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Children's & adolescent's literature timeline

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Children's literature, media, literature, literacy, & language arts - home page

To search this page use ctrl f and enter your keyword or words!

This timeline includes events and media to explore the history of children's literature and its development.

While communication, media, literature, literacy, and the tools necessary to be literate are not always in and of themselves specific to children's literature, many are necessary to create and enjoy it.

Therefore, the timeline includes a few examples that are not exclusively within children's literature, but are necessary for its development. For example media with which to communicate.

I have used timelines with midde level level learners, undergraduates, and graduate students.

Explore and draw your own conclusions. Enjoy!

Might want to explore a brief introduction on the development of children's literature.

Then, consider your own historical research: suggestions & ideas to research the history and development of children's and adolescent literature.

A historical study of literature and the human culture, that creates it, needs material artifacts (carvings, clothing, crafts, statues, paintings, books, film, electronic data …) with sketchs or symbols to study.
However, artifacts do not survive forever, and artifacts that do survive, do not provide an accurate representation of all the diversity our ancestors created. Much has been lost with their choices of what to create, what not to save; and with what they did save often now being incomplete, as time decays all.
Thus, what has survived communicates a bias of what represents the origins of our human culture and literature. Biased, both positively and negatively, by the people who made choices on what to preserve and what has decayed over time.
While also, most likely, providing us with an underestimation of everything that was created and a lack of diversity of what was created through our history. 

Date Event
540,000 - 430,000
Years ago
Shell with etchings

A Shell with zig-zag etchings is left at a site on the Solo River in Java. It is found by Eugene Dubois along with bones classified as Homo-erectus, Trinil 2 sart. Is the shell art, doodles, or a means for communicating?

Source: Jonathon Keats: in Discover July 2015

Also Smithsonian article

Explore more early artifacts on our Technology, science, math, engineering (STEM) timeline

120,000 B.P.

aurochBoneCarvingAn auroch bone fragment engraved with six lines is left at a site in Israel. Art, communication, doodling?


45,000 B.C.E. Carvings: on mammoth teeth, ivory, bone, antlers
20,000 B.C.E.

Cave drawings: could have been warnings, messages, recorded history, maps, or Illustrations or prompts for

Oral traditions: see rock art dogs, bison sculptures, cave art pig,
Other media

  • Notched sticks
  • Rope quipu
  • Wampum

What is writing?

Writing is a product of civilization, but it is not a necessary product of civilization.

Writing seems to evolve in a social group context (religious, political …) starting with symbols, which gradually became associated with sounds.

Also created hieroglyphics: sacred writings, which are carved or painted on to into bone, stone, hides, skin, ceramics, wood, bark, and later on papyrus.

3500 B.C.E.

imageCuneiform is wedge shaped symbols pressed into clay tablets by the Sumerians who live along the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers, in Mesopotamia.

Stone is scarce so they use clay tablets and a stylus to create pictograms and ideograms. Such as: an open hand = peace, closed hand = war, crown, dish... Later started to use phonograms, which will also be used in European alphabets and Chinese characters. However, there lacks clear evidence of any links from Mesopotamia to Egyptian hieroglyphs, Chinese characters, and Mesoamerican scripts.

Writing is a product of civilization, but it is not a necessary product of civilization.

Writing seems to evolve in a social group context (religious, political …) starting with symbols, which gradually became associated with sounds.

Also created is hieroglyphics, which are sacred writings that are carved, painted, and later brushed on papyrus.

Among the Sumerians tablets is what might be the oldest recorded story?

An English version of the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Humbaba, and an image of a statue of Gilgamesh, in the Louvre Museum.


Sample of Gilgamesh in cuneiform.

3000 B.C.E. Papyrus is made by by placing strips of papyrus crisscross on a flat stone. Then treated with a gum solution, pressed and pounded, polished, and added to a continuous scroll. Wrote with reed brushes.
1450 B.C.

Pottery shard with lettersA clay pot in Canaanite is inscribed with six letters on two lines.

It may be the first use of the alphabet. It is believed the first of two lines spells the word ebed, meaning slave or servant combined with the name of a local god to symbolize devotion. The second line nophet, meaning nectar or honey.

What do you think the message is?

1400 B.C.E.

China writing on bones - Oracle bones Shang China

Oracle bone


1270 B.C.E. Syria oldest encyclopedia?
770 B.C.E. Alphabet, comes from the first two letters of Greek alphabet: alpha and beta.
  • Hebrew and Arabic creates the first alphabet
  • Phoenicians didn't have vowels. They borrowed ideas from the Egyptians.
  • Greeks took some sounds from the Phoenicians and developed the first writing to represent all sounds with 24 letters.

See chart that compares early languages and the evolution of the alphabet

550 B.C.E.

Aesop’s Fables  are written.

Most are tales with animals who are the anthropomorphic (human characteristics) characters with a short story line with a moral (lesson or theme about what is wise or right and wrong). They have been popular throughout history from which ideas have been used in various stories and media to entertain children and cnovey moral messages. Aesop may or may not have been an actual person, however, legend claims he was a slave who gained his freedom and became a wise advisor to a king.

His fables are translated into English in 1484.

50 B.C.E. China write on bamboo, silk, wood
Greeks created more than an alphabet. They wrote excellent literature, myths, plays, stories, and informational materials about politics, science, and philosophy. Characters included Hercules, Theseues, and the Olympians, ...
200 B.C.E. Codex, skins, vellum, or parchment was durable and easier to write on, fasten pages into a book or make a scroll. Monks copied many pages and put them together into books and manuscripts.
0 B. C. E. ---------- C. E.
105 C. E.

Paper originated in China. Its use spread to the middle east in 500, Italy 1270, and Europe 1300.

Paper is introduced westward with Arab trade and expansion. It becomes the preferred surface for writing and printing as it can be quickly made and in large quantities. It is light, flexible, and can reliably be printed on. As a result, it will replace the use of costly parchment, made from animal skins.

Romans: copied books, wrote on wood tablets and covered them with wax. Latin word liber is root word for library.

Book comes from boc, Anglos Saxon word for beech, since they carved letters into slabs of beech bark.

See nice history on development of the modern hardback book.

220 Chinese invented wood block printing to print on textiles
868 First Chinese book - Diamond Sutra - printed with wood block printing
990 - 1051 Chinese invented ceramic movable type.
640?-70? Aldhelm abbot of Malmesbury, First to write lesson books in either rhymed or question-and-answer form.
1033-1109 Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote an encyclopedia on manners and customs, natural science, children's duties, morals, and religious precepts to instruct and instill principles of belief and conduct.

Scroll of Animals, Toba Sajo.

1066 A story in textile about the Invasion of England or the Battle of Hastings (1066) told in thread - Sites for the Bayeux Tapestry


1200 - 1799


Date Event

The Grolier Codex. consists of eleven damaged sheets of fig-bark paper that is an almanac for the planet Venus. It is thought to have originally been about twenty pages. It is written and illustrated in a combination of Maya and Mixtec

Maya codex pages


1300-1500 Chinese movable type first wood then metal. Was tedious because it required thousands of characters to complete a book.

