Our children’s book catalogue is a treasure trove of classic literature for children. Children’s books remind us that good always conquers evil, that day follows night and summer comes after winter. It’s a special genre of literature that obliges us to understand children’s gentle souls and our catalogue of children’s authors are masters.
Early works for children consisted of oral stories, songs and poems told for the purpose of instruction, entertainment, and instruction. Only in the XVIII century did the idea of childhood appear, which led to the separation in the literature of a new direction for children with their own sections and canon.
French historian Philippe Aries argues in 1962 that the modern idea of childhood appeared only recently. In the past, children were treated no differently to adults. To prove this hypothesis, he cites the following argument: until the eighteenth century there was no specialized literature for children, except for educational and didactic texts by clergymen, such as Elfric the Grammar and the Venerable Bad. Other scholars note the existence of literature designed to convey values, attitudes, and information to children, according to their culture, for example, “Walking Action” of the 12th century.
The genre of children's literature began to take shape in XVIII century Europe with the growth of the middle class and the popularization of John Locke's philosophy. In 1744, John Newbury published his first entertaining book for children, “A Little Pretty Pocket Book” with rhymes, pictures, games and a colorful cover. This book was presented as a gift, it became a harbinger of toy books, popular in the XIX century. Newbury considered it necessary to distribute children's books and was their main publisher at the time. He published both his works and other authors (for example, Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith).
Another philosopher who influenced the development of children's literature was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who expressed the idea of education in accordance with the natural interests of children. Prominent examples that supported Rousseau’s idea include Thomas Day’s four-volume The History of Sandford and Merton (1783-1789) and Practical Education: The History of Harry and Lucy (1780) by Mary and Richard Lowell Edgeworth.
Find these and more at Trieste Publishing website – Children’s Books. Enter a search term such as author or title and if you are not satisfied with the result feel free to contact us - we are here to help.