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Pre-1900 Children's book

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 10 months ago

Pre-1900 children's book


Post a bibliography and summary (at least 150 words) of your book below. Relate the book, using details from the book (include page numbers if possible) to the Macleod reading. If there is a link to your book online, please include the link.

A complete bibliography should look something like this:

Author's last name, author's first name. Title of book. (in italics) Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication.

Rubric: Out of 25

Lack of citation – minus 1

Lack of link – minus 1

Lack of page numbers after quotes – minus 1

Lack of connection with Macleod – minus 5

Under developed connection or disconnection with Macleod – minus 1 to minus 4

Summary under the required length – minus 1 to minus 3

Only read/discussed one chapter in a full book – minus 3




Picture Alphabet of Nations of the World. Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1874.

By: Adam Amir

  • Summary:

In this 10 page Alphabet book, children could view a portrait of ethnicity or nationality that corresponded to every letter – except for Q and X. It showed the awesome diversity of the world – albeit through the elitist and ‘civilized’ lens of its British writer. Each set of pages showed a caricature and had verses about them. The “Hindoos” are depicted as eccentric snake charmers, Mexicans as “idle, ignorant and proud,” (page 7) and Venetians as melodramatic gondola riders. We learn that the author is British because he includes Americans in the book, calling them Yankees. He or she portrays them as quick witted entrepreneurs. Furthermore, when the author compares the Abyssinians to the British, the former’s armies are found “too weak to stand” (page 3). However, they also included letters based on rare peoples like the nomadic quasi-Eskimos of Kamtschadales and Lapland or the South Pacific Islanders of Otaheitia and the Feejee Islands. Finally, the foreign stereotypes were accompanied by geographic information at the bottom of pages with rhyming verse.

  • Analysis:

The MacLeod reading quoted Edgeworth’s Practical Education, where it says that children’s literature should be “the history of realities written in an entertaining manner.” Picture Alphabet of Nations of the World characterizes this dichotomy in children’s literature. It entertains kids by showing the curious, exaggerated traits of foreigners, but also has educational value by teaching geography and culture. While this late-19th century piece can be seen as lacking the Puritan religious undertones of older literature, the author interprets foreign nationality and culture as unchristian, savage and inferior. Therefore, the author and artist are weaving a subtle judgmental and dogmatic commentary in the book.


Amanda Schafer- Yonge, Charlotte Mary."Ella's Dream." The Victoria Tales and Stories.London,1870.


This is a classic story about the importance of manners in a pre-1900's society. The story begins with the introduction of Ella Nairne, the loving 9 year old with the cleanest neatest frock and the most pleasant voice. However, she "did not at all like to give way to her elder brother, Jack...who seldom required her to accommodate him at her own expense,"(1). One day Jack asks his sister to help him with the fishing lines although Ella would have rather stayed and worked on her beading. Reluctantly, Ella obeys her mothers’ instruction to help her brother. Once in the meadow, Ella has a difficult time staying focused on the fishing poles when there is so many more interesting things to look at like flowers, dragonfly's and ripples in the water. Ella soon slips in to a dream. She finds herself in a dreadful maze with no way out, until she sees a "beautiful woman who looked as though she had never stopped thinking,"(7). The woman was full of wisdom and taught Ella of two fairies that may lead her out of the maze, Egoismus and Altruismus. The woman shows Ella through a magnifying glass the paths that she would follow if she chose either of the fairies. The path of Egoismus was one that ended in barbaric actions, theft, corruption, and general selfishness. The other, the path of Altruismus, was filled with selflessness, love and general pleasure. Although the path of Altruismus was that of hard work, Ella decides to change her ways and to never be the selfish little girl ever again. Ella wakes from her dream promising to do better to be greeted by her loving brother who has noticed she has neglected the fishing lines. He hugs her and listens to the wonderful recount of Ella’s Dream.


This story greatly emphasizes the point MacLeod was addressing in her literature analysis in that the book has a definite moral undertone, suitable for parents, and yet is still adventuresome and interesting, appealing to the child. The tale expresses the importance of values and honor to the family, a definite theme in pre- 1900’s literature.