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

The tale of Three Young Men and Death


Johann Gutenberg is the first to use movable type with a printing press (probably adapted from an olive or wine press) to print a complete book with this method. See STEAM timeline

  • Movable type is first made with wood blocks and later metal plates.
  • Johann uses small metal prisms (lead) that are precisely cast in large quantities so they can be set into a grid, used, reset, and used again.
  • Printing and movable type also meant a choice of style of text from hand written (calligraphy) script, written by scribes to print used by printers with the printing press.
  • The big advantage at the time is: faster production and lower cost. Later readability along with communication for different styles and tones will also be considerations for chosing one over the other.

The first book he prints is the Gutenberg Bible. He also prints and sells other religious stories and playing cards.

  • Gutenberg prints 180, two-volume Bibles in his workshop in about 1454.
  • Before that, books are copied by hand and the process takes about a year.
  • Gutenberg prints his in about six months.
  • Each Gutenberg Bible has nearly 1,300 pages and weighs about 60 pounds. It's written in Latin and printed in double columns, with 42 lines per page. Most on paper, a few on animal skin, known as vellum.
  • His press, prints the black letters and decorations were added by hand along with bindings for each buyer's taste and budget.

William Caxton was the first printer in England. Some titles he printed were: Caxton's Book of Curtesye, Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, The Boke of Histories of Hason, The Hi

torye of Reynart the Foxe, and The Fables of Aesop's
History of printing in England and William Caxton is described in the children's historical fiction book Bendy's Quest. (Map)


Miss Campion holding a hornbook, 1661. From Tuer’s History of the Horn-Book.Hornbook had the alphabet (some upper and lower case letters), sometime common letter combinations and syllables, numerals, and the Lord's Prayer. It was a block of wood with a single parchment or sheet of paper covered with transparent horn to protect the paper, fastened with strips of brass around the edges, with tack heads to protect the horn from scratches, and some could be hung around the neck or on a belt.

Right. Miss Campion holding a hornbook, 1661. From Tuer’s History of the Horn-Book.

Supposedly Queen Elizabeth I used a hornbook and it's still in existence and she is believe to have given a silver hornbook to Lord Chancellor Egerton. Source

1476 Caxton's printing press
1484 Aesop's Fables - translated and printed in England by William Caxton
First books that children read were written for adults
1487 Les Contenances de la Table, by Jean Du Pre? first printed book intended to be read specifically by children, other than Latin grammar books a French book of rhyming quatrains on table manners.
1516 Sir Thomas More writes Utopia, first use of the word, utopia, that means an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect: paradise, nirvana. Opposite is dystopia.




Dorothy Penn writes that Mexico had a printing press in 1539 that printed booklets in Spanish to instruct Native Americans in the christian faith.
The book, Doctrina Breve, written by Juan de Zumárraga (first bishop of Mexico) was printed in 1544.
The book, Doctrina Christiana, was the first book printed in South America, Lima in 1584. Religous information translated into Native American languages.


Shakespeare’s writings are adult literature. However, children and middle level learners become familiar with Shakespeare as a famous writer. How he is presented to children is for you to decide. Examples at Shakespeare for Kids.

One way is to share phrases used in his work. He may not have been the first to use them, but he helped popularize them throughout the world.

  • A laughing stock (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
  • A sorry sight (Macbeth) As dead as a doornail (Henry VI)
  • Eaten out of house and home (Henry V, Part 2)
  • Fair play (The Tempest)
  • I will wear my heart upon my sleeve (Othello)
  • In a pickle (The Tempest)
  • In stitches (Twelfth Night)
  • In the twinkling of an eye (The Merchant Of Venice)
  • Mum's the word (Henry VI, Part 2)
  • Neither here nor there (Othello)
  • Send him packing (Henry IV)
  • Set your teeth on edge (Henry IV)
  • There's method in my madness (Hamlet)
  • Too much of a good thing (As You Like It)
  • Vanish into thin air (Othello)

Source Jamieson, Lee. List of Phrases Shakespeare Invented. ThoughtCo.

1605, 1610

CervantesDon Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes, published in 1605, was an instant success and is considered the best Spanish novel of all time along with a second volume, published in 1615. Cervantes drew from his experiences to write a popular piece of fiction where a middle aged man, Don Quixote, is the main character.

Inspired by chivalrous ideals he gained from his literary past he arms himself with a lance and sword, mounts his trusty steed (old nag), Rocinante, and sets out to defend the helpless. In his quest he befriends, Sancho Panza, who becomes his loyal and faithful squirer as they travel La Mancha in search of adventure and glory to honor the Princess (peasant women) Dulcinea del Toboso. Cervantes has described his books as humerous tales to undermine ideas in other "vain and empty books of chivalry".

1630-1790 Chapbooks - Jack the Giant Killer
Chapbooks inexpensive books from a penny that were sold by peddlers (chapmen). They had 16, 32, 64 pages that were usually folded with no binding or fastener.
They included any stories that could be found retold in a drastically condensed version.
All literary quality or charm was lost, the grammar was often faulty. It was action and adventure that moved along a simple plot to tell the story.
Examples: -
  • The History of Valentine and Orson, which is thought to be a fore runner of Mowgli in Kipling's Jungle Book's and
  • Tom Thumb His Life and Death

World's first children's picture book

Moravian bishop and educator, John Amos Comenius (1592-1671) puts into practice his belief in better education for children by writing, illustrating, and publishing in Nuremberg Orbis Sensualium Pictus, (The World Illustrated). A German/Latin textbook with pictures and descriptions of all chief things in the World. It was to entice witty children to it ... to stir up their attention... by sport, and a merry pastime. It is translated to English in 1659 as A World of Things Obvious to the Senses.

The Project Gutenberg EBook - Orbis Pictus

164? Milk for Babes, Drawn of the Breasts of Both Testaments, Chiefly for the Spiritual Nourishment of Boston Babes in either England, but may be of like Use for any Children - This was the first book for children published in the new world. Written by John Candy? Later he added - A Catechism in Verse, which begins: Who is the Maker of all Things? The Almighty God who reigns on high. He formed the earth, He spread the sky.
Its famous rhyming alphabet begins: In Adams fall We sinners all. Thy life to men? God's Book attend.
Illustrations include - a figure contemplating a tombstones and the burning of Mr.. Rogers, whilehis wife and 10 children watch.
1671 A Token For Children: Being an Exact Account of the Conversion Holy and Exemplary Lives, and Joyful Deaths of several young Children Prayers and Graces, Fitted for the Use of Little Children, by James Janewa.
A famous book that was long popular with the heaven-bent adults who ruled over Puritan nurseries. Twenty some stories where the main character was aged 5-15 and piously dies after an admirable life knowing the scriptures and believing his or her salvation.
1678 Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan - (part 1 1678, part 2 1684). Out of the Puritan world one great book for children. Bunyan read chapbooks as a child and one History of the Life and Death of that Noble Knight Sir Bevis of South Hampton, was influential in his writing Pilgrim's Progress.

The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

Mary Rowlandson, also Mary Talcott (c. 1637 – January 5, 1711) a colonial American woman captured by Native Americans and held for 11 weeks before being ransomed, in 1682. Six years after her ordeal, she wrote her book. It is considered a seminal American work read in New England and in England. It can be considered the first American bestseller. A narrative that was a resource for eighteenth and nineteenth-century writers: James Fenimore Cooper, Ann Bleecker, John Williams, and James Seaver. Source


An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke (1632-1704) John describes his beliefs that children are rational creatures with individual needs, not miniature adults to be taught by rote. He believed in the effectiveness of learning through play rather than force-feeding of social values. That children are as blank slates (tabula rasa), which are filled with their sensory experiences, which they can interpret with reasoning and logic. He believes it is the the responsibility of adults to educate children and discounted heredity and the idea all children are born with the capacity to learn.

