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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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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The Curious Book of Birds

The Curious Book of Birds by Abbie Farwell Brown

The Curious Book of Birds by Abbie Farwell Brown

Now the interesting facts about birds we have always with us. We can find them out for ourselves, which is a very pleasant thing to do, or we can take the word of others, of which there is no lack. But it is the quaint fancies about birds which are in danger of being lost. The long-time fancies which the world’s children in all lands have been taught are quite as important as the every-day facts. They show what the little feathered brothers have been to the children of men; how we have come to like some and to dislike others as we do; why the poets have called them by certain nicknames which we ought to know; and why a great many strange things are so, in the minds of childlike people.

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The Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too

The Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too by Alfred Elwes

The Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too by Alfred Elwes

This fictional work is written in 1st person by the dog himself. It’s a cute story of the adventures in the life of a noble dog who is appropriately named, Job. The canine society in which he lives is an interesting parallel to human society.

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Squinty the Comical Pig

Squinty the Comical Pig by Richard Barnum

Squinty the Comical Pig by Richard Barnum

This comical children’s tale about the funny adventures of a funny pig written by an unknown author. The publisher has hired authors to write children’s tales, and gave them “house names”. The “name” of the author who wrote this tale is Richard Barnum. It became very successful, the most well known of Richard Barnum’s tales. So, if you want to laugh a little, even if you are not a child, read this book.

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American Fairy Tales

American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum

American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum

This collection of fantasy stories was originally serialized in regional newspapers, prior to being published as a complete volume. The stories, as critics have noted, lack the high-fantasy aspect of the best of Baum’s work, in Oz or out. With ironic or nonsensical morals attached to their ends, their tone is more satirical, glib, and tongue-in-cheek than is usual in children’s stories; the serialization in newspapers for adult readers was appropriate for the materials.

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