Jennifer Hunt-

“The Tortoise and the Hare.” New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1880.


As one of the most well known of Aesop’s Fables, The Hare and the Tortoise is a short, illustrated children’s fable written around the moral “slow and steady wins the race.”The story begins on “a fine summer afternoon” as a group of animals gather for their daily gossip. In the middle of their exchange of complaints to one another regarding barnyard politics, a young spry hare named Tiby appears and greets the group with one of his many fine words (as Tiby was conceited). Tiby then challenges any takers to a race of two miles. The group was shocked when little Tortums, the quiet, modest tortoise, took the challenge. The group, thrilled with the prospect of the sport cheered on the ridiculous display of what would surely be an obvious failure on the part of Tortums. When the race starts, Tiby races ahead and decides in the most nonchalant way possible that he has pretty much already won and lies down for a nap. He soon falls fast asleep, unknowingly letting Tortums chug ahead, slow but steady. “Hip, hip, hurrah!” cried the animals as Tortums took over the finish line. Tiby soon appears galloping up the road, frantic to win. But it was too late; little Tortums had one the race.

This story is a perfect example of pre-1900 children’s literature, and relates in both content and intent with MacLeod’s article. The moral of the story is easy to understand, and the story is adventurous enough for a young person, especially with the colorful illustrations. The story also holds deeper meaning than just the basic moral. The hare represents youth, arrogance, and greed. The tortoise, on the other hand, represents wisdom and fairness, and wins over the know-it-all attitude of the hare. Religious themes are not prominent, further relating the story to the ideals of MacLeod’s article. Short and sweet, The Hare and the Tortoise is known worldwide for its appeal to children.




Jodi Schneider - Cinderella

Cinderella. London: Frederick Warne and Co, 1880.

The tale of Cinderella is a classic story of rags to riches. Cinderella, a poor youth forced to live with her evil step mother and step sisters following her mothers death, is made to work in servitude. Cinderella works tirelessly making her step sisters look elegant for a Ball when her fairy g-d mother appears and transforms her into an elegant young woman. Upon arrival at the Ball, the Prince immediately falls for young Cinderella however, at the stroke of midnight Cinderella's fantasy world comes to an end. Leaving one of her glass slippers behind, the Prince searches the town eventually finding Cinderella and the two live "happily ever after."

This story reiterates what MacLeod stated in that the story was told in verse. I felt that this made the story flow much better and although the language was slightly more complex it did not take away from the meaning or ability to comprehend. I found the illustrations interesting in that although Cinderella was supposed to be the "poor" character, she was actually made visually more appealing than her step sisters. This interests me because the artist chose to illustrate the characters using their inner beauty (or ugliness), helping to show their true character rather than their superficial advantages or disadvantages.







< Lydel Matthews >

  • Harrison, Weir. The Conceited Pig. London: John and Charles Mozley, 1852.
  • Wilful, a restless piglet, claims to hear screams of animals being slaughter in the night and tries to convince his brothers to explore the farm with him but is unsuccessful. He sneaks out after everyone falls asleep and runs into Jack, a donkey, who also refuses to accompany him in his search for the blue butchers. The story shifts to the hen-house, where Miss Peck is also having trouble sleeping due to leg spasms. This is where Wilful shows up to talk Miss Peck into going on a quest with him to find the Queen so they may tell her “the stars are falling out of the sky,” which is an allusion to his fear of being slaughtered. They disagree on the correct path and split up; Wilful runs into a deceiving wolf which leads him into a den instead of the Queen’s home. The next morning, no one can find Wilful and Jack tells momma pig that he knew all along trouble would eventually catch up with the piglet.
  • The moral quoted directly from the book: “It is to be hoped that all silly little people as fancy themselves wiser than their elders and betters, may learn to correct themselves of such a proud and evil spirit, or we may be sure that cleverer heads then old Jack’s may safely prophesy of them that they will come to no good.”
  • This 35 page book seems appropriate for both genders and the conceited pig’s dialogue is very self-absorbed. The sentence structure consists of many run-ons and the story setup is rather predictable. There are three dark natured illustrations: Wilful escaping the pigpen, Miss Spangle injured on the floor of the hen house, and Wilful’s encounter with the wolf.