His ideas are later ignored and overshadowed by Rousseau.

1690 or 91 New England Primer: Alphabet through rhymes, lessons in spelling, reading and catechism
1697 Tales of Mother Goose, by Charles Perrault or Pierre Perrault d"Armancour
1712 A Little Book for Little Children, by T. W.: first book to use an approach from the point of view of the child rather than the adult.

In France Contes de Ma Mere l'oye or Histories of Long Ago or Tales of Long Ago with Morals, or more familiar Tales of Mother Goose.
It is questionable if they were written for children or adults, but children love them: The Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Blue Beard, The Master Cat or Puss in Boots, Diamond and Toads, Cinderella, Little Thumb, and Riquet with the Tuft.
Pierre Perrault d'Armancour the elder son of Charles Perrault is thought to have collected them.

1711-1780 Beauty and the Beast and other fairy tales, by Mme. de Beaumont

Devine and Moral Songs for the Use of Children, by Isacc Watts (1674-1748). Moralized lessons in verse about busy bees and quarrelsome dogs, wrote tender and beautiful hymns which didn't dwell on fearful God, but God as our refuge.

Against Idleness and Mischief
How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour;
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skillfully she builds her cell,
How neat she spreads her wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labour, or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be past,
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

1719 Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe (1659-1731) wrote in advance of his times about all kinds of social problems, Put in pillory, poor, and prison. continued to write when 60, writing for adults, children skipped the writing of moral ruminations common at the time, children's editions are usually abridged.
Adventure stories and theme of shipwrecked was later copied in 1812, by Johann David Wyss, (1743-1818) in his The Swiss Family Robinson.
1726 Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. He was worried about how it would be received so he first published it anonymously as Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships. Now known as Gulliver's Travels In 1735 an amended version was published with additons and changes by the publisher and maybe Swift. Most people have images of Gulliver awakening bound with tiny little people crawling all over him, wether they have read the book or not.
1729 Mother Goose was translated by R. Samber and published by John Newberry, who discovered the importance of children's books as a potential market. With his success in the children's book market he included a book with each sale of Dr. James Fever Powders (1744).
1744 A Little Pretty Pocket Book, by John Newberry
A Little Pretty Pocket Book
Image source
Demonstrated a momentous new approach to books for children as one of the first books written for the express purpose to entertain and instruct children simultaneously. As the cover page proclaims:
A Little Pretty Pocket Book,
Intended for the Instruction and Amusement of Little Master Tommy, and Pretty Miss Polly

With two Letters from JACK the GIANT-KILLER.
As also
The use of which will infallible make Tommy a good Boy and Polly a good Girl.
To which is added,
A Little Song-book,
A new attempt to teach children the English alphabet, by way of diversion.

They were moral letters, games, fables, proverbs, poems, rules of behavior, and rhyming alphabet The style and tone was light and moralistic. The ball and pincushion was an example of an early reward system similar to a contract where pins were inserted into the red side when the child was good and into the black side when the child did bad things. If all the pins were in the red side the publisher would send a penny, if all pins made it to the black side, the publisher would send a switch.
1745 The Governess or The Little Female Academy, by Sarah Fielding.
1746-1770 Battledore, conceived by one of John Newbery's workers, had three folding cardboard leaves. Alphabets, easy reading, numerals, and woodcut illustrations.
1751-1772 The first modern encyclopedia, is published in 17 folio volumes of text and 11 plate volumes between 1751 and 1772.
1754 First political cartoon Joiin or Die cartoon
1762 Emile, by Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Proclaimed a new day for children in this book. Children should not be forced into a straight jacket of adulthood. Proper moral development by living the simple life. He was more or less ignored as authors took to more didactic stories (intellectual - Locke), or religion (Puritanical). Each story was made into a lesson of moral information to inform or educate, not the fear of Hell, but the pressure of information.
1765 Little Goodie Two Shoes, or The Renowned History of Little Goody Two Shoes, Otherwise Called Mrs. Margery Two Shoes, First novel written for children, by Oliver Goldsmith who told the story of a virtuous and clever child, Margery Meanwell.
1768 Britannica publishes its first encyclopedia. It will continue to do so until 2012 when it publish its last print version and goes to online only.
1783-1789 The History of Sandford and Merto - four didactic volumes by Thomas Day.
Tommy Merton was the spoiled, helpless, ignorant son of a rich gentleman, while Jerry Sandford was the industrious, competent son of an honest farmer. His father realizes this and charges his son's education to Maria Edgeworth, four volumes later he will study and philosophize forever.
1785 Mother Goose - First American edition published by Isaiah Thomas. Probably pirated from a Newbery edition.
1786 History of the Robins, by Sarah Trimmer (1741-1810) an animal story with talking animals. It was thought illogical.

Songs of Innocence coverSongs of Innocence, by William Blake, a book of poems for and about children with each poem illustrated by him with a technique he calls, illuminated etchings, which introduce coloured pictures to the world of children’s literature. (1757-1827).
1794 Songs of Experience by William Blake a companion to Songs of Innocence.

See text source at Gutenberg

Blog article about William Blake and his works

1796 The Purple Jar, by Maria Edgeworth (1744-1817)
Followed the ideas of Rousseau and told moral tales with dramatic realism, Her stories had real plots, sustained suspense and surprise endings that took some of the sting from the inevitable morals. However, the writing was so didactic that plots and characterization were weakened. Also wrote Simple Susan.


1800 - 1899


Date Event
1793-1860 Samuel G. Goodrich - book publisher and writter under the pen name Peter Parley. Wrote pretty Peter Parley's Tales about America, biographies of famous men, which included information for science, history, and geography. Samples
Born in Connecticut. Sixth of ten children. His father was a minister. He began to publish books in 1816. He decided children liked to read non fiction rather than fiction and fantasy and pubished books about history, geography, and science rather than fairies, giants and monsters. He moved to Boston and created the psydoneuym Peter Parley and published Peter Parley's Tales about America in 1827 for 7-13 years old. Many facts are questionable - Laplanders ask the advice of black cats and Peter the Great worked as a carpenter to learn how to build ships. The stories had a lot of moral preaching as well as prejudices and biases - the Chinese are ignorant and superstitious. While the frontpiece in his books illustrate an older man he was 23 in 1820 and 33 in 1830.
1803-1879 Jacob Abbott - wrote a series both for boys and girls. His girl series included Cousin Lucy, (6 volumes), Franconia (10 volumes), Juno (4 volumes), and Florence (6 volumes). His boy series included Rollo In Europe, (10 volumes), Rollo (all others, 14 volumes), Jonas (4 volumes), Marco Paul Travels (8 volumes), and Rainbow and Lucky (5 volumes).
1804 Original Poems For Infant Minds, by Ann (1782-1866) and June Taylor (1783-1824)
Best known today for - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Teaches lessons in the manner of Isaac Watt's - Devine and Moral Songs for the Use of Children, but more vigorous and fun-loving.
1807 Butterfly's Ball print Poem
The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast
by William Roscoe

Kinder-und Hausmarchen, First volume of Grimm Brother's fairy tales. By Jacob (1785-1863) & Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859)

1813 Swiss Family Robinson, Johann David Wyss (Swiss writer). First page. Later movies by Disney and others. Adventure of the family Robinson family who leave Switzerland to settle on the other side of the world. Sole survivors of a shipwreck they make it ashore and create their own tropical paradise.
1818 Mary ShelleyFrankenstein (The Modern Prometheus), Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, at 21 wrote her story. Often credited as the world’s first science fiction novel.
A story about a creature, assembled from different corpses, by a scientist who abandoned his creation. Alone Frankenstein reached out several times for friendship. Over and over he was rejected, because of his unusual appearance. After repeated rejection, he sought to avenge the injustices he suffered.

