Classics of Children’s Literature: The Project!

Can I confess to some relief that it’s February? Reading children’s classics and others’ posts about them was enjoyable, certainly, but it turned out to be a bit time-consuming at just the wrong time for me. I mentioned earlier this year my unexpected new job and the lengthy commute tied to it. On a good day, it takes about 50 minutes to get to work (and the same or a little more to get home). Unfortunately, the weather has been less than cooperative more days than not: snow, fog, rain. Can spring and sun come already?! Also, the work day is over eight hours–I was told that I should average about 44 hours a week depending on work load. The hours are easy to get, actually, but adding it all together, I only have a few hours each day for anything not work related, and it’s easy to fall behind on just about everything. On the other hand, everyone is really nice and gets along well, the work is interesting enough, and the routine fell into place quicker than I expected. Just not much time. I’ve considered formally saying “blog break!” but I don’t think I’ll do that–I just will do a lot more drive-by skimming of other bloggers’ posts and skimp on my own blog. Because, after all, I can’t give up reading. I have a pile of library books next to me now: the library might be on my way home. Oops. One of them, The Princess and Curdie, would even have fit into my January reading theme had it arrived on time (I had to request it). But there’s no blogging rules that just because January is over I have to stop reading children’s classics!

Nor do I want to. I don’t mean to continue in the organized everybody read these books this month fashion, rather in the scatter-shot, get to it when I get to it, but with a plan in the manner of all my many other projects. I believe I’ve gained some readers lately thanks to the Classic Children’s Literature Challenge, so for those who don’t know I really like creating project lists for myself. (And then I generally ignore them–explaining at least one of my goals for the year!) This one is a little different in that I started the project before I generated a complete list, and I’ve been adding titles to it based on the reviews I’ve seen throughout the past month. I won’t say it’s finalized–they never are; all my projects are designed to shrink or expand at my whim–and there is certainly no time-frame attached. This is my longest list to date, other than perhaps my revised Classics Club list, but I’ve already made a nice start on it.

To save space, I left some books (series titles, more recent books) off the list below–the complete list is on the Project Page. When I was researching for this list, I found some interesting-sounding titles which I couldn’t readily find through the library system (which, for me is actually quite extensive–not only do I have easy access to books from a large network of public libraries, but also to many of the books from the many universities in Ohio–yay 21st century technologies!), so unique to this list is some limitation based on what I could or couldn’t get without purchasing. Feel free to offer up comments or suggestions–I’m sure I’ve missed some! If you know of any books from outside of English-speaking countries (available in English), I’m especially interested.