Laura Feezor

-Crowquill. Patty and her Pitcher. New York: McLoughlin Brothers, 1880.

-“Patty and her Pitcher” is a moral tale about a young girl who is rewarded for her generous and unselfish nature with the gift of a magic pitcher. As a child, Patty always thought of others before herself and drew her own happiness from giving to those less fortunate than her. One day, a fairy notices this and gives Patty a magic pitcher than upon command, fills with water or milk and also does household chores. This gives Patty the time and resources to “improve herself with books”. Soon after, a Prince falls in love with Patty and takes her and the pitcher back to his palace. Patty is very happy here until spiteful courtiers convince the Prince that she is only after his kingdom and the Prince banishes her to the dungeon. The pitcher comes to her rescue and they both escape as her magical friend unleashes waves of water to stop the guards. Patty returns to her humble home and laments the loss of her husband, whom she still loves. The Prince returns to her home, believing Patty to be dead and deeply regretful of his actions. Upon seeing her in the garden, he confesses his mistakes and begs her to join him again. The story closes as the pitcher, seeing that Patty will forever be happy and with nothing left to desire, gives one last gift and disappears back to the fairy who had bestowed it first on Patty. She and the Prince return home and she is grows old beloved by all.

-“Patty and her Pitcher” is primarily concerned with teaching a moral lesson. Therefore, in this aspect it is identical to the children literature of the nineteenth century. Like the literature MacLeod describes that followed the Puritan age, “Patty and her Pitcher” lacks religious lessons and is concerned only with imparting morality on its reader. Patty’s selfless actions lead to her reward of the magic pitcher and also win her the love of a Prince, teaching children that such traits are valued. It follows the trend in the nineteenth century of secularism. MacLeod states that “writing for children began to change about the middle of the nineteenth century…most obvious stylistic.” “Patty and her Pitcher” does contain such characteristics of children’s literature during this time such as the increased use of feeling and vivid portrayals. The depiction of Patty grieving over her misfortune is quite emotional and this is especially apparent as the author depicts her flowers as “often watered with her tears” (page 15). However, it contrasts with other trends such as the overt romantic descriptions of children, as Patty lacks such.

Melissa Mattson

-André, Richard. Puss in Boots. McLoughlin Brothers, 1888


-Puss in Boots is a story of a charming cat and his down and out master. The story begins when the master’s father passes away and leaves everything to his oldest son. Unfortunately, the master was his youngest son. The only item that the master was able to inherit was the family cat, Puss. Not knowing how he was going to survive with just a cat the master quickly became depressed. After seeing his master’s spirit disappear Puss told his master “Dear Master, do not be so cast down. If you’ll give me a pair of boots and a game-bag you shall never have cause for complaint.” (Puss in Boots, 2) His master did as he asked and Puss set out to help his master. For the next three or four weeks Puss captured game such as rabbits and partridges and presented them to the king. Puss always exclaimed that they were compliments of his master, the Lord Marquis of Carabas. One day when the king was passing through the forest where Puss and his master lived, Puss came up with a brilliant idea. He told his master to take off his clothes and jump in the spring that was close by. Puss ran to the king’s carriage and yelled that his master had been robbed. As soon as the king recognized Puss he immediately stopped. The king was more than happy to help the Lord Marquis of Carabas as a thank you for all the lovely gifts the weeks before. Puss and his master hit it off with the king and in no time was the king offering his daughter’s hand in marriage to Puss’s master, the so called Lord Marquis of Carabas. Of course the master accepted and he, his new wife and Puss lived happily ever after.

-Puss in Boots presents a reality and an overall life lesson. As we read in the MacLeod reading most children’s literature in the Puritan age, and even for some time after that, was focused on teaching children good moral values and lessons they can use later in life. This holds true for Puss in Boots. The underlying lesson in this story is that sometimes we all need help to get where we’re going in life and sometimes that much needed help can come from the most unexpected places. Also, Puss in Boots teaches this lesson to children in a very interesting way. It is very likely for children to stay interested in a story that has a cat talking and walking around in boots. This was a key element to have in children’s literature according to Maria and Richard Edgeworth as stated in MacLeod’s reading.