Ivanhoe: A Romance, Sir Walter Scott


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow stampThe Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving is published. It includes the short stories: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle along with other essays and short stories he wrote while abroad in Birmingham, England. Both stories are early examples of American fiction which are popular across time and have had many versions for all ages.

1822 A Visit from St. Nicholas or The Night Before Christmas, Clement Moore
1823 Grimm's Fairy Tales , translated into English by Edgar Taylor
1826 Mary Had a Little Lamb, by Joseph Hales
1826 The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
1827 imageJoseph Nicephore Niépce produced the first known surviving photograph, which he called a heliograph. The image is of a building on the left, a tree to the left of center, and a barn in the foreground. The image shows the courtyard from an upstairs window outside his estate. It was exposed for eight hours during which time the sun moved far enought to shine on both sides of the building. It is in the permanent collection of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
1836 McGuffy reader cover McGuffey's Reader, by William Holmes a Presbyterian clergyman
1839 Holiday House, by Catherine Sinclair
1843 A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens; (1812-1870)
His writings were heavily influenced by his being forced to leave school at 12 years old and work ten-hour days pasting labels on pots of boot blacking for six shillings a week to pay of his father's debt and his father, mother, and the rest of their children were put into debtors' prison. Source
Also wrote David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and, A Tale of Two Cities.
1844 The DoorThe first photographer saw photography as an art medium and composed their shoots as paintings. The Open Door by William Henry Fox Tabot is an example.
1846 Book of Nonsense, by Edward Lear; (1812-1888) collection of silly verses and pictures.
1846 The Fairy Tales, of Hans Christian Anderson were translated by Mary Howitt. Into English
1851 King of the Golden River, by John Ruskin
1852 & 1853 A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys, and
Tanglewood Tales for Girls and Boys, both include retold Greek tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
1855 The Rose and the Ring, by William Makepeace Thackeray; (1811-1863)
1857 Tom Browns School Days, by Thomas Hughe
1856 & 1860 The Daisy Chain and The Clever Woman of the Family, Charlote Yonge. Stories about moral heroines that come rise above severe conditions to achieve the good life usually in the arms of a handsome man.
1862 Goblin Market, by Christina Georgina Rossetti
1863 Myths by Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) were closer to originals than Hawthorne and convey a grandeur tone and style more like the original. Also wrote the Water Babies a moralistic fantasy where a chimney sweep dies and is reborn in an underwater world where he learns the virtue of kindness and selflessness that he must have before going to heaven.
1865 The House that Jack Built, by Walter Crane
1865 Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, by Mary Mopes Dodges
1865 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898) a mathematics professor at Oxford used the pen name Lewis Carroll
1867 Sing a Song of Sixpence, and other toy books illustrated by Walter Crane
1867 & 1871 The Light Princess, At the Back of the North Wind, George MacDonald
1867 & 1868

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) published in two books. When she submitted it the publisher told her it was unacceptable. However, after his children read it, they convinced him to publish it. Set in the Civil War its popularity is maintained with the strong realistic characterization of four sisters. Unlike the more traditional didacticism or sentimentalism of authors of this time. Sometimes given credit or blame for attributing the use of blue for boy and pink for girls.

"Most remarkable children I ever saw. Which is which?" and Laurie bent like a well-sweep to examine the prodigies.
"Amy put a blue ribbon on the boy and a pink on the girl, French fashion, so you can always tell. Besides, one has blue eyes and one brown.”

See symbolism of colors and notes for pink

1868 The Magic Fishbone, by Charles Dickens; (1812-1870)
1872 Sing-Song, by Christina Rossetti
1883 Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stevenson
1868+ Elsie Dinsmore (1828-1909), series 26 volumes began in 1868 - pious heroine burst into tears and swooned us into repentance.
1870 The Brownies and other Tales, is a collection of moralizing tales that gave its name to the Girl Scouts in the U.S. by Juliana Horatia Ewing
1870 The Story of a Bad Boy, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
1871 At the Back of the North Wind, by George MacDonald
1865, 1869, & 1872


Jules Verne (1828-1905)

  • From the Earth to the Moon - 1865
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - 1869
  • Around the World in Eighty Days - 1872


The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald- Princess Irene is the heroine in this literary fairy tale. Its sequel The Princess and the Curdie
1873 St. Nicholas, Scribner's Illustrated Magazine for Girls and Boys, edited by Mary Mapes Dodge


Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens (November 30 1835 (Haley's Comet -1910). He took the pen name Mark Twain which on the river means 2 fathoms or 12 feet, which is the depth of water that is safe or on the edge of safety or danger. He spoke for better treatment of Blacks, women's right to vote, against imperialism, against the savage treatment of people around the world, and the need to be taught over descrimination, and what it is to be human.


  • The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, 1873
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876 (third person)
  • The Prince and the Pauper, 1881
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884 (first person)
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889


1877 Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell


Under the Window, by Kate Greenaway


The Diverting History of John Gilpin, or John Gilpin's Ride,illustrated by Randolph Caldecott


The Peterkin Papers, Peterkin Family, Lucretia Hale (1820-1900);The Lady from Philadelphia.
1880 or 1881


The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, by Margaret Sidney pseudonym for Harriet Lothrop


Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings: The Folklore of the Old Plantation by Joel Chandler


  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle
  • There are many Robin Hood books that have been written. The first may have been published in 1770 with many to follow. Pyle's was the first published in the United States for children. Source
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio. Carlo Collodi (Italian writer) A memorable story with interesting symbolism. Many movies with interesting and sometimes frightening scenes.
  • Nights with Uncle Remus, by Joel Chandler


  • The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was first published in the United Kingdom in 1884 and in the United States in 1885. A story of Huck and Jim, told in the first person by Huck and written in Southern American dialect of the mid 1800's. While the setting is during slavery it was written after the Civil War and the 14th Amendment was ratified (1868) over a period of time when Sam stopped writing it for five years and revisited the Mississppi Valley. It is thought Samuel Clemens wanted to make a statement about what he thought was the failure on the rejection of racist thinking. Some opposed and banned it for its use of language, dialect that was thought a poor example, and behaviors that were thought to celebrate a bad boy image. Others celebrated the humanization of a Black person, the rejection of slavery and Blacks as 3/5 a person, and as Langston Hughes noted, it took the romance out of slavery. Instead of being racist it is a story of the unlearning of racism. Source
  • Heidi: Her Young Years of Wandering and Learning, (1881) Johanna Spyri (Swiss writer) First English translation. Popularized in 1937 movie by Shirley Temple.
1885 A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson
1886 Little Lord Fauntleroy, by Frances Hodgson Burnett born in England and resettled in the United States.
1888 The Happy Prince and other Tales, by Oscar Wilde
1889 The Blue Fairy Book, Andrew Land; folktales
  Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916); compiled English folk tales


Carnegie Hall opened, May 5, 1891, with a concert featuring Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He was there five nights. On his 51st birthday, May 7th he conducted his Suite No. 3. Source



  • 1891 or 1892 Pinocchio, Translated C. Collodi penname for Carlo Lorenzini (1826-1890);
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, may be the first best known series of books and stories with the same characters. Arthur Conan Doyle, published his first story, A Study in Scarlet, in Beeton’s Christmas Annual (magazine) in 1887. In 1891, the series of Holmes stories began: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in 1894, The Return of Sherlock Holmes in 1905, and The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes included stories from 1921-1927. All told Doyle wrote four novels and 58 short stories.
1892 Ballet DancersThe Nutcracker
Russian ballet.
A two-act ballet originally choreographed
by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
for the score written
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.


