The Bab Ballads

The Bab Ballads by Sir W. S. Gilbert

The Bab Ballads by Sir W. S. Gilbert

The Bab Ballads are a collection of light verse by W. S. Gilbert, illustrated with his own comic drawings. Gilbert wrote the Ballads before he became famous for his comic opera librettos with Arthur Sullivan. In writing the Bab Ballads, Gilbert developed his unique “topsy-turvy” style, where the humor was derived by setting up a ridiculous premise and working out its logical consequences, however absurd. The Ballads also reveal Gilbert’s cynical and satirical approach to humor. They became famous on their own, as well as being a source for plot elements, characters and songs that Gilbert would recycle in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. The Bab Ballads take their name from Gilbert’s childhood nickname, and he later began to sign his illustrations “Bab”.

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The Wonders of the Jungle – Book 1

The Wonders of the Jungle - Book 1 by Sarath Kumar Ghosh

The Wonders of the Jungle – Book 1 by Sarath Kumar Ghosh

How do elephants drink? What is the Law of the Jungle at the water hole? How does an elephant baby learn to feed and learn to swim? How do they walk under water? In what order do buffaloes drink? How do buffaloes fight the tiger? These and other wild inhabitants of the Indian jungle such as pigs, wild dogs, deer, camels, bears and birds are discussed in lively stories to entertain but mainly educate children of school age.

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The Slant Book

The Slant Book by Peter Newell

The Slant Book by Peter Newell

The Slant Book is literally the shape of a parallelogram, with the spine of the book running down one side. When opened, facing pages form a “V” shape. All the pictures on the slanted recto pages show a way-too-precocious infant in a carriage [the “go-cart” of yesteryear] racing downhill who has somehow gotten away from his nanny, gleefully creating havoc all along the way! The facing verso pages contain two stanzas of commentary on the charming –if alarming!– illustrations.

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The Story of a Bad Boy

The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was a child when his father moved to New Orleans from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After 10 years, Aldrich was sent back to Portsmouth to prepare for college. This period of his life is partly described in his semi-autobiographical novel The Story of a Bad Boy, in which “Tom Bailey” is the juvenile hero. Critics have said that this novel contains the first realistic depiction of childhood in American fiction and prepared the ground for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Aldrich went on to associate with many of the literati of his time in New York City.

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The Tale of Benny Badger

The Tale of Benny Badger by Arthur Scott Bailey

The Tale of Benny Badger by Arthur Scott Bailey

Mr. Bailey centered all his plots in the animal, bird and insect worlds, weaving natural history into the stories in a way that won educator’s approval without arousing the suspicions of his young readers. He made it a habit to never ‘write down’ to children and frequently used words beyond the average juvenile vocabulary, believing that youngsters respond to the stimulus of the unfamiliar.”

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Billy Whiskers, The Autobiography of a Goat

Billy Whiskers, The Autobiography of a Goat by Frances Trego Montgomery

Billy Whiskers, The Autobiography of a Goat by Frances Trego Montgomery

This delightful children’s story can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike! A mischievous goat, Billy Whiskers, gets into trouble so often that the book could be named, “Billy Trouble Whiskers”! This humorous story will bring you many chuckles and give you a chance to get lost in Billy’s adventures with childlike enthusiasm. From riding in a police car, to being a firehouse mascot, getting married, and finding himself a circus goat, Billy’s adventures will certainly keep you entertained!

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Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit

Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris

Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris

Uncle Remus’ stories feature a trickster hero called Br’er Rabbit (“Brother” Rabbit), who uses his wits to slide out of trouble and gain the advantage over the slower witted other animals, many of whom are trying to eat him. Br’er Rabbit stories were mostly collected directly from the afro-american oral story-telling tradition and are said to be a direct interpretation of Yoruba tales of Hare. This book contains 11 unique stories and was the last one published before the author’s death.

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Old Mother West Wind

Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess

Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess

Thornton Waldo Burgess was a conservationist and author of children’s stories. He loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books. Many of his outdoor observations in nature were used as plots for his stories. In his first book, “Old Mother West Wind,” the reader meets many of the characters found in later books and stories. These characters include Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Bobby Raccoon, Joe Otter, Grandfather Frog, Billy Mink, Jerry Muskrat, Spotty the Turtle and of course, Old Mother West Wind and her Merry Little Breezes. Note to parents of very small children: in Chapter 15, little Tommy Trout gets eaten by a pickerel.

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My Doggie and I

My Doggie and I by R. M. Ballantyne

My Doggie and I by R. M. Ballantyne

This story surrounds a child waif, a young woman, a young gentleman doctor, and an elderly lady. This tale unfolds the story of a bond that brings these unlikely friends together and merges their separate paths of life into one common path. The bond is “Dumps”, or “Pompey”, the “doggie”. With many twists, turns, and uncertainties, the ending may surprise the reader. All’s well that ends well in this doggie “tail”.

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