Lauren Blatter

--Browne, Gordon. "Beauty and the Beast." Gordon Browne’s Series of Old Fairy Tales. London: Blackie and Son; Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin, 1880.

--There lived a very rich merchant who had three daughters; the youngest named Beauty who was loved by everyone she met. The merchant lost all of his riches and was forced to live in poverty. One day there was news that the merchants’ ships had returned and he had to go to port to find out. He promised his daughters presents when he returned; Beauty had asked for a white rose. The merchant went to port and became rich once again and was able to buy the presents for his first two daughters but could not find a rose for Beauty. As he traveled back home he became lost in the woods and ended up at a castle. As he went inside the castle he was welcomed by invisible hands that took care of him all night. When he was getting ready to leave the next day he saw a wall of white roses and plucked one for Beauty. At that moment the Beast had arrived and punished the merchant for trying to steal. The merchant explained his situation and the Beast decided that the merchant was to send Beauty to him in a week or die. The merchant went home and did not tell Beauty what had happened. The week finally ended and there was a horrible message from the Beast. Beauty told her father she would go to the castle because she didn’t want him to die. Beauty went to the castle and was treated so kindly by the Beast, however he kept himself hidden. One day Beauty decided she wanted to see the Beast and after the initial fright they became very good friends and had grown fond of each other. Beauty had a terrible dream that showed her that her father was dying. She asked the Beast if she could go back home and he said yes but asked her to consider marrying him. As she went home and took care of her father she missed the Beast greatly until one night he had appeared in a mirror and told her he was going to die. She rushed back to save the Beast and found him lying almost dead. Beauty declared her love for the Beast and said she would marry him and suddenly the Beast began to rise and turned into a beautiful man. Beauty was frightened but realized it was the Beast. He told her that he was cursed until a young maiden could love him on her own free will. They lived happily ever after.

-- “Beauty and the Beast” is mostly geared toward teaching children a lesson, which is exactly what the literature before the 1900’s signified. It does not have religious aspects like the Puritan literature did but it was mainly used to teach a good lesson: to look within others and it is not on the outside that counts. “Beauty and the Beast” also shows that the stylistic ways of the late 19th century are true. The author describes Beauty in a very romantic way which is how authors came to right as the century went on.

- Website for the book: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/UFDC.aspx?c=juv&m=d&i=9870&p=1



Andrea Sanchez- Clever Hans


Grimm, Jacob. Clever Hans. London: Thos. De La Rue & Co., 1880. 1-28.




Clever Hans follows the story of Hans, a boy who has just been released from seven years of work, on his journey home back to his mother. He starts his travels with a large bag of gold- his payment for his seven years of work. Hans meets a man on a horse, and trades the man the bag of gold for the horse. He is pleased with his trade until the horse bucks him off, so Hans trades a different man the horse for an old cow. Throughout the story Hans continues to make what he deems clever trades after whatever the recent article he has traded for disappoints him. Hans doesn’t realize that the people he is trading with are often dishonest, and are tricking him into unfair trades. After the cow he trades for a pig, then a goose, then two grinding stones. Hans is tired from carrying the stones home so he takes a rest by a well, where the stones fall in. Hans rejoices that the load of the stones has been lifted, and the story ends with, “he sprang on his way, and, free from every burthen, in a short time he was clasped to his mother’s heart. (23)”

The moral of the story isn’t as clear cut as one might think, since the book ended so abruptly. The moral that makes the most sense, is that the things of value in life are not gold, or horses, or pigs, but family and perhaps rest after work. This book wasn’t an example of the earlier Puritan literature that came before it, that would teach something practical such as religion or numbers; it was descriptive and entertaining. There were pictures on every page, and about every other page had colored pictures that would take up the entire page. Clever Hans would fall under the category of later writings, which were characterized by detailed writing and enjoyable literature, but with a lesson.