The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is a story of a boy (Mowgli) raised by wolves and growing up in British India. Themes include social ideas, justice, and a natural order of life in a jungle setting. Considered by many the best of his pieces. See also his later Just So Stories (1902).


The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells is recognized by some as the first science fiction novel ever published.

The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells is recognized by some as the first science fiction novel ever published. It was first published in the United Kingdom by Pearson's Magazine in 1897 and in the US. by Cosmopolitan magazine in 1898. Later as a book in London by William Heinemann in 1898.

Long before the Wright brothers took flight, H.G. Wells has Martians arrive in cylinders, land in England, spread around the world to feed off of humans, aided with heat ray weapons.

The Martians he wrote:

"heads—merely heads,” with “a pair of very large dark-colored eyes,” a “fleshy beak,” and “whiplike tentacles about the mouth".

The plot focuses on mass histeria with an overall theme about the fraility of life. Book source

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an adaptation of The War of the Worlds, with the Martians landing in New Jersey, on his radio program, The Mercury Theatre. The broadcast created hysteria among some of its listeners.


Virginia OHanlan wrote the Sun editor and asked, "Is there a Santa Claus?" the editors reply ...
Yes Virginia A thousand times yes ... First printed September 21, 1897, in The New York Sun.



Wild Animals I have Known, by Ernest Thompson Seton (Canadian writer) along with another Canadian writer Charles G. D. Roberts who wrote Red Fox may have been the first to write realistic animal stories.


Stalky and Company, by Rudyard Kipling


1900 - 1999


Date Event


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. The George M. Hill Publishing Co.: Chicago. Born May 15, 1856 in Chittennango, NY died 1919.
The film is better known than the book and many believe its visual imagery and powerful characterization make it superior to the book.
Interesting site The Oz Club
1901 & 1902


Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter set the standard for illustrations in children's books. She believed that when writing for children one should have something to say and say it in simple direct language. She also wrote diaries in code, sketched fungi and raised prize-winning sheep. Source

Peter the Rabbit - Gutenberg.org text and images

1902 Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is a collection of children’s animal fables related to poems by Rudyard Kipling. Fables with creative descriptions of how different animals acquired physical characteristics, like how a leopard got its spots.


  • John Crow's Garden, by L. Leslie Brooke
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, by Kate Douglas Wiggins made into a popular 1930's shirley Temple Film both have a sentimental tone and moralizing.
  • Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, J. M. Barrie first written as a play and later as a story Peter and Wendy (1911) Barrie is credited with the invention of the name Wendy.
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London. First published in The Saturday Evening Post in four editions.
    • Written in the first person or dog
    • Set in1890's in Yukon, Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush
    • Plot - With sled dogs in high demand, Buck, a St. Bernard Scotch Collie mix is stollen in California and sold as a sled dog in Alaska. He is forced to survive with his instincts and become the top dog and leader in the wild.


  • The Bobbsey Twins or Merry Days Indoors and Out, by Howard Garis
  • Ann of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery (Canadian writer)
  • Freckles, by Gene Stratton Porter. Great adventure story about a young boy hired to patrol the Limberlost forest and be on the look out for lumber poachers. Gene's description of the animals and plants is great for anyone who loves being outdoors. See also A Girl of the Limberlost 1909


The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame


A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter

  • Great story about a young girl, Elnora Comstock, growing up in the Limberlost Swamp in Onabasha (fictional town maybe base, Geneva, Indiana) in the early 1900's. We learn she is an independent enterprising young women who raises herself as her mother is suffering from the death of her husband and Elnora’s father. The story beings in the summer, as Elnora enters high school. As a freshman. The plot describes her struggle to go to school using the resources of the Limberlost and her ingenuity. The healing of her family, from her father’s death, adoption of Billy, social settings in school, dealing with your desires, marriage, and her stedfast desire to resolve a failed engagement with grace and honor. Characters include: Mrs Comstock, Aunt Margret, Uncle Wesley, Billy, Bird Women, Philip, Polly, Edith, Hart, Freckles, & Angel.
    Gene Stratton Porter made the Limberlost Swamp famous in the early 20th century, where she lived for years on its periphery, wrote about it and its environment, which she lobbied unsuccessfully against its destruction. See more about her and the Limberlost.


The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a romantic piece rich in symbolism.


Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter Made into the Walt Disney film in the 1950's and Black musical made-for-television. Have a sentimental tone and moralizing.

First separate children's book department was established by Macmillan Company. The book department was headed by Louise Seaman who published a wide variety of informational books. Other children's book departments were created from 1920-1940


The Ransom of Red Chief, O. Henry



  • The Story of Dr. Dolittle, Hugh Lofting
  • The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting won the second Newberry Medal Award

Schoastic IconScholastic magazine is first published from the home of Maurice R. (Robbie) Robinson. For the purpose to: Explain things to kids.

1921 or 1922


The Story of Mankind, written and illustrated by Hendrik Willem Van Loon in 1921.
  • It was the first winner of the Newberry Medal Award in 1922.
  • The Story of Mankind, was published by Horace Liveright, an adult book publisher.
  • It is one of the very few nonfiction winners of a Newberry Award and the only history book. Other nonfiction books are biographies.


The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams Bianco

Nanook of the North is considered the first nonfiction or documentary feature length film. Robert Flaherty lived with the Canadian Eskimos for years when he decided to make his film. A French fur company financed his production. He used film he previously shot and developed new equipment and methods to capture additional shots over one year. Including extreemly cold weather. Filming recorded events as they happened and staged scenes to fit with his narrative. Source



Bambi, by Felis Salten (German writer) Disney Movie increased it's popularity

The first Horn Book Magazine was published

BookWhen We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne



Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne about Milne's own son. Written to interest young children and adults.

Doubleday starts a children's book department

Book series

  • The Hardy Boys is first published, The House on the Cliff, and becomes a mystery series where the brothers Frank and Joe Hardy solve mysteries adults are unable to solve. Edward Stratemeyer created the charaters and series and publishes many books under the pen name, Franklin W. Dixon. The series is successful in a variety of media: books, TV, comics, video games, and movies. See more
  • First Freddy book, To and Again, by Walter R. Brooks is a chapter book where a group of barnyard characters have adventures as the title of each book suggests. Walter writes 26 Freddy books from 1927 - 1958.
    In his third book, Freddy the Detective, written in 1932. Freddy the pig, assumes the role as the main character, Simon, the rat, is introduced as the antagonist, and the detective role becomes one Freddy will often assume with the use of wit and logic to solve problems in other books. The stories have interesting plots, humorous dialogue, and a literary style unique in animal stories for when they were written and now.


