Cyrus the Persian by Sherman A. Nagel

“The city of Babylon, ‘the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency,’ ‘the lady of kingdoms,’ lay quiet under the silvery splendor of an oriental moon.”

I just finished reading Herodotus’ The Histories, where the story of Cyrus figures prominently, so when Amanda at Simpler Pastimes Children’s Classic Literature Event appeared for April, I thought what better time to read a children’s book about the same historical figure?

Nagel sets the story of Cyrus in the time of the Jews captivity in Babylon, and their story runs parallel to that of Cyrus before the two intersect.  One hundred years before Cyrus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah named him as the man who would permit the Jews of Babylon to return to their homeland to rebuild Jerusalem and the story allows us to be a part of events leading up to the fulfillment of this prophecy.

King Astyages sending Harpagus to kill young Cyrus
Jean Charles Nicaise Perrin
source Wikipedia

The grandfather of Cyrus, Astyages king of the Medes, is visited by a disturbing dream and his magi tell him that he must destroy the child of his daughter, Mandane, if the child she bears is a boy.  At Mandane’s marriage to the Persian king, Cambyses, Astyages extracts a promise that she will return to him before she gives birth to her firstborn and the promise is fulfilled as Cyrus is born in the kingdom of the Medes.  In fact, so crafty is Astyages that he persuades the parents of Cyrus to leave him with his grandfather, and then sends for his trusted servant Harpagus, commanding him to kill the child.  At the notification of the baby’s death, his parents are grief-stricken but unknown to them and Astyages as well, as Harpagus gives the child over to his chief shepherd, Mitradates, to dispose of the will of God is stronger than all. Upon returning home, Mitradates is distressed to learn of the death of his own child and, on a whim, his wife and he substitute the corpse for Cyrus and pass off his death without a hitch.  Raised as a shepherd boy until, through unexpected circumstances, he comes to the palace an adolescent, he is ultimately recognized as a possible heir to the throne.  With Cyrus back in Persia and Astyages becoming more nervous of his grandson’s power, a force is gathered by Astyages to invade Persia but Harpagus turns loyal to Cyrus based on the king’s cruelty and arranges with Darius, Cyrus’ uncle, that half the army will fight for Cyrus.  At the completion of the battle, Cyrus is victorious. Eventually he will become king of both the Persians and Medes.

At this time as well, Jewish discontent is fomenting due to their religious persecution and captivity by the Babylonians, which the reader experiences through a raid on Rabbi Hermon’s house during a weekly meeting, as the Jews impatiently wait for their prophesied coming deliverer.  We also encounter Jewish history through the activities of Azariah, better known by his Babylonian name of Abednego from Biblical tradition, and his relationship with a Babylonian woman, Iris.  History weaves into story, battles into harmony, and captivity into freedom.  It’s an enduring story that Nagel has obviously thoroughly researched with his attention to historical detail and the relationships he so subtly crafts.  Themes of loyalty, betrayal, persecution, love, friendship, death and perseverance, one can hardly put it down.

Cyrus hunting the great Boar
source Wikimedia Commons

Isaiah 45: 1-3

Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name ……..

⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚⚚

This book contained a number of wonderful quotes of which I’ll share.  There are many but every one is worth reading!

Quotes:

“When one is full of himself, he is empty.”

“Love is a very rare quality.  So many emotions are mistaken for love.  Of all the counterfeits, lust has always been love’s strongest opponent.  Nothing is so wonderful, so conducive to happiness, so health-producing, as the heart union of two lives, where true love reigns and lust has no power.”

“If there is one thing heaven hates in man it is pride.  Not self-respect, but that quality of pride which causes a man to think more highly of himself than he ought.”

“Unholy ambition has brought ruin to many a man who has followed her unhallowed footsteps.  Multitudes of the human family have suffered and died because of the ambition of one.  He that loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping.”

“How often we doubt because we cannot know all that is going on which we cannot see. Faith is believing in God.  It is taking Him at His word.  It is evidence when there is no evidence in sight.  It is ‘the substance of things hoped for.’  Belief is accepting a map; faith is taking the journey.”