Chelsey Campbell



Anonymous. The Tailor and the Elephant. Cincinatti, Ohio: Peter G. Thomson, 1882.


This short tale for young children begins with a tailor who is working near a window. As he is sewing happily, an equally-joyful elephant comes by and sticks his trunk in the window and pokes the tailor, thereby irritating the man. Although the elephant meant it only in jest, the tailor did not take to the joke so kindly. In retaliation, the tailor, who was not the brightest human who ever lived, jabs his mending needle in the elephant's trunk. This angers the elephant, who now wants to punish the tailor for poking him. To accomplish this, the elephant goes down to the river, sucks up a trunkful of water, and marches back to the tailor's window to exact his revenge. The elephant then floods the unwary tailor's shop to the point where any more water would cause the man to drown. Although the elephant doesn’t actually drown the man, he most certainly teaches the tailor a lesson about jumping to angry conclusions with someone much bigger than you!


This story follows the pattern of literature in the post-Puritan era of America. Although the tale is somewhat fanciful (it appears to be set in faraway India--at that time part of the British Empire--and involves an animal with seemingly human emotions and scheming), it still has a moral, which is communicated on the last page of the book: When those who are weak and small play jokes on more-powerful people, they end up getting hurt in the end when they can't take what they dish out. This style of writing is common in the mid-to-late 19th century, when the sober Puritan literary style was replaced by entertaining, yet educational, American storybooks. This shift was largely due to the changing American ideas about morality and secularism (MacLeod, 60).


The book is also fairly short, and is designed for, as the back cover says, "the youngest children". It is composed of rhyming couplets and tells the story in a simplified manner, but I found several large, cumbersome words in the text (such as "proboscis" (pg. 4), meaning the elephant's trunk). Perhaps such words were more commonly used at the time, but to me, it seems slightly awkward for a book written for children of such a young age.


--Chelsey Campbell




Danielle Ernst


Bob’s School Days. New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1880.


All the children in the school were loud and playful, but none as bad as Bob. When the Dominie would come into class the others would obey Dominie Crabbe, but Bob led them to become disrespectful and create chaos. Bob would always get in trouble for the bad things he did, but it never mattered to him for he would repeat the same actions the next day. One day Bob decided to tie firecrackers to the Dominie’s coat tail and set them off. The Dominie was unable to distinguish the culprit, but Bob presented himself when he continued to harass Dominie Crabbe. He got a good beating, but did not learn his lesson until he became sick around the holidays. There was no one to care for him since he was at school, but Dominie Crabbe came to the rescue and showed his compassion for the evil child. From then on Bob never disobeyed Dominie Crabbe, but instead looked for ways to “please the good man” (7).


This story is an excellent depiction of Puritan children’s literature. It teaches morals while still keeping the attention of the children with its rhymes and illustrations. The descriptions of the characters presented in this book were quite vivid and colorful, very romanticized. This also follows the pattern of mid nineteenth century literature. In this story, the lesson is to learn to respect authority especially because you might need their help in the future.


Website: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/UFDC.aspx?c=juv&m=d&i=10245&p=1


Alejandra Klorig


Theyre-Smith, Spenser. The Fairy Horn. London: Thos. De La Rue and Co., ca 1880.


The Fairy Horn is about a maiden who is held captive in the castle of a giant and dragon with various other creatures. A young man comes along who is “in troth a pretty sight”(10) with fine, long curling blond hair and violet eyes that “shown with vanity rather than pride”(12). He easily vanquishes the guards and then announces that he is the fairy prince and then blows the fairy horn to break the spell which destroys the castle, kills the dragon and frees the maiden. The prince and maiden the are united, “And love and joy are all his own.” The story is also accompanied by ink illustrations, most which are drawn by the author.

-The Fairy Horn definitely does not have any of the characteristics that MacLeod uses to describe early children’s literature in America other than the fact that it is written in verse. The story has no ulterior motive of teaching and is for entertainment purposes only. The book does not have a moral that I could discern and almost goes against teachings about vanity and pride. There is even a page where the Fairy Prince sees the shields of the fallen guards, sneers and says “that ‘Virtus’ had not conquered all, nor ‘Veritas’ held victory.”(13)


website: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/UFDC.aspx?c=juv&m=d&i=10173&p=1



Kara Adler


•Dickens, Charles. A Child’s Dream of a Star. New York: John R. Anderson & CO., 1881.

•“A Child’s Dream of a Star” is about a sister and brother who are constant companions and who wonder all day long and appreciate various elements of nature. “… They wondered at the height of the blueness of the sky; they wondered at the depth of the bright water; they wondered at the goodness and the power of God, who made the lovely world.”(5) There was one bright star that would come out before the rest and every night the brother and sister watched for it, and before going to sleep they used to say, “God bless the star!.”(7) The sister grew weak and eventually passed but the star still shone through the brothers tears. That night he dreamt of the star opening and creating a path with a train of people who were taken up the sparkling road by angels. His sister’s angel asked, “Is my brother to come?”(10) and he begged “O sister, I am here! Take me!”(10) As time passed the boy lost his newly born brother, his mother, and his maiden daughter to the star’s entrance. From his dreams he believed he belonged to the earth and the star. The boy finally became weary and said “I see the star.”(14) He thanked his Father for so frequently receiving the dear ones that awaited him. “And the star was shinning; and it shines upon his grave.”(15)

•The Puritans were families intent on forming a single-minded community in the wilderness. Their early literature was meant entirely for religious instruction. The concept of family is deeply embedded in “A Child’s Dream of a Star.” Nature serves as a major component of the story by establishing both nature and men as God’s children. The story acknowledges God as the creator of the lovely world and the children bless the star every night. The concept of life after death is also portrayed in the book with the shinning star serving as the path of light to an afterlife. This story contains the same elements of family life and spiritual intensity that were so frequently found in early Puritan literature.








Crystal Frawley


-Yonge, Charlotte Mary. Hasty Harry. London: Frederick Warne and Company, 1870.



-Hasty Harry is a short story about a ten-year old boy named Harry Johnson. He lives with his family at the residence of Sir James Nugent because his father is the head gardener for the estate. He looks up to his father and keeps a small garden of his own. He is a nice boy, but has a bad temper. His classmates call him “Hasty Harry” because of this. Harry and his younger sister, Margaret, like to please Lady Nugent because she is a nice woman and brings them presents. Harry anxiously awaits Lady Nugent’s return to the estate and fixes up his garden very nicely for her to see. One day, he is bored while waiting for her to appear and finds his sister in the summerhouse playing with a kitten. Harry harasses the cat so it runs out into his garden. Margaret runs after her cat, worried, and accidentally destroys Harry’s garden in the process of trying to catch it. Harry loses his temper and shakes Margaret violently. Consequently, he dislocates her shoulder in the process. Harry takes responsibility and feels terrible. Lady Nugent appears just as this is all happening and ends up teaching Harry that he should look at this experience as a learning tool, and should remember it every time he starts to lose his temper so it will not happen again. Harry has one more experience when he raises his hand to hit a boy, and almost causes him to fall into some water. He realizes that the boy could have drowned, and this reinforces the lesson that Lady Nugent had helped teach him previously.

-Hasty Harry relates to the MacLeod reading because it is teaching a lesson as the Puritans often did in their children’s literature. Harry learns through experience (and a little help from an adult figure) that he needs to control his impulses and temper. In addition, it uses religion to help teach the lesson. Lady Nugent makes sure Harry understands that he can “pray for help” (14).


LaQuitta B. Destin


~ Corbett, E. T. Mrs. (Elizabeth T.). "3 Wise Couples". London, Paris, & New York: Cassel, Petter, Galpin, & Co., c1881.




The tale of the "3 Wise Couples", starts off with three elderly women who are on their way on an adventurous walk. One with carrying a basket of berries, one carrying a ladder to climb for cherries, and the wisest one carrying a sun to keep off the sun. They run into many struggles on their trip and they put all of their things brought together in order to reach their main goal of survival. The story then introduces three elderly men, one carrying a gun that did nothing but snap, the second carrying a club and cricket-cap, and the wisest one wore an ulster down to his feet to keep off the heat. Like the women they run into many obstacles. The story ends with the two different groups becoming couples. They put their heads together and accomplish better tasks than they were doing on their own.


