Children's Literature: A Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter

By Seth Lerer | Go to book overview

Epilogue
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE AND
THE HISTORY OF THE BOOK

From the beginning, children read their books with pictures. The little fragment of papyrus from Byzantine Egypt that recounts the labors of Hercules survives with an illustration of the hero and the lion just barely intact.1 Other illustrated texts survive from early periods. Manuscripts of Terence's plays (one of the mainstays of the classical and medieval schoolroom) appeared throughout the Middle Ages with pictures of characters and scenes.2 The Psalter, the collection of psalms from which Christian children learned to read for a millennium, often featured highly wrought initial letters, depicting the psalmist David or the subject matter of his poems.3 Two English manuscripts of the early sixteenth century, probably made for purposes of teaching aristocratic children, present illustrated beasts and flowers with such vividness and color that they seem to transcend the old medieval categories of the bestiary and the herbal and rise to the level of pedagogic art.4

Among the first books printed in Europe were Aesop's fables, which were often graced with elaborate frontispieces illustrating Aesop himself and the animal inhabitants of his stories. The early printed volumes of the Puritans, from James Janeway's Token for Children to The New England Primer, offered illustrations, as did John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (recall that Benjamin Franklin praised the edition “with copper cuts” that he purchased as a teenager). John Locke made clear that teaching worked best when text came with pictures, and he put this principle into practice in his fully illustrated edition of Aesop. Indeed, for many modern readers, the phrase “children's literature,” and especially “children's books,” connotes a volume in which pictures take precedence over text.

-320-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Children's Literature: A Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 385

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.