Monday, 2 March 2015

One Hundred Books Famous In Children's Literature

Winnie The Pooh by AA Milne
This is the catalogue of a marvellous exhibition held in the Grolier Club in New York between December 2014 and February 2015 and curated by a friend, Chris Loker. I first heard Chris talk about this project in 2011 and was greatly intrigued as to which books would be included among the list she was putting together of The One Hundred Books Famous In Children's Literature. The catalogue itself is a work of art, containing beautiful illustrations of the books' covers and fascinating detail about their original publication and their authors as well as some erudite essays on subjects such as their illustrations. The whole exhibition was the result of five years intensive scholarship.

The exhibition of the books - mostly priceless first editions printed between 1600 and 2000 - was a great success and attracted wide attention. Everyone has their own much-loved favourites and few are omitted, and though I would have loved to have included 'Harry, The Dirty Dog', no one would argue with the inclusion of classics like 'Struwwelpeter', 'The Wind In The Willows', 'Winnie The Pooh', 'The Secret Garden', 'Le Petit Prince', 'Barbar' and of course the comparatively recent 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' and 'Where The Wild Things Are'. But two more of my childhood favourites, long forgotten, also featured - 'The Story Of Ferdinand' and 'The Children Of The New Forest', so this was no mere roll-call of predictable best-sellers.

A full listing of the 100 books is here
You can order a copy of the catalogue online here.
A link to the New York Times photographs of the exhibition is here

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Le Petit Prince by Saint-Exupery

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Peter and Wendy by James Barrie

Barbara by Jean De Brunhoff

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein

The Cat In The Hat by Dr Suess

Strewelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann

100 Books Famous in Children's Literature


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