“Patience is a pearl oft produced by petty irritations.  The human heart cannot be whole until it is broken.  Care becomes its own cure when it drives us to prayer.  To our prayers God gives answers, but in His love, makes ways and times His own.  Their leaders wisely taught the people not to worry about the future, but to be optimistic.  Nature hates to disappoint the man who is always looking for the worst to happen.  We only live a day at a time.”

“The average man is like a match; if he gets lit up, he loses his head.”

“And Astyages talked boastfully on, like a man who may think he is eloquent when he is only evaporating.”

“Those who throw themselves away usually do not like the place where they land.”

“Best character is developed amid storm clouds and tempests.”

“Conscience is not like a bore; if you snub it a few times, after that it won’t bother you.”

“When one was asked the secret of his happy life, he replied: ‘I have a friend.’  True friends are to be cherished for they are precious.  One should keep a little cemetery in which to bury the failings of one’s friends.  The man who never puts in an honest day’s work on friendship’s railroad, has no reason to expect a sidetrack to his door.  Selfish people may have acquaintances but not friends.  With some people you invest an evening, with others you spend it.”

“Cyrus was naturally of a very affectionate disposition.  He had a great deal of sentiment.  No man is worth much without it but to have too much is suicidal.”

“God has not promised to do for us that which we can do for ourselves.”

“Some of the unhappy folk in our world today are men and women with more money than they know what to do with.”

“It has been said that happiness is made of so many pieces that there is always one missing.  Happiness is never found by searching for it.  Like boys chasing butterflies, happiness is always just out of reach.  It does not consist in a fine house, fine furniture, a sixteen-cylinder car or alot of money.  In many places dwell unhappy hearts.  All of the things enumerated may conduce to happiness but the poor man has access to happiness as well as the rich.

Happiness consists in contentment, in having a clear conscience.  It will be found in acting in an unselfish manner towards others.  You cannot pour the perfume of happiness upon others without getting a few drops on yourself.  Victor Hugo has well written: ‘The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself.'”

Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

“One grey morning the first snow began to fall in the Valley of the Moomins.”

While this book is numbered three in the Moomin series, it’s the first Moomin book I read when I was around nine years old, and the Moomin family has lived in my imagination ever since.  Portrayed as cuddly white hippo-like creatures, they are actually a type of troll, but sweet trolls with a lazy relaxed demeanour in spite of their penchant for finding themselves embroiled in adventures.  With the creature, Sniff, adopted into their family, the traveller Snufkin, the Snork Maiden and her brother the Snork, the Hemulen and the gruff philosopher Muskrat, Jansson created a world that has been rivalled by few others.

In Finn Family Moomintroll, when the Moomin family arise after a long winter’s hibernation, they look forward to the awakening of spring.  But Moomintroll, Sniff and Snufkin find a lone black tophat on the peak of a hill, which appears to be the catalyst to a number of strange happenings: fluffy white clouds that can be ridden like horses chase each other, a jungle grows in Moominhouse and there is a terrifying transformation of the Muskrat’s dentures.  Meanwhile, the Hemulen is sad that his stamp collection is complete and at the behest of the Snork, takes up botany.  A sailing trip to an island brings a rather startling encounter with the Hattifatteners, whose ghostly bodies and deaf and dumb demeanor is rather disturbing as they live only to journey.  Thingumy and Bob arrive with their unique spoonerisms and unknowingly bring the cold and chilling atmosphere of the Groke to Moominvalley, as she searches for her missing treasure.  Nothing appears quite as it seems and the Moomins, with their natural aplomb and pragmatism, manage to extricate themselves from exploits and dangers, while at the same time welcoming the adventures as they come, enjoying the undulations of life in their Moomin-world.

It’s rare that I recommend a book without reserve, but honestly, if you die without reading this book your life in this world will have been a little less rich.  But I warn you that once you visit the Moomins and their friends, you might never want to leave their vibrant and delightfully unpredictable world where you never really know what is going to happen next.  However, one can always be assured that if it gets too intense, Moominmamma will pat you on the head, sit you down and give some tea and cookies to soothe your nerves.  In this Moomin-world, life is always an adventure and one must be prepared!

