I have no memory of learning how to read, but my suspicion is that it was with my mother. I dedicate this book to her in recognition of her lifetime love of words and pictures. My son, Aaron, has taught me to see the world anew; my wife, Nancy, has helped me understand what I have seen; my brother, Mark, has shown me how to illustrate experience in unexpected ways.
My editor at the University of Chicago Press, Randy Petilos, welcomed this book when it was a proposal and continued to have faith in its completion. The readers for the Press offered insightful, detailed, and immensely helpful reports that compelled me to enhance and expand my original submission. During the years in which I have worked on this study, I have benefited from the rich resources of the Stanford University Library, the Huntington Library, and the libraries of the University of California, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and Princeton University. I am grateful to the librarians and staffs of these institutions for their assistance and support. When I began work on this project, there was little available online or in electronic form. At the time of its completion, there is a growing body of texts, pictures, and critical material in electronic formats on all aspects of the history of children's literature. I have relied on some of this material, and I hope that my readers will find in this book a provocation to research their own interests, both online and in traditional archives.
I thank the colleagues who have read portions of this book and the institutions where I have delivered sections of it. These include the faculties in the departments of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford