A well-documented, thorough history.

MINDERS OF MAKE-BELIEVE

IDEALISTS, ENTREPRENEURS, AND THE SHAPING OF AMERICAN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Who really decides what American children read? Children’s book historian and critic Marcus (A Caldecott Celebration: Seven Artists and their Paths to the Caldecott Medal, 2008, etc.) answers this question by deftly tracing the evolution of American children’s literature from colonial primers to Harry Potter.

The author approaches the story from the little-known perspective of the publishers, librarians, critics, educators and booksellers who shaped the genre over three centuries. Beginning with American publisher Isaiah Thomas, who in 1779 offered American children pirated copies of London bookseller John Newbery’s toy books, Marcus shows the gradual shift from didactic, moralistic texts to illustrated books that entertained as well as instructed. He tracks the 19th-century emergence of entrepreneurial publishers in Boston and New York who recognized the potential kid-lit market in Jacob Abbott’s popular Rollo series and Samuel Goodrich’s Peter Parley tales. He chronicles the post–Civil War competition among children’s magazines like Our Young Folks, Riverside Magazine for Young People and St. Nicholas, which led to publication of high-quality stories and illustrations from the best authors and artists. Marcus provides an in-depth look at the impact of powerful children’s librarians like Anne Carroll Moore, such creative female editors as May Massee and Louise Seaman Bechtel, and emerging critics like Horn Book founder Bertha Mahony Miller. He explores the effects of Children’s Book Week, the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott prizes and the increased mass-marketing of popular culture in comic books, Golden Books, Disney spinoffs and series like Nancy Drew. Marcus notes the rise of multiculturalism, new realism, overseas printing, independent bookshops and single-editor imprints as evidence of the profound social and technological changes in late 20th-century America and astutely parallels trends in children’s books with movements in the larger culture. Throughout he features insightful anecdotes about such luminaries as Mary Mapes Dodge, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Wise Brown, Robert McCloskey, Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), E.B. White, Ursula Nordstrom, Maurice Sendak, Margaret McElderry, Robert Cormier and John Steptoe.

A well-documented, thorough history.

Pub Date: May 7, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-395-67407-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2008

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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