The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."

Volume 3, 1892/93, pgs. 797-798

"En hoexkens ende boexkens."

Our readers should see the Girl's Own Paper for November and the four months following. Under the title of "A New Departure in Education," an anonymous writer sets forth education on "our" lines from an independent standpoint. It is gratifying that the writer of so able a paper should feel so strongly the importance of P.N.E.U. work, and should recognise the fitness of the various schemes, "House of Education," "Parents' Review School," &c., by which we are endeavouring to bring about a reform in the aims and methods of education. The writer we have referred to gives physiological reasons, most clearly and tellingly put and illustrated by diagrams, for the truth, as we hold it, and it is for the sake of this admirable instruction about "brains" that we are anxious that our readers should study these papers. We wonder will they think that they recognise the masterly touch of the writer?

Mr. [Edward] Arnold sends us four charming volumes for review belonging to the Children's Favourite Series. [Edward Arnold is the publisher; these are compilations.] These little books (2s. each) are said to be beautifully illustrated, and so they are, notably "The Story of a Donkey," in My Story-Book of Animals. And what a charming donkey he is! A Spanish donkey, belonging to a Spanish milkman, who carried out milk for his sick master, all on his own account, knocking at closed doors "just like a Christian." All the stories of animals are very engaging.
Rhymes for You and Me is another treasure-trove for the babies. Good, big print, pretty pictures, and delightful rhymes, young enough for the little folk. We all know Blake's "Little lamb, who made thee?" But we cannot always give the children poetry, because not every poet has the gift to take the measure of a child's mind. So let us be thankful for attractive rhymes. Miss Alcott's "Song from the Tub" will be a favourite, and so will "When I am a man," by an anonymous author. Josephine Pollard's "I-No and U-No," is capital.
My Book of Fables, chosen chiefly from the famous old fables of Aesop and others, dear to children of all ages, is a little book parents will be glad to see. The fables are slightly written down to children of nursery age, the pictures are amusing, and the type good. All the old fables, "The Woodman and the Trees," "The Farmer and the Stork," "The Dog in the Manger," "The Fox and the Crow," "The Fir-tree and the Bramble," "The Wolves and the Sheep," and many more are to be found here.
The gem of the series is, perhaps, Deeds of Gold. The frontispiece is "The Lady with the Lamp," the statue of Florence Nightingale. The first chapter strikes the keynote, "What is a golden deed? It is a deed done for the good of others--a deed that shows that we think more of others than we do ourselves." What is a golden deed? It is an act of mercy, of love, of pity, in which the doer forgets self, and is willing to dare all things, risk all things, endure all things, to meet death in a moment, or to wear out life in slow endurance for the good of others." We have the story of Willie Hayward, who saved his brother and sister when the cottage of the family near Folkestone was destroyed by a landslip. There is a charming Tyrolese story of "Hans the Cripple," who saved his native village from the French. Another of "Karl Springel," whose name is known half over Germany for a great deed of self-sacrifice. He, too, is a cripple, and throws himself on the line before an advancing train, as the only means of saving the passengers from being hurled into the abyss, the bridge across which had been wrecked by a storm. Upon his tombstone is written, "Karl Springel, aged 14, he died the death of a hero and martyr, and saved 200 lives." That most heroic of all tales--of the Dutch child, who saved his town by thrusting his chubby finger into a leak in the dyke, and keeping it there through the live-long night--we have here done into rhyme, which is hardly an improvement. There is a lovely story of Amy, who saves her brothers and sisters in a fire, and learns, "That even a child, with a heart of love," may do a golden deed. But we are not told Amy's name nor her dwelling-place. There follows a story of Margaret, who is the means of saving a crew of drowning men; but neither is her name disclosed. Happily, the story of Alice Ayres is given with full details. Bret Harte's "George Nidisor" needs no comment. These are only a few of the inspiring tales of heroism in this book of Deeds of Gold. But why in the world is the title so similar to that of Miss Yonge's charming collection of Golden Deeds?

Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co. send a volume of "The Playtime Library," entitled Where is Fairy-land? It is delightful to find the author [Joseph F. Charles] of Modern Thought and Modern Thinkers--who is not unknown to the readers of the Parents' Review--catering so happily for the children. His theme is an old one, he tries to awaken in the children a sense of the majesty and the mystery which enwraps this unintelligible world. By giving what we docket as "The forces of Nature" some degree of personality, he endeavours to open children's eyes to the fact that there is nothing so marvellous as the commonplace. Children like this sort of thing, when it is well done, because they really do "want to know." We often forget that a desire for knowledge is as native and more insatiable in a child than the appetite for food. We heard of a child the other day, who delighted in A.L.O.E.'s Fairy know a Bit, just because this fairy told her many things she wanted to know. Mr. Charles' little pair, Fred and Dona, are delightful. We only wish we could hear more of them, their nurse, and their father, the "astrologer." We are not sure that "a spray of the sweet Alpine rose" is an apt description of the plant in question.

Messrs. Macmillan & Co. send Mrs. [Mary Louise] Molesworth's The Girls and I. It is hardly necessary to say a word about the work of so popular an author. The Girls and I contains some really interesting studies of child character. Perhaps "Jack" or "Jock" is placed rather at a disadvantage in having to tell his own tale and confess himself a little bit of a prig, but one now and then comes across just such children, with inherited qualities quaintly marked, as those of "Jock". Mrs. Molesworth is always delightful.


Proofread by LNL, August, 2023