  • Millions of Cats, Wanda Gag
  • Abe Lincoln Grows Up, Carl Sandburg


Hitty, Her First Hundren Years, Rachel Field

Book series

First Nancy Drew mystery book The Secret of the Old Clock is published.

Carolyn Keene is a pen name for the many authors of the series.

The publisher, Edward Stratemeyer, imagined a series as successful as the The Hardy Boys for the female half of the young-adult book empire. Stratemeyer, however, cast Nancy in a traditional female role. However, Mildred Wirt, who wrote 23 of the early 30 books, authored Nancy as a young independent woman that becomes a favorite of the readers and viewers of her adventures in books and other media. See more



Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her stories are about a central American plains frontier family life with a strong nuclear family.
Other books:
  • On the Way Home (1962),
  • The First Four Years, (1971)


The Story of Babar, Jean de Brunhoff


  • The Invincible Louisa, the Life of Louisa May Alcott, Cornelia Meigs one of few nonfiction (biography) to win Newberry award (1934)
  • Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers The 1964 Disney movie is much different.


Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Ryric Brink


  • And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss's first book. There were many more over the next fifty plus years.
  • Hobbit, John Ronald Reuel Tolkein - map
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck. Tragic fiction about two out of work ranch workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, who travel California in search of jobs during the Great Depression. Spark notes.
  • The White Stag, Kate Seredy. Epic legend of the migration of the Huns and Magyars from Asia to Europe. Rhythmic prose and & sketches. Newbery winner. Cover & first page. Myth & Legend Unit based on The White Stag

First Caldecott Medal awarded.

Superman comics cover First Superman comic book sells for 10 cents.

One will be sold at auction on February 2, 2010 for for $1,000,000.

Another will be sold in 2024 for $6 million.






On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an adaptation of H. G. Wells book, The War of the Worlds printed in 1897 with Martians landing in New Jersey, on his radio program, The Mercury Theatre.



  • Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Daniel Boone, James Daugherty. One of a few nonfiction (biography) to win Newberry Award (1940).


  • Call It Courage, Armstrong Sperry
  • Abraham Lincoln, the picture book biography Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire won the Caldecott Medal in 1940. The book doesn't mention Lincoln's assasination. It ends at the end of the Civil War and Lincoln sits down to rest in his rocking chair.


  • Indian Captive, The Story of Mary Jemison, Lois Lenski
  • Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey


The Little House, Virginia Lee Burton


  • Little Navajo Bluebird, Ann Nolan Clark
  • Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes


  • Rabbit Hill, Rabbit Lawson
  • One God: The Ways We Worship Him, photo illustrated nonfiction book of rituals of the major religions in America


  • Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren (Swedish writer) about a girl with superhuman strength, complete independence, and strong character.
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell, is set in a dystopian society. However, the plot and setting begins as a utopian society that soon becomes clear that the price for a utopian, perfect, society is ... well, the theme of the book.


  • Stone Soup, Marcia Brown
  • Discovering Designs, Marion Downer photo illustrated nonfiction about patterns found in nature and in art

Howdy Doody (puppet) and Buffalo Bob. First kids TV superstars on the Howdy Doody Show.

1948 Schoastic Icon book club starts

Crusader Rabbit was drawn for an animated TV show. Creator, Jay Ward, later created the longer remembered, Rocky and His Friends


1984. - George Orwell sets 1984 and Animal Farm in dystopian societies. Phrases from these books include Orwellian society and Big Brother. Along with memorable quotes. Such as: Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.



  • Narnia Chronicles, C. S. Lewis. Are Christian allegories beginning with the book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Published the series from 1950-1956
  • Henry Huggins, Beverly Cleary


  • Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger is a book for adolescents. It was the beginning of a realistic style that deals with real world problems with all the blemishes and harsh realities of life. Not a sterile, everything is great, world.
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man, Eliz abeth Yates. One of few nonfiction (biography) to win the Newberry award (1934).
  • We of Nagasaki, Dr. Takashi Nagai. Takashi records first person stories of different survivors of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, August 9, 1945. It is set in the days before and after the bombing. Each chapter can stand alone with each being a different person's story. Each from their point of view from different geographical places, starting from several miles from ground zero with each story closer to ground zero. The first story from the book is included in the Galaxy Houghton Mifflin basil reader for sixth grade (1971): Child of Nagasaki, a first person account by Kayano, Dr. Nagai’s daughter, Kayano.


  • Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, autobiography.
  • Charlotte's Web, E. B. White - analysis as quality fiction
  • The Biggest Bear, Lynd Ward

Winky Dink and You. First interactive TV program for kids. Viewers put a piece of plastic over the TV and drew on it with crayons to help Winky solve problems.


  • The Borrowers, Mary Norton
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a dystopian novel where books are outlawed burned when found, hence, the title: derived from the temperature at which paper catches fire. Spark notes


  • Lord of the Flies by: William Golding is fiction that unfortunately has too often been considered as a reality of human nature. For a real life example of human nature, consider what acytually happens in 1965 when Mano Totau and five of his friends recklessly set off for Fiji and became stranded on the island of Ata, an uninhabited speck in the Pacific Ocean. Discover how they worked together to survive for 15 months. Investigate a real Lord of the Flies story.

The movie Gojira (coined from gorira (gorilla) & kujira (whale) and home environment and in turn the creature destroys Tokyo. Inspired by a March 1954 U.S. nuclear weapons teat at Bikini Atoll that produces 2.5 times the radioactive fallout expected. The radiation radiates tuna and 23 crew members of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru who suffer acute radiation sickness. Over the next 60 years Godzilla will increase in size as shown in this diagram:
Godzilla growth 1954 - 2019
Source Science May 31, 2019

1955 Books
  • Eloise, Kay Thompson (actress, composer, and singer) illustrated by Hilary Knight who uses black and white illustrations with pink highlights. Is credited for expanding the meaning of pink to include mischievous. The story is set in the Plaza a New York hotel with many famous guests. Eloise is a mischievous six year old girl who lives by: Getting bored is not allowed. Released as an adult book. Eloise’s pranks and antics make the book controversial for children. Other characters include her nanny, dog (Weenie), and turtle (Skipperdee). Additional books include: Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmas, Eloise in Moscow, and Eloise Takes a Bawth. Interesting facts about Eloise.
  • Carry On Mr Bowditch, Jean Latham. One of few nonfiction (biography) to win Newberry award (1956).
  • What's Inside?, May Garelick. A photo illustrated nonfiction book that shows a step-by-step birth of a gosling.
  • Men, Microscopes, and Living Things, Katherine Shippen. Color symbolism fact sheet and activity to investigate color and culture

Captain Kangaroo, the Captain, Mr. Greenjeans, Bunny rabbit, and other friends offered morality lessons, for 30 years.

Mickey Mouse Club. Kids soap opera for daily after school viewing.
First teen TV idols Annettte Funnecello, Jimmie Dodd, Bobby Burgess, Cubby O'Brien, Doreen Tracy, Karen Pendleton, Lonnie Burr, and Sharon Baird. Roy Williams was ...


Psychologist Frederic Wertham testified to Congress that comic books contribute to juvenile delinquency.
The general thought about comics ranged from reading them is okay, to reading them is a waste of time. That only the uneducated or those who never would amount to much read them, to they will rot your brain.


