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Home / Our Collections / Special Collections & University Archives / Early Children's Books and Illustrations

Early Children's Books and Illustrations

This display contains many children's books which are normally located in Special Collection's Rare Book Collection. These volumes were all published between 1879 and 1917, and contain some of the detailed illustrations created during the time period. Most of the books were written purely for pleasure reading, but others, like the readers, were published for educational purposes.

Second ReaderHarper's Second Reader (1888)

Readers are books students used to practice their reading skills and oral recitations. Its illustrations, formed with lines and dots, were drawn with black ink.

The drawing below is from "The Story of Four Blind Men."Four Blind Men







Eclectic ReaderMcGuffey's Second Eclectic Reader (1879)
by William Holmes McGuffey

This reader's purpose is similar to Harpers and contains the same types of illustrations.

This drawing was taken from a lesson called "A Kind Brother."A Kind Brother







Own SpeakerBoys' and Girls' Own Speaker (1902)
by Laura Agusta Yerkes

This book was written for older children and has black and white line illustrations. As you can see in the drawing to the right, color illustrations are also present.Color illustration








Dutton's Holiday AnnualDutton's Holiday Annual (1891)
edited by C.J. L'Estrange

Dutton's book of poetry and short stories contains black and white line drawings as well as color drawings.

This illustration is from the short tale of "Sulky Sibyl."Sulky Sibyl









Holiday bookFrank Leslie's Holiday book of Pictures, Stories, and Poems for Little Folks (1881)
edited by Frank Leslie

This book contains very detailed black and white line drawings.

The illustration to the right is entitled, "A Kiss for a Bite."A Kiss for a Bite







Little Brother and Little SisterLittle Brother and Little Sister and Other Tales by the Brothers Grimm (1917)
by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm; illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Inside this Brothers Grimm book are exquisite illustrations with subtle color highlighting.

The young woman in the illustration is from the story "The True Sweetheart."True Sweetheart









Hansel and GretelHansel and Gretel and Other Stories by the Brothers Grimm (1900)
by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm; illustrated by Kay Nielsen

The twenty-two stories in this book are illustrated with bright, colorful drawings.

This illustrates the story called "Snowdrop."Snowdrop









St. NicholasSt. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks (1882)
edited by Mary Mapes Dodge

This magazine for children contains black and white line drawings throughout its chapters.

The little boy in the right illustration is from the story "How Joe Bently Won a Bouquet from the Queen of Portugal."Joe Bently








Run About StoriesRun About Stories: Merry Plays for Happy Days (1900)
author unknown

The younger child will enjoy both the black and white, and the color illustrations in this story/poetry book.

This illustrates a poem titled "Sleepyland."Sleepyland







Fairy TalesFairy Tales (1916)
by Hans Christian Andersen; illustrated by Harry Clarke

Harry Clarke used bright, vibrant colors to illustrate Andersen's fairy tales. Also included are many black and white drawings.

This colorful illustration is from the story of "Thumbelina."Thumbelina







Actual exhibit and web version prepared by Susan Witthoft
Special Collections and University Archives
December 1996; January 1997

Last modified: September 6, 2001 (SB)

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