The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
"En hoexkens ende boexkens"
I limit my books this month to three or four -- all fairy tales. The first and by far the best is "English Fairy Tales," by S. Joseph (Nutt, 6s). This is a treasure trove. Many of the stories are new even to professed fairy-tale readers, and several are old stories in a new dress. The preface is sensible, the illustrations by Mr. Batten are excellent, and the learned notes at the end give the student just as much light as he requires. The best stories are "Cap o' Rushes," "Mister Fox," "The Fish and the Ring," and "Tom Tit Tot."
Mr. Lang has added to our fairy books by publishing the "Red Fairy Book" (Longmans, 5s). This is a second gleaning in the fields of fairyland. The authorities laid under contribution are Madame D'Aubrey, the Volsunga Saga, M. Henri Carnoy, and the well-known Ashbgoensen and Moy. The illustrations are even better than those in Mr. Lang's "Blue Fair Book" (Longmans, 5s), which delighted all children a year ago.
Mr. Frank Stockton has written with kind regards to good giants and fairies a series of charming tales in his own peculiar way -- "Ting-a-ling Tales" (3s. 6p.). There are only four or five, but for children they are fifty, for each tale contains many funny incidents which an experienced mother or sister may well enlarge. They illustrations are not so good as those noticed above.
Mr. Oscar Wilde (O that he could always write for children and not for a world that has forgotten its simplicity) has published a second edition of "The Happy Prince" (3s. 6d.), with illustrations by Walter Crane. The book is worth its price even for the first tale alone. Children will not undersand the irony, but they will grasp the simple lessons which this book tries honestly to enforce.
Messrs. Sonnenschein publish a "Fairy Library of All Nations" (5s. and 3s 6d per volume). Perhaps the books are more suited to the student than to the child, but the bad may be easily let alone, and the good may be worked up in such a way that the good fairy tales, now so few, will be materially added to.
I should be very glad if readers of this Review would send to me the names of any collections of fairy tales of which they or their children are especially fond.
Those of us who grew up upon "Joyce's Scientific Dialogues" will greet Mr. Steel's book with the warm appreciation it deserves. One science at a time, and that learnt well, may be a sound dictum, but we who are thankful to the fat, stumpy, little "Joyce" of our childhood for placing before us many open doors will rejoice in an introduction of such marvellous lucidity to the whole circle of nature sciences. If Mr. Steel is to be placed second to any for this quality of lucidity, it is only to Huxley himself; and to be named in the same breath with this master of the craft of teaching is to be accredited with the clearness of style and simplicity of arrangement that belong to thorough mastery of a subject. The mother who wants to give an answer up to date to her children's puzzling questions -- Why are the leaves green? Why does the echo repeat our words? -- should get The World of Science. We hope that the succeeding volumes of the important Science Series which Mr. Steel is editing may not fall below the introductory volume.
Typed by EnglishHomeEducator, Apr 2017
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