Tuesday, February 21, 2012

E-catalogue 21: Children's Books

Tatters, the Puppy
Through the stories and images we encountered as children, the landscape of our minds has been peopled with characters that have become iconic in our culture: those who grew up in the era following the Second World War, for instance, have no trouble identifying an illustration by Dr. Seuss. Those from the era before that conflict are as well-versed in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its many sequels as the youth of today are with the story of Harry Potter.

The objects of childhood offer a view of life as it once was, because of their role in the shaping of young minds. Consider the moral message behind The Errand Boy from 1821, in which young Tom is rewarded for overcoming his laziness. Messages such as this are essential to building the character of society, but if there was not an element of wonder to these objects, they would not hold the interest of a child for long. Some of these books feature sumptuous illustrations that transport a young mind to the distant lands of the Arabian Nights, or provide instructions on how to print illustrations using a potato, while others offer an interactive experience well before the age of cinema with moving and speaking pictures.

 It is in this spirit of wonder that we offer this selection of children's books and objects.

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