"3 Wise Couples" was written in 1881, Macleod describes the time after 1865, to be "The phenomenon of the domestic novel, written by women authors for women readers." After reading "3 Wise Couples", I felt that women audiences would appreciate the book more with it ending in the two elderly groups coupling up. It is also written during the technological improvements in printing and reproduction, which is displayed with the elaborate colors in the book.


Patrick Lynn


Myrtle, Harriet. "Adventure of a Kite." New York: Boston Stereotype Foundry, 1870.




  • The Adventure of the Kite tells the tale of Master Jack White and his amazing kite. One day, Jack White invites two young children to join him in the meadows to fly his kite which he had built as tall as himself. The prepared the kite and the string for takeoff in order for the kite to fly its best. Finally, Jack White runs with the kite, launching into the breezy afternoon sky. The kite soars and soars until the string reaches its end. Jack and the children decide that it is time to return the kite to its earthen home. However, halfway to its launching point, a great gust of wind rises. This sends the kite into a crazy dance of rise and fall until finally the gusts become too strong. Jack and the children are dragged through the meadow, but the children cannot hold on. Jack White, determined to hold on, wrestles with the out of control kite until the string snaps. The children chase the kite through the two adjacent fields, but find themselves disappointed when the kite lands in the trees, knocking a rook nest onto an old merchant lady's stand. Jack is not dismayed by the endpoint of the crazy kite. He climbs to the top of the large tree and recovers the rouge kite. Jack and the children then adopt the young rooks until they are old enough to fly in their native lands.


  • This story illustrates McLeod's writing in the fact it both entertains children with the wonderful story of a pastime they themselves might currently enjoy. If one reads into the story a little more, then you start to see some moral undertones. Jack and the children do not just let the kite fly away into the wind. No, they grasp it tight until it gets away or the string snaps. This shows children to stay with something they enjoy, but things might not always turn out for the best. If you do fail your challenge, then still try. The other moral issue pertains to the young rooks. They show compassion to the birds which they disturbed. Showing children to make amends for those they hurt, Harriet Myrtle helps children to handle everyday situations.

Daniel Goldin



The 3 Youthful Mariners. 1882.



The story of the three sailors starts out quite optimistically for the young boys. Lured into a life of glamour and excitement aboard a merchant ship, the three young boys quit their daly lives on land and run away. However, as soon as their ship lives they begin to discover that this life isn't all it's chalked up to be. A violent storm at sea they find is far more tumultous then on land. The ship is quickly destroyed by the squall but the three young boys survive the initial onslaught, clinging to a piece of the ship's wreckage. Soon, they are marooned on what seems to be a deserted island, however, there is a whole myriad of predacious animals ready to feast. Snakes and lions and tigers and rhinos all compete for the prey, the panic-stricken young mariners. To their avail, the chief of the local tribe on the island is hunting and is able to save them. He takes them back to his tribe where they are fed abundant amounts of food, so much so that they begin to see themselves getting fat. Before long the primal group of tribespeople begin to act very strangely. The three boys realize that they are getting excited about a feast, a feast to eat them! Once more good fortune comes into play, the threee young boys escape just as a merchant ship pulls up to the island from the civilized world. The boys did escape, but things could have easily turned sour. Had they never left home on that mindless day, they would not have had to undergo this foray.


This is the classic story trying to teach youths to appreciate what they have, especially the safe home that they live in. While the home isn't an adventerous place for the most part, it usually is safe and tranquil. This is the writer's persuasion in trying to keep young children from running away.