Miracles on Maple Hill, Virginia Sorenson. First page.



  • Building Blocks of the Universe, Isaac Asimov
  • The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel


  • The Cabin Faced West, Jean Fritz
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare. Kit Tayler raised as a independent young women in the Caribbean she must learn how to adjust to New England culture as she arrives on a morning in April 1687. First page.


  • My Side of the Mountain, Jean George
  • Little Blue and Little Yellow, Leo Lionni - biography
  • Words of Science and the History Behind Them, Isaac Asimov


  • Let's Read and Find Out series, nonfiction science books as a response to Sputnik published by Thomas Y. Crowell.
  • A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond
  • Island of the Blue Dophins, Scott O'Dell. First page.
  • Inch by Inch, Leo Lionni, Leo Lionni - biography
  • The Cricket in Times Square, George Selden & illustrated by Garth Williams. Connecticut cricket - Chester is found by Mario and experiences New York before returning.


  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
  • Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster. Main character Milo who discovers the Lands Beyond. Great use of language & literature elements to explore a theme of, education is valuable and essential for survival. First page.
  • The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford. Journey of two dogs and a cat across Canada. Style does not use a personification of the animals. Uses realistic descriptions to tell about their epic journey. First page.

The FCC chairman, Newton Minow, declares: TV is "A VAST WASTELAND"

The Bullwinkle Show airs. Its themes and plots attract kids and parents who enjoy satire and creative writing.

Marvel Comics on November 1961 released the Fantastic Four. A series about four astronauts who travel through a radiation shower and attain super powers because of radiation induced mutations. First radiation induced superhero characters.


Dorothy Butler Gilliam becomes the first Black women journalist at the Washington Post. In 2019 she writes a book about her experiences: Tailblazer. Listen to Grio's interview of Dorothy


Snowy day stampsBooks



  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  • It's Like This Cat, Emily Neville

Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Welcome to the neighborhood, won't you be my friend?

Marvel Comics released X-Men in September 1963. It was the first plot with conflict between mutants and normal humans. Where the mutants are forced to segregate themselves at a school for the gifted to protect and rehabilitate them. Professor X is the founder of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters (X-Mansion) in Salem Center, Westchester County, New York. Characters include,five mutants: Angel (Archangel), Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, and Marvel Girl (Jean Grey); Professor X and archenemy - Magneto.


President Johnson's, Great society program funded all types of children's books with nonfiction getting the largest percentage. Thomas Y. Crowell created a series of history books about prominent men and women.


  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ian Fleming
  • Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
  • The Pushcart War, Jean Merrill
  • The Book of Three, Lloyd Alexander five books of high fantasy
  • Across Five Aprils, Irene Hunt


Prydain Chronicles, Lloyd Alexander. The Book of Three and sequels
1966 The Road Runner Show comes to TV.


  • The Outsiders. S. E. (Susan Eloise) Hinton. Sixteen year old friends Mark and Byron struggle with involvement with girls, drugs, and gangs. Cliff notes.
  • The White Mountains, John Chrostopher. Trilogy.
  • Zeely, Virginia Hamilton
  • A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin Earthsea series
  1. A Wizard of Earthsea - 1968
  2. The Tombs of Atuan - 1971
  3. The Farthest Shore - 1972
  4. The Wind's Twelve Quarters - 1975
  5. Tehanu - 1990
  6. The Other Wind - 2001
  7. Tales from Earthsea - 2001

First all female rock band - Ace of Cups. Originated in San Francisco and opened with bands like Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead. When they didn't get a record contract they disbanded until 2018. The members incude: Mary Gannon (bass), Marla Hunt (organ, piano), Denise Kaufman (guitar, harmonica), Mary Ellen Simpson (lead guitar), and Diane Vitalich (drums).



From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Konisberg

Franklin in Peanuts Comic Strip Peanuts comic strip, created by Charles Schulz, was inspired by A Los Angeles schoolteacher, Harriet Glickman, to introduce the first Black American character, Franklin Armstrong, into his strip on July 31, 1968. Source

Beatles released Sargent Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band, the first concept album that was universally accepted. Bored with what they were doing they sought new sounds and beats.

  1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 2:02
  2. With a Little Help from My Friends 2:44
  3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds 3:29
  4. Getting Better 2:50
  5. Fixing a Hole 2:37
  6. She's Leaving Home 3:35
  7. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! 2:38
  8. Within You Without You 5:05
  9. When I'm Sixty-Four 2:38
  10. Lovely Rita 2:43
  11. Good Morning Good Morning 2:42
  12. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  13. A Day in the Life 5:34
Mr. Roger's Neighborhood first appeared as a national program on WQED Pittsburgh PA. 2/19/1968. See more on the Educational timeline

Sesame Street sets a new standard for kids TV and PBS home of good kids' TV


  • To Be a Slave, Julius Lester first book on African American history that won a Newberry Honor award.
  • Trouble River, Betsy Byars later television movie
  • Where the Lilies Bloom, Vera and Bill Cleaver
  • Sounder, William H. Armstrong
  • The Cay, Theodore Taylor. Survival story of Phillip, blind, and Timothy, West Indian, on a Caribbean Island.
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig


  • Small Worlds Close Up, Lisa Grillone and Joseph Gennaro photo illustrated nonfiction.
  • Summer of the Swans, Betsy Byars
  • Blowfish Live in the Sea, Paula Fox
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume. Movie - Released in 2023.

The Electric Company for kids after Sesame Street to learn to read.


  • Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Robert O"Brien. First page.
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends, Arnold Lobel
  • Moha Means One: Swahili Counting Book, Muriel Feelings
  • Leo, the Late Bloomer, Robert Kraus
  • That Was Then, This Is Now, S. E. (Susan Eloise) Hinton.

Federal subsidies for the purchase of books is stopped and many older titles go out of print.

Results in a stabilazation of the number of hardback books published into the 1990's and a significant increase in paperpback books published.



  • The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula Le Guin
  • Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George. First page.
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
  • The Marrow of the World, Ruth Nichols


  • Nana Upstairs Nana Downstairs, Tomie de Paola
  • A Taste of Blackberries, Doris Smith


  • The Slave Dancer, Paula Fox
  • The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
  • The Valley of the Shadow, Janet Hickman


  • Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt. First page. Movie released in 2000.
  • Dragonwings, Lawrence Yep
  • M.C. Higgins the Great, Virginia Hamilton
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, Leo and Diane Dillon

Where Do All the Prizes Go? Milton Meltzer, in Horn Book February 1976. Awards created on the heels of this publication: The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfiction; The Golden Kite Award for nonfiction given by the society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; the Orbis Pictus Award presented by the National Council of Teachers of English; and The Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Award.


  • Lizard Music, D. Manus Pinkwater
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor. Sequel novella to Song of the Trees, 1975. Main character Cassie, sixth grader. Historical fiction seting is an African-American farmstead in 1930 Mississippi. First page


  • Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
  • I'm Deborah Sampson: A Soldier in the War of the Revolution, Patricia Clapp
  • Anpao: An Indian Odyssey, Jamake Highwater

Nickelodeon first children's network started and is commerial-free

Teachers in New Zealand’s were using oversized or big books for shared reading with their students. Described in Foundations of Literacy (1979) by Don Holdaway.


