-page spread, and many additional authors and titles are mentioned. The book concludes with a bibliography of websites, books, and articles, in addition to a glossary and an index. With an abundance of attractive color photographs and engrossing text, this highly browsable book will appeal to both students and enthusiasts of children's literature.-- (11/21/2017)
As inherently fascinating as it is impressively informed and informative, "A History of Children's Books in 100 Books" is an extraordinary literary study that is unreservedly recommended for both academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject. A uniquely thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end.-- (11/01/2017)
Closely examines the development of the children's book genre from early folk stories such as Aesop's Fables to modern times with the Harry Potter series; but the main difference between this consideration and similar-sounding histories lies in its fun, detailed examination of children's book design, production, and marketing. Another difference lies in its lovely, oversized illustrations of its history, which will attract general readers as well as those with a prior affection for the genre. Articles cover a range of topics, from how publishing fairy tales became a commercial venture in Victorian times to how different nations adopted the children's literature of other countries. The result is a warmly engrossing collection of intriguing discussions that receive lovely illustrative embellishment and interesting debates.-- (12/01/2017)
The explanations of book history are essential to understanding the significance of the selected works and how they fit into the history of children's books. The 100 selected books are cross-referenced throughout. Delightful illustrations, many of them in color, are included. Highly recommended. All readers.-- (05/01/2018)
Each chapter is divided into clearly labeled major sections that delve into various aspects of the topics, demonstrating the authors' considerable expertise. A 2-page supplement on children's books as historical artifacts is followed by a lengthy bibliography, a glossary, and the general index. The entire volume is richly illustrated in high quality photos from children's books and artifacts on thick, glossy paper with an eye-pleasing layout. The writing is scholarly but easily followed by a general adult audience. This reviewer wonders why other publishers' less-impressive productions are so much more expensive. At this price, every library with a children's collection or readers interested in children's literature, and every librarian with this interest should consider this an essential purchase. LIS faculty might consider it as a textbook.-- (12/01/2018)