Jeff Biezunski

"Tony and Puss" 1870

Summary-Tony and Puss is a seemingly simple children’s tale. It begins with Tony being sad that he quarreled with Puss. Little Tony is now all alone with his doll, Punch. Tony goes to his dad for comfort but he barely notices Tony as he is busy looking for something. To gain attention the impatient Tony throws Punch on the floor and cries. Tony tells how Puss spit and swore at him. To make Tony happy Papa gives him barely sugar and still more when he sees Tony is not fully happy. All hopped up on sugar Tony and Papa look for the lost paper to no avail. Tony then gives his Papa barely sugar to comfort him, but it does not fully work. Tony then draws a picture of Puss spitting at him. Very excited with the picture Tony picks up another paper and asks Papa if he may draw on it. To their surprise it was the missing paper! Tony is given barely sugar for his find and is brought to mother to gloat. Mother mediates the quarrel between Tony and Puss and they become great friends again.


Bibliography-Stahl, P.J. Tony and Puss. London: Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday, 1870.


Relation to article-Tony and Puss was published in 1870 which is toward the end of the era that Anne MacLeod wrote about. There is little to no spiritual meaning or references in this book and it deals rather with social behavior. However, it was said that a child in error would cure their ways. Tony was called impatient as he cried and threw his doll when his father was too preoccupied with his paper search to notice him. Tony never learned to be patient and in fact his impatience was rewarded with sugar. Also, the book shows sugar making the child forget his problems, which is merely promoting a bad habit. The son then gives his father sugar to comfort him, but it does not fully work. What will Tony do when sugar no longer makes him forget his troubles? He will perhaps turn to the stronger sugar known as heroine or other assorted drugs. Also, Tony is not taught how to solve his problems with Puss; instead his mother solves the problem. All Tony has learned is that if he pretends to be upset he can snake his poor father for more and more sugar. The book hints at that when they say they will not quarrel again until tomorrow, at least. This book is not exactly like the literature described in MacLeod’s article as it is quite conservative yet it has some negative undertones for children and few positive.

Leslie Scott


W.L.Mershon & Co. ''We Little Folks''Cassell & Company, Limited; New York, London, Paris and Melbourne. c1888


''We Little Folks''is a collection of many short stories that all have different lessons and/or values that the reader can take away with them. The first story tells of a boy who, earlier that day, had pushed a cow into some water with his friends and was fretting about the life of the cow. His obvious state of dismay was not verbally questioned by his mother, who knew all along that something was the matter. When he finally confessed, he was relieved to find that the cow was fine. The moral of the story is to tell the truth and come clean, but ultimately to make good friends with your mother.

Some of the other stories included religion as a part of the lesson. For example, there was a story about two orphans who lived with their aunt and uncle. One day when playing together, they wandered off. The older sister feeling responsible for their bad choice thought back to what her mother had taught her which was that God loved her and would help her in any situation. When they returned to the house, the older sister told the aunt they had wandered and because they confessed, all was well. Another story that included religion was also about two sisters who were playing together for the day. They talked about how if they were kind to one another and pleased God that their mother would not be upset at them if they came home dirty. As they continue in their play, the younger sister asks the older to tell a story. The story that was chosen was about lilies and was related to the Bible. The older sister quoted the verse '...and even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.'

Some other morals that were included in ''We Little Folks'' include a story about a lamb. The lamb would play with two children and during their play he would butt them. As time went on the lamb became rougher and rougher and eventually, the father of the children had to sell him and get a new lamb. The moral of the story was that it is better to be gentle than rough. One last story that had a good moral was about a man and his niece who were going to see some paintings. Outside on the steps was a crippled orhpan boy. The uncle took pity on him and invited him to come inside to view the paintings. After a day of companionship, the uncle offered his help on many levels. He took the boy to the doctor, who instructed the man and his niece how to give the boy care. The boy needed to rest for many days and to entertain himself would draw and paint. Over time, the orphan boy became a great artist and the first painting he drew was of the kind man and his niece. The moral is somewhat like karma: what goes around comes around or to do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.

Some of the other excerpts in this book were rhymes. They teach the reader how to make words flow and rhyme sentences. These rhymes also contain advice or a life lesson.


This book is an excellent example of the early Puritan influences that are talked about by Anne MacLeod. They are instructional in that they provide examples for rhyming words, but at the same time give life values. Morals and values are much better retained when connected with an enjoyable story. The stories in this book included situations to help the reader not only become a better person, but also to give them some religious instruction.



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