On a recent visit to my parent’s home, I took possession of a collection of books that had originally been given to my grandfather. The collection is called Journeys Through Bookland and is a compilation of stories put together by Charles H. Sylvester. Several editions of the collection were published over the years; my collection was copyrighted in 1909 and came with an instructional book for parents. The stories in the books appear to start simple, for young children, with nursery rhymes, and gradually moves into more complex and difficult stories.
“This series of books is the result of earnest efforts to present to boys and girls the best literature in such a way that it will appeal to their imagination, enjoyment and inspiration.” – from the Preface to Book One by Charles H. Sylvester
Given the wear and tear on some of the books, it is obvious that several generations of children have enjoyed the stories contained on these pages. I thought I would share some selections with my readers. If you would like this as a regular feature, please let me know. There are a total of 10 volumes, so plenty of good stories to go around.
Daffy-Down-Dilly has come up to town
In a yellow petticoat and a green gown.
Five Little Pigs
This little pig went to market;
This little pig stayed at home;
This little pig had a bit of meat,
And this little pig had none;
This little pig said, “Wee, wee, wee!
I can’t find my way home.”
The Boys and the Frogs
Some boys were one day idling by the side of a pond, and whenever a Frog lifted its head from the water, the boys would pelt it with stones.
“Boys,” said a Frog, “this may be fun for you, but it is death for us.”
C.H.S. note: The old fables were written to teach a lesson of some kind, and it was usually stated in a “Moral” at the end of the fable. We do not need to be told the moral of this little piece, but it is a great deal bigger and broader than one might think. Many times we are stoning frogs when we play a practical joke on our friends, or frighten children younger than ourselves.
I will leave you now with these little morsels. If you would like to see more, let me know.