From the Library of Congress:
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week (April 29 to May 5), today the Library of Congress launched a unique online collection of 67 historically significant children’s books published more than 100 years ago. Drawn from the Library’s collection, Children’s Book Selections are digital versions both of classic works still read by children today and of lesser-known treasures.
As part of the longest-running national festivity of books for young people, over 1,000 schools, libraries and bookstores will celebrate Children’s Book Week in all 50 states. In 1913, Children’s Book Week originated in the belief that children’s books and literacy are life-changers.
From Humpty Dumpty to Little Red Riding Hood, the books in this collection were published in the United States and England before 1924, are no longer under copyright, and are free to read and share.
Highlights of the collection include examples of the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway.
“It is remarkable that when the first Children’s Book Week was celebrated, all of the books in the online collection we will be reading today already existed,” said Lee Ann Potter, director of the Learning and Innovation Office at the Library of Congress. “There is something powerful to me about how voices of the past and voices of today will be converging — because careful stewards insured that these books have survived, they all live together in the nation’s Library and new technologies are making them more widely available than ever.”
The selections span many generations and topics, and reflect three central themes: Learning to Read: Materials produced to teach American children to read: ABC books, primers and a wooden hornbook. Reading to Learn: Materials that support classroom instruction in subjects such as mathematics, classical mythology, natural science and the structure and function of the Unites States government. Reading for Fun: Materials to nourish the imagination: fiction, poetry, fairy tales and toy books.
Learn More About this New Collection! See: Children’s Book Week: Classic Freebies (via LOC)
Local authors and illustrators each read a book from the historical collection for a public read-a-thon.