Last January, I read a couple children’s classics. It was fun, but I didn’t read nearly enough. The only solution to that problem is to try again, so I’m hosting the Classic Children’s Literature Event again in 2014. (Last year, I called it a “challenge,” but that sounds like too much pressure, so I’m claiming executive privilege and renaming it.) Even if no one else is, me, myself, and I are very much looking forward to it! In fact, I may well find myself starting in December…
Of course, what’s an event without a RAL title? I’ve been thinking for a long while about rereading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. First published in 1900, it’s over 100 years old–and the movie version turned 75 this year. Sounds like my reread is long overdue. If you’ve never read it, why not? It’s about time!
- During the month of January, read as many Children’s Classics as you wish and post about them on your blog and/or leave a comment on the event page on this blog. I will have a link page starting the first of the year to gather posts so that we may share as we go.
- The optional RAL title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I plan on discussion the weekend of January 24-26.
- I’m not going to be the “children’s classics” police. Use your own judgement for what fits the category but if you want some guidelines, these are what I’m going by:
- I think many of us have read more recent children’s books that we may already deem “classics” (for example, many people feel that way about the Harry Potter books), but for this event, I’d prefer if we read books that were written prior to 1963. This will still allow a lot of options, and will hopefully avoid the “but what is a classic” dilemma! (And yes, 1963 is rather arbitrary. Rebel if you wish, but 50 years old seems a good age.)
- Defining “children’s,” especially prior to 1900 or so can be a challenge as some books we think of as “children’s” today may not have been intended that way at the time. Personally, I’d say books appropriate for approximately an elementary-school aged child or preteen (to read or to have read to them) should be fine. I’d personally also count the various fairy tales, even though some of the earliest versions were not exactly family friendly.
- Feel free to include books from any country, in translation or not. I have limited exposure to non-American children’s lit, so I’d love to learn about books from other countries myself.
- Feel free to double up with other events or challenges if you wish. As a little teaser of my own plans, at least one book I read in January will also double for my 2014 project of reading authors from Ohio.
- Sometime in December, I will post an updated version of last year’s suggestion list, but if you’d like to browse in the meantime, you can find it HERE. Or, there’s always my personal project list, which is a good bit longer!
- There is no deadline for joining or participating (other than, of course, the end of January).
Most important: Have fun!
Please let me know in the comments of this post if you are interested in participating, and let me know if you have any questions. Also, please feel free to use any of the following logos on your own blogs.
Image sources: The event logo illustration is from A Child’s Garden of Verses (Robert Louis Stevenson), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith (1905) and was found on Wikimedia Commons. The RAL logo is adapted from the title plate of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1st edition (1900) and was found on Wikimedia Commons. A digital version of this first edition may be found HERE.