More Books in the Home is the Object Aimed At in Book Week for Children
From The New York Tribune
November 14, 1920
Santa Claus comes twice a year for children whose families are interested in Children’s Book Week. And tomorrow the big week begins.
1) If parents feel the urge to enter into the spirit of getting good books for their children they certainly will have no complaint to make against the publishers this season. A few years ago the accusation might have been made that good reading for children was hard to get in the books being published, that the old stories were all that there was to turn to. Whether this was true or not, it cannot be said of this season. Both quality and quantity are great in the offerings this fall in children’s books. And just what is Children’s Book Week? “A joint annual effort to encourage the love of books among children and the discussion of children’s reading in communities.”
2) The attention which is being given to children these days, as to their education, their health and their recreation, is extended to their reading. Child welfare includes “more books in the home,” especially more books for children. To parents who throw up their hands over the proposition of finding out what their children want in reading matter, of selecting the right diet for them in books, The Publishers’ Weekly suggests that librarians, booksellers and teachers are near at hand for consultations.
3) New shops and departments, exclusively given over to the handling of children’s books have been springing up on every hand. These are especially attractive, and the goods they handle would be sufficient to make them so if no effort were made beyond stacking these out for buyers to see. Grown-ups will find new editions of the books they read when they were children, in more gorgeous bindings and with better illustrations. They will also find that there is a better variety in new books than there was when they were little.
For Very Little Folks
4) To begin with the books of the seasons which we have received, those for the very little people, are the first to consider. These are not so great in number, but there are other delightful material for reading aloud at bedtime and other times. A new fictional friend may be introduced to children in The Story of Doctor Doolittle, by Hugh Lofting, Frederick A. Stokes, publishers. The kind, inconsistent doctor is an acquaintance almost any child will appreciate. He may not reach the proportions of Alice, or of some of the fairy tale people, or even of Peter Rabbit, but he is an entertaining individual to know, and his adventures remind one of the yarns children sometimes make up themselves. He overcomes difficulties in much the same nonchalant way a child story-teller slides over discrepancies and surmounts impossible situations.
5) The animals which are his friends and pets play a large part in helping him out, and the doctor really doesn’t have to worry a great deal when he has his sagacious parrot, his sensible donkey and his clever monkey to depend on in emergencies. Mr. Lofting knows how to write for children. He sees his story through their eyes and just tells it to them in their own language, never in any way insulting them by talking down to them. If he has to use a word which may be new to some of his audiences, he explains it without spoiling the narrative and goes on.