  1. Perrault, Charles: Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals [Histoires ou Contes du Temps passé] (1697, France)
  2. Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, selections (1812, Germany)*
  3. Wyss, Johann David: The Swiss Family Robinson [Der Schweizersche Robinson] (1812, Switzerland)
  4. Hoffmann, E.T.A: The Nutcracker and the Mouse King [Nussknacker und Mausekönig] (1816, Germany)
  5. Pushkin, Alexander: Fairy Tales (1830-34, Russia)
  6. Yershov, Pyotr Pavlovich: The Little Humpbacked Horse (1834, Russia)
  7. Anderson, Hans Christian: Fairy Tales, selections (1830s-70s, Denmark)*
  8. Ruskin, John: The King of the Golden River (1841, England)
  9. Marryat, Frederick: The Children of the New Forest (1847, England)
  10. Afanasyev, Alexander: Russian Fairy Tales (1855-63, Russia)
  11. Ballantyne, R.M.: The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean (1858, Scotland)
  12. Kingsley, Charles: The Water-Babies (1863, England)
  13. Busch, Wilhelm: Max and Moritz (A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks) [Max und Moritz-Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen] (1865, Germany)
  14. Dodge, Mary Mapes: Hans Brinker, of The Silver Skates (1865, U.S.)
  15. Carroll, Lewis:
    1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865, England)*
    2. Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871, England)*
    3. Sylvie and Bruno (1889, England)
    4. Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893, England)
  16. Alcott, Louisa May:
    1. Little Women (Part One) (1868, U.S.)*†
    2. Little Women, Part Second [Good Wives] (1869, U.S.)*†
    3. Little Men (1871, U.S.)*
    4. Jo’s Boys (1886, U.S.)*
  17. Macdonald, George:
    1. At the Back of the North Wind (1871, Scotland)
    2. The Princess and the Goblin (1872, Scotland)
    3. The Princess and Curdie (1883, Scotland)
  18. Coolidge, Susan: What Katy Did (1872, U.S.)
  19. Swell, Anna: Black Beauty (1877, England)
  20. Spyri, Johanna: Heidi’s Years of Learning and Travel [Heidis Lehr-und Wanderjahre] (1880, Switzerland)*
  21. Ispirescu, Petre: Folktales from Romania (1880s, Romania)
  22. Collodi, Carlo: Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storio di un burattino [The Adventures of Pinocchio] (1883, Italy) ¤
  23. Pyle, Howard: Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire (1883, U.S.)
  24. De Amicis, Edmondo: Heart [Cuore] (1886, Italy)
  25. Wilde, Oscar: The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888, Ireland)
  26. Wilde, Oscar: A House of Pomegranates (1888, Ireland)
  27. Turner, Ethel: Seven Little Australians (1894, Australia)
  28. Kipling, Rudyard:
    1. The Jungle Book (1894, England)
    2. The Second Jungle Book (1895, England)
    3. Just So Stories (1902, England)
  29. Falkner, J. Meade: Moonfleet (1898, England)
  30. Grahame, Kenneth: The Reluctant Dragon (1898, England)*
  31. Grahame, Kenneth: The Wind in the Willows (1908, England)*
  32. Horwood, William: The Willows in Winter (1993, England)‡
  33. Nesbit, E.: The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1899, England)
  34. Nesbit. E.: The Railway Children (1905, England)
  35. Salgari, Emilio: Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem (1900, Italy)
  36. Baum, L. Frank: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900, U.S.)*
  37. Wiggin, Kate Douglas: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903, U.S.)
  38. Barrie, J.M.: Peter Pan (1904, 1911, Scotland)
  39. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: A Little Princess (1905, England)*
  40. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Secret Garden (1911, England)*
  41. Montgomery, L.M.:
    1. Anne of Green Gables series (1908-39, Canada)*
    2. The Story Girl (1911, Canada)
    3. The Golden Road (1913, Canada)
    4. Emily series (1923-27, Canada)*
    5. A Tangled Web (1931, Canada)*
    6. Jane of Lantern Hill (1937, Canada)
  42. Porter, Eleanor H.: Pollyanna (1913, U.S.)
  43. Burroughs, Edgar Rice: Tarzan of the Apes (1914, U.S.)
  44. Colum, Padraic: The King of Ireland’s Son (1916, Ireland)
  45. Colum, Padraic: Legends of Hawaii (1922, Ireland)
  46. Lindsay, Norman: The Magic Pudding (1918, Australia)
  47. Lofting, Hugh: The Story of Doctor Dolittle (1920, England)
  48. Finger, Charles: Tales from the Silver Lands (1924, U.S.)
  49. Milne., A.A.: The World of Pooh (1926, 1928, England)∞
  50. Mukerji, Dhan Gopal: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon (1928, India-U.S.)
  51. Potter, Beatrix: The Fairy Caravan (1929, England)
  52. Kelly, Eric P.: The Trumpeter of Krakow (1929, U.S.)
  53. Kästner, Erich: Emil and the Detectives [Emil und die Detektive] (1929, Germany)
  54. Hergé: The Adventures of Tinitin
  55. Ransome, Arthur: Swallows and Amazons (1930, England)
  56. Wilder, Laura Ingalls: Little House books (1932-71, U.S.)*
  57. Kassil, Lev Abramovich: The Black Book and Schwambrania (1933, USSR)
  58. Travers, P.L.: Mary Poppins (1934, England)
  59. Fortún, Elena: Celia novelista (1934, Spain)§
  60. Tolkien, J.R.R.: The Hobbit (1937, England)*
  61. Lakin, Lazar Yosifovych: The Old Genie Hottabych (1937, USSR)
  62. Atwater, Richard and Florence: Mr. Popper’s Penguins (1938, U.S.)
  63. Bazhov, Pavel: The Malachite Casket (1939, USSR)
  64. Volkov, Alexander Melentyevich: The Wizard of the Emerald City (1939, USSR)
  65. Blyton, Enid: Five on a Treasure Island (1942, England)
  66. Saint-Exupéry: The Little Prince (1943, France)
  67. Lindgren, Astrid: Pippi Longstocking (1945, Sweden)
  68. Buzzati, Dino: The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily [La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia] (1945, Italy)
  69. White, E.B.:
    1. Stuart Little (1945, U.S.)*
    2. Charlotte’s Web (1952, U.S.)*
    3. The Trumpet of the Swan (1970, U.S.)*
  70. Goudge, Elizabeth: The Little White Horse (1946, England)
  71. Goudge, Elizabeth: Linnets and Valerians (1964, England)
  72. Jansson, Tove: Finn Family Moonmintroll [Trollkarlens hatt] (1948, Finland)
  73. Rybakov, Anatoly: The Dirk (1948, USSR)
  74. Henry, Marguerite: King of the Wind (1948, U.S.)
  75. Thurber, James: The 13 Clocks (1950, U.S.)
  76. Lewis, C.S.: The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-56, Ireland)*
  77. Rodari,Gianni: The Adventures of the Little Onion [Il romanzo di Cipollino] (1951, Italy)
  78. Gubarve, Vitali Georgievich: Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors (1951, USSR)
  79. Taylor, Sydney: All-of-a-Kind Family (1951, U.S.)
  80. Norton, Mary: The Borrowers (1952, England)*
  81. Green, Roger Lancelyn: King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (1953, England)
  82. Green, Roger Lancelyn: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1956, England)
  83. Sutcliff, Rosemary: The Eagle of the Ninth (1954, England)
  84. Boston, L. M.: The Children of Green Knowe (1954, England)
  85. DeJong, Meindertt: The Wheel on the School (1955, Dutch-U.S.)