  • Children of the West, by Russell Freedman photo illustrated with archival photographs and nonfiction.
  • The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende (German). English translation in 1983 by Ralph Manheim. Later several videos. A fantasy adventure with a theme of the value of fantasy, truth, wishes, creativity, and lies, in literature and life. Plot sustains a desire to know what happens to Bastian Balthazar Bux, across 400+ pages. Inspite of a lack of supporting plausible information and character development beyond survival.
1980 Children's book reviewer Hazel Rochman, in an editorial, began to demand authors provide detailed notes on their sources in all informational books. By 1990 most nonfiction books included not just source notes but glossaraies, tables of important dates, suggestions for further reading, and other kinds of supplementary materials.

The Smurfs. Took marketing to a new level. First seen as sexist, but evolved into a message-heavy show by 1987


  • Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson
  • The Haunting, by Margaret Mahy (New Zealand writer) book won Carnegie Medal
  • Let the Circle Be Unbroken, Mildred Taylor. Sequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry 1976


  • Water; The Next Great Resource Battle, by Laurence Pringle
  • When I Was Young in the Mountains, by Cynthia Rylant


  • The Changeover, by Margaret Mahy (New Zealand writer) book won Carnegie Medal
  • Dicey's Song, by Cynthia Voight

The Transformers - characters- based on a toy, plot violence driven, and theme of power are central to every show.


  • One-Eyed Cat, by Paula Fox
  • Dear Mr Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary
  • The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood. Picture book, Plot about a clever little mouse that tricks a big hungry bear to save his strawberry. Story element teaching plan


  • Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogan, by Rhoda Blumberg.
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan


Lincoln: A Photobiography, by Russell Freedman one of few nonfiction (biography) to win Newberry award (1988) first since 1956 Carry on Mr. Bowditch.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Action and violence seemingly reduced with an emphasis on character, teen turtles with Italian artist names, and fight scenes that appear more pretend than realistic ... How can it be violent if it's pretend?



  • Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, by Paul Fleishman
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen - a modern day Robinson Crusoe

Children's Television Act. Legislation that requires networks to broadcast three hours of educational programming per week.


Oh the Places You'll Go, by Dr. Seuss


Mange graphic Novels - Tokyo Babylon: A Save Tokyo City Story, Clamp published in Japan. Story Nanase Ohkawa, Comic Mokona Apapa.

Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel, by Avi


Just Grandma and Me: First Living Book ever produced was released March 31, 1992. Original book by Mercer Mayer was printed in 1983. The Learning Company, Inc.

Barney - purple dinosaur. If you love him you're either under five or need something to keep a child occupied while you catch your breath. Marketing the purple reptile seems a fact of nature by now. Isn't evolution great Smurfs ... Barney ....



The Giver, by Lois Lowry. First page.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - first girl superhero, incase you didn't know, she's the Pink Ranger...

Peter Steiner’s cartoon appears in the New Yorker.

On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

In 2023 it will sell for $175,000, the highest amount ever paid to date for a single-panel cartoon.

Internet cartoon

Toy Story produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures in the US Nov. 22, 1995. Critics claim it rendered children films like Bambi, Pinocchio, Dumbo, The Lion King... extinct. As the script talks to adults, with its dry humor, as well as children. Paving the way for later filmns such as Shrek, Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wall-E, and so on.


  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. Christopher Paul Curtis. Historical fiction about a family who travels South, where one family member becomes involved in one of the darkest incidents in American history.
  • Phillip Pullman begins his His Dark Material: trilogy of fantasy novels
    • Northern Lights 1995 (published as The Golden Compass in North America)
    • The Subtle Knife 1997
    • The Amber Spyglass 2000
    • Later, 2018 adds a prequal Book of Dust

Blue's Clues. Dective work with an adorable puppy... yeah the color is?

Communications Decency Act (CDA) enacted regulations to protect minors from indecency on the Web. It was later found in violation of the First Amendment.

The Children's Online Privacy Act (COPPA) was written to regulate the personal collection of personal information from children.

1999 Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. An adult faerie tale. It is discovered by adolescents after the movie Stardust, based on the book, is released in 2007. The plot is an adventure, fairy tale, romance where Tristran (Tristan in the movie) is enchanted to break a spell put on Lady Una of Stormhold. His quest has him find, Star, help break the spell, and gain what he desires. Themes relate to love, promises, & commitments. More so in the book than movie.


2000 - present


Date Event

The Children's Online Privacy Act (COPPA) goes into effect and begins the regulation of the collection personal information from children.

Harry Potter in Books was on the best seller's list for so long that a Children’s Literature best seller list was created.


Fever 1793, Laurie Halse Anderson. Historical fiction. Fourteen year old, Mattie Cook struggles to stay alive in Philadelphia during a Yellow fever epidemic. Author web site summary.

Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli activity - random act of kindness discussion ideas

2001 ALSC/Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for the most distinguished informational children's book published in the preceding year. Sibert is the founder of the Bound-to-stay Bound prebindery. The award is administerred by ALSC who also administer the Newberry and Caldecott

Yu-Gi-Oh. Let me see. I must have one of those cards here somewhere. Tv series based on the manga o2001f the same name by Kazuki Takahashi. The main character, Yugi Mutou, solves an ancient Millennium Puzzle, and awakens an alter-ego within his body that that is able to assist him with gaming solutions based on the trading cards. It was first aired in Japan in 1998 and in the United States in 2001. Available on DVD Hulu. Yu-Gi-Oh Official web site


Wikipedia launches



Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. by Chris Crowe

Green Angel. by Alice Hoffman - activity analyzes Green Angel with attributes of modern fantasy, derived from Frank E. Williams three dimensional model for teaching productive divergent thinking.

The Tale of Despereaux. by Kate DiCamillo. novel & graphic novel


Facebook is launched by Mark Zuckerbert for Harvard students.


Facebook is launches a version for high school students.

Facebook opens to anyone 13 and older.



Stardust see 1999



The Mailbox by Audrey Shafer - instruction plan - framework to critically analyze different forms of multimedia. Includes example with The Mailbox and Homer's painting, Country School.


Facebook announces plans to develop controls allowing children under 13 to use the social media site.

First, 1938 Superman comic (10¢) sells at auction for $1,000 ,00 on February 2, 2010.

Another will sell in 2024 for $6 million.

Superman comic cover

Book of Dust trilogy prequal to Phillip Pullam,

  • La Belle Sauvage, 2018
  • The Secret Commonwealth, 2019

BBC TV adaptation of Phillip Pullam's His Dark Materials trilogy, starring Dafne Keen as the child Lyra, Ruth Wilson as the sinister Mrs Coulter and James McAvoy as Lord Asriel.


They Called US Enemy book coverGraphic novel

  • They Called US Enemy by George Takei. He tells his story of growing up in an interment camp.
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft This story is not only about a new kid in school, but explores being a Black minority in school. Combine this with School Trip 2023 for two powerful stories about the frictions of cultural differences.
2020 It's Trevor Noah book cover

Graphic novels

  • It's Trevor Noah: Born A Crime (Adapted for young readers) by Trevor Noah. Autobiography, of sorts, by comedian Trevor Noah's South African childhood. Themes: apertheid, bullying, povery, love, and dance. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You book cover
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (Adapted for young readers) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. A conversation that uses humor to expose America's history of racism.

Graphic novel

  • School Trip by Jerry Craft A powerful story about the frictions of cultural differences exposed on a school trip to Paris, France.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret cover

Movie - Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume. based on 1970 book.



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