Blue Flower

This post is dedicated to another all-time classic from the field of literature for children. The book is titled A Child's Book of Stories. It's a collection of 86 stories of related although different genres. There are fables, fairy tales and poems from popular collections from Aesop, Perrault, Brothers Grimm, Arabian Nights, etc.

The selection of the stories was done by Penrhyn Wingfield Coussens (1873-1944) but the main reason for the presentation are definitely illustrations by Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935). While the pictures officially belong to her earlier opus, they already possess the magic which earned her the unofficial title of the best American illustrator of all times.

There are only eight color illustrations in the book, a partly colored cover and a black and white detail presenting some kind of gnome. A two-colored endpaper is the last graphic element of the book which was (from the commercial point of view) based on the stories.

The placement of the color sheets with the additional insertion of two-sided illustrations (one side of the page for each story, all excepted from pagination) is another proof of that.

Positions of the pages are only approximately related to the texts of particular stories what is not a very reader-friendly approach. We should look at them mostly as a luxurious addition to the classic tales and stand-alone pieces of art.

Here is the list of color plates with accompanying pictures:

Hansel and Grettel

Goldilocks, or The Three Bears (between pages 18 and 19)

Snow-White and Rose-Red

The Goose Girl (between pages 50 and 51)

Red Riding Hood

Babes in the Wood (between pages 82 and 83)

Jack and the Bean-Stalk

Snow-Drop and the Seven Little Dwarfs (between pages 114 and 115)

 

CONTENTS

 

1. HANSEL AND GRETTEL (by Brothers Grimm)

2. GOLDILOCKS; OR, THE THREE BEARS (by Robert Southey)

3. SNOW WHITE AND ROSE-RED (by Brothers Grimm)

4. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve)

Please note: the version by Madame Barbot de Villeneuve is used (with six brothers and six sisters), not today much more popular version by LePrince de Beaumont without brothers and with only three sisters.

5. THE GOOSE-GIRL (by Brothers Grimm)

6. CINDERELLA: OR, THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER (by Charles Perrault)

7. RED RIDING HOOD (by Brothers Grimm)

8. THE BABES IN THE WOOD (Old English)

9. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK  (Old English)

10. THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOOD (by Charles Perrault)

11. THE BRAVE TIN SOLDIER (by Hans Christian Andersen)

12. THE ENCHANTED HIND

13. LITTLE THUMB (by Charles Perrault)

14. THE HISTORY OF LITTLE GOLDEN HOOD

15. THE STORY OF PRETTY GOLDILOCKS

16. THE PRINCESS ON THE GLASS HILL (by Asbjornsen and Moe)

17. THE YELLOW DWARF (by Madame D'Aulnoy)

18. TOM THUMB (by Charles Perrault)

19. THE STORY OF MR. VINEGAR

20. THE SUN AND THE WIND (by Aesop)

21. THE LION AND THE MOUSE (by Aesop)

22. THE DOG AND HIS IMAGE (by Aesop)

23. THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE (by Aesop)

24. THE FOX AND THE GRAPES (by Aesop)

25. THE STRAW, THE COAL, AND THE BEAN (by Brothers Grimm)

26. THE GOLDEN GOOSE (by Brothers Grimm)

27. THE FOX AND THE LITTLE RED HEN

28. THE LITTLE RED HEN AND THE GRAIN OF WHEAT

29. THE GINGERBREAD MAN

30. THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN YOUNG GOSLINGS (by Brothers Grimm)

31. MR. MIACCA (Old English)

32. THE CAT AND THE MOUSE

33. THE FOOLHARDY FROGS AND THE STORK

34. TIRED OF BEING A LITTLE GIRL

35. THE PANCAKE

36. THE FOX AND THE RABBIT (by Ada Coussens)

37. HENNY PENNY

38. THE OLD WOMAN AND HER PIG (Old English)

39. TEENY-TINY

40. SO-SO

41. WHY? (by Gertrude Sellon)

42. THE FIR TREE (by Hans Christian Andersen)

43. THE MAGIC SWAN

44. THE RAGAMUFFINS (by Brothers Grimm)

45. THE FOX AS HERDSMAN

46. THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF (by Asbjornsen and Moe)

47. HOW JACK WENT TO SEEK HIS FORTUNE

48. PUSS IN BOOTS; OR, THE MASTER CAT (by Charles Perrault)

49. BLUE BEARD (by Charles Perrault)

50. THE BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR (by Brothers Grimm)

51. HANS IN LUCK (by Brothers Grimm)

52. THE NOSE

53. THE SELFISH SPARROW AND THE HOUSELESS CROWS

54. THE WHITE CAT (by Madame D'Aulnoy)

55. THE CROW AND THE PITCHER (by Aesop)

56. WHY THE SEA IS SALT (by Asbjornsen and Moe)

57. THE LION IN HIS DEN (by Aesop)

58. THE BOY WHO CRIED "WOLF!"

59. TIT FOR TAT

60. HERCULES AND THE WAGONER (by Aesop)

61. THE LAMBIKIN (Indian)

62. DIAMONDS AND TOADS (by Charles Perrault)

63. THE MAGPIE'S NEST

64. THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER (by Brothers Grimm)

65. WHY THE BEAR IS STUMPY-TAILED (by Asbjornsen and Moe)

66. THE UGLY DUCKLING (by Hans Christian Andersen)

67. THE FIELD MOUSE AND THE TOWN MOUSE (by Aesop)

68. THE SIX COMRADES (by Brothers Grimm)

69. ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP (Arabian Nights)

70. ONE, TWO, THREE

71. HISTORY OF FIVE LITTLE PIGS

72. THE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

73. JACK THE GIANT KILLER (Old English)

74. I DON'T CARE

75. TITTY MOUSE TATTY MOUSE

76. THE STORY OF THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

77. DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT (Old English)

78. ALI BABA; OR, THE FORTY THIEVES (Arabian Nights)

79. RUMPELSTILTZKIN; OR, THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER (by Brothers Grimm)

80. LITTLE TOTTY

81. LAZY JACK

82. TOM TIT TOT

83. THE UNSEEN GIANT

84. THE THREE SPINNERS (by Brothers Grimm)

85. THE WATER LILLY; OR, THE GOLD-SPINNERS

86. SNOWDROP (by Brothers Grimm)

END

 

The first edition was made by Duffield & Company, in New York (1911). The collection is still being reprinted under the same title and the same errors can still be found. The covers (front and back) are not always the same, but are by default based on the presented full-page illustrations.

 

Here are only a few of them:

  • The Brave Tin Soldier is not attributed (the author is H. C. Andersen)
  • Goldilocks and Three Bears is attributed to Madame D'Aulnoy (the author is Robert Southey)
  • Puss in Boots is attributed to the collection of old English stories (the author is Charles Perrault)
  • Snow Drop is not attributed (authors are Brothers Grimm)
  • etc.