A Child's Delight by Noel Perrin

By Noel Perrin

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Hawthorne pretends that a quick-witted and inventive sophomore at Williams College named Eustace Bright is adapting the old Greek stories for an audience of his little cousins, as Ovid once adapted them for an audience of grown-up Romans. Eustace's cousinshe has a full dozen of them, from kindergarten age up to about twelveloved the stories, and so did the public. The book was a big success. The Page 26 publishers rushed out a second printing in time for Christmas, and that did so well that in 1853 Hawthorne wrote a sequel that is even better than A Wonder-Book.

What you see him doing in the first picture is planting sweet peas; the beautifully drawn spade with which he prepared their bed lies nearby. In the second he is standing on one foot, watering pansies with the kind of handsome metal watering can they used in preplastic 1903. But back to the story. Johnny has his garden ready in just two pictures and sixteen words. Now what? Now other animals, entering under the Welcome sign, flock in for a garden party. Some are what they fondly believe to be well-dressed: And the Lion Had a green and yellow tie on In Johnny Crow's Garden.

Never mind sending. I'll give you the list right now," I said, and pulled out the notebook I generally keep in my pocket. On the first clean page I wrote, T. H. White, Mistress Masham's Repose. The editor nodded approvingly. "Good choice. That book is famous among librarians, but most kids and most parents have never heard of it. Yes. Let's start with that. " I wrote, Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle, and he gave me a pat on the shoulder, he was so pleased. "I thought I was the only person in Washington who knew that book," he said.

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