* Indicates a reread.
† Published in the U.S. since 1880 as a single volume titled Little Women
‡ A recent sequel to The Wind in the Willows
∞ Contains Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner
^ Nonfiction
§ I hope to read in Spanish
¤ I hope to read in Italian

7 thoughts on “Classics of Children’s Literature: The Project!”

  1. I know what you mean. I’m in the middle of my senior year at university, and work part-time, and still want to spend time with friends and family. It turns out I was only able to read 2 children’s books for the challenge, but that was 2 more than I would have read otherwise so I was very pleased with myself. We do what we can!

    1. Oh for more time! The hard part is deciding what to let go and what to try to actually get done. I’m happy to hear that the challenge was successful for you. Hope you have time for more fun reading!

  2. Fantastic list! I’m quite intrigued by the Ruskin. One of my MA tutors is a Ruskin fanatic, yet I’ve never read him. Since I’ll hazard a guess you’ll make it to him before I do, I’m very much looking forward to your thoughts on this.

    And congratulations again on the new job. It sounds like it’s a great fit for you, despite the inconvenient commute. You certainly settled in much faster than I did. Jealous. 😉

    1. Thank you! I don’t know a thing about Ruskin, so that will be interesting to get to.

      The greatest inconvenience at the moment is all this darn snow we’ve been having. Ugh! (And the gas prices. Double ugh.) I’m hoping for spring soon–I think that alone will make it feel like I have more time. It’s nice that what I’m doing at the new job is very similar to the old job, so that makes it easier to settle into.

  3. Excellent list! I look forward to reading your impressions of these books as you go through them. And I’m very pleased to see that you’re enjoying the new job – despite the transport issues.

    1. Thank you, Caro! I’m looking forward to all these books. I keep eying the weather report thinking that one of these days it HAS to stop snowing, right? Ah, the problem of living in a region with seasons!

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