From the Kid Blog at Miss Missy’s School where Marica talks with kids (and their grownups) about reading and writing…I’d like introduce Andrew Lang (1844-1912), author of In Fairyland. More than anyone, Lang was responsible for making fairy-tales popular with children, and grownups as well, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He’s most famous for a series of 12 Fairy Books which were titled using color names. The first of these was The Blue Fairy Book (1889)…
We have been doing some research on fairy-tales. But let’s not call what we’re doing “research.” That sounds too serious, and no fun at all. What we’re really doing is exploring the world of Folk-tales, especially Fairy-tales. That’s much more interesting. In the previous Kid Blog post…
The Water-babies: A Fairy Tale for Land-babies by Reverend Charles Kingsley, first published in 1868. It’s the story of a little boy named Tom who lived in middle of the 1800s. Tom is a chimney sweep–he crawls into the chimneys of rich peoples’ houses to clean out the soot. It’s a dirty job, and he is always tired and hungry. One day
Now, as you know, most dogs don’t usually wear reading glasses and Homburg hats unless their people dress them up (as Beatrix Potter did her pets). Most animals don’t write in shorthand like Missy, or read British detective stories as Rocky likes to do. And most animals don’t talk in real life! To give human characteristics to nonhuman creatures and things is to anthropomorphize them.
What do you think the qualities of a classic book are? Is there anything the stories have in common? Is it something about the characters? Or is it what they give to their readers?
Have you noticed that Aubrey, the homeless hound that Missy and Rocky rescued at the very beginning of Miss Missy’s School: A Pack of Hound Dogs Starts a School speaks somewhat differently from the other Big Dogs? Each of them naturally has his or her own voice, just as individual people do. But Aubrey’s voice is peculiar….
If you haven’t yet read about John Bartlett in the “Epilogue: Old Things and Ways Explained” to Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School, a commonplace book is simply a notebook where you write down sayings, quotations, Bible passages, titles of books you want to read