This is my second book read for Amanda at Simpler Pastimes Children’s Classic Literature Event.  Now if only I can get my review up for the first one!

This book also counts for my Deal Me In Challenge:

Week 10 – Deal Me In Challenge – Five of Hearts

Classic Children’s Literature Event

Amanda @ Simpler Pastimes is hosting the 5th Annual Classic Children’s Literature Event and I am all in!  I love this event and will have participated in four of the five years. It has encouraged me to read such books as Emil and the Detectives, The Forgotten Daughter (an unbelievably good story), The Cabin Faced West, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Wizard of Oz.

Event Basics

  • During the month of April, read as many Children’s Classics as you wish and post about them on your blog and/or leave a comment on the event page on this blog. I will have a link page starting the first of April to gather posts so that we may share as we go.
  • The optional RAL title: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. (Optional: also read Through the Looking-Glass. I’m guessing I won’t get through both.) I plan on discussion the weekend of April 21-23.
  • I’m not going to be the “children’s classics” police. Use your own judgement for what fits the category but if you want some guidelines, these are what I’m going by:
  • I think many of us have read more recent children’s books that we may already deem “classics” (for example, many people feel that way about the Harry Potter books), but for this event, I’d prefer if we read books that were written prior to 1967. This will still allow a lot of options, and will hopefully avoid the “but what is a classic” dilemma! (And yes, 1967 is rather arbitrary. Rebel if you wish, but 50 years old seems a good age).
  • Defining “children’s,” especially prior to 1900 or so can be a challenge as some books we think of as “children’s” today may not have been intended that way at the time. Personally, I’d say books appropriate for approximately an elementary-school aged child or preteen (to read or to have read to them) should be fine. I’d personally also count the various fairy tales, even though some of the earliest versions were not exactly family friendly.
  • Feel free to include books from any country, in translation or not. I have limited exposure to non-American children’s lit, so I’d love to learn about books from other countries myself.
  • Feel free to double up with other events or challenges if you wish.
  • And if you need ideas I posted
  • A suggestion list in 2013
  • Some more ideas in 2014
  •  There is no deadline for joining or participating (other than, of course, the end of April).

Most important: Have fun!


This year’s read-along will be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, one of my favourites. As for other books I might choose, I’m still mulling over the possibilities.  Some titles might include:

  • My Father’s Dragon – Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Jansson
  • A Triumph for Flavius – Caroline Dale Snedeker
  • Red Sails to Capri – Ann Weil
  • Roman Ransom – Henry Winterfeld
  • The Princess and Curdie – George MacDonald

Please join us for the month of April if you feel so inclined!

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner

“I might as well tell you —– this affair of Emil’s was a great surprise to me.”

As part of the Children’s Classic Literature Event hosted by Amanda at Simpler Pastimes, the read-along for this year is Emil and The Detectives. I’ve been wanting to read this German translated children’s book for years, so I was very glad when it was chosen.

Emil lives with his widowed mother in the small town of Neustadt.  As the story opens, he is bound for Berlin to visit his uncle, aunt and grandmother who live on 15 Schumannstraße. His mother works very hard as a hairdresser and has saved 140 marks, which she entrusts to Emil to give to his grandmother.  Emil is a good boy and determined to carry out his mother’s request, but little boys can get tired on long train rides and Emil falls asleep.  When he awakens, the money he’d pinned inside his pocket is gone!  At first distraught, Emil spies the thief and takes off after him.  Thus ensues a riotous romp through the city of Berlin with Emil, the thief, and numerous boy detectives, all of whom are determined to help Emil with his plight.  Will Emil recover his stolen cash, or learn a valuable lesson instead?

In spite of the Emil’s adventurous exploits and suspenseful situations, he also shows a deep understanding of human nature:

“Emil had known for a long time that there are always people who say, “Ah, well, things used to be much better.”  So he paid no attention when anyone announced that formerly the air was much more healthful or that the oxen had bigger heads.  Because usually what they said wasn’t true, and they belonged to the sort who refuse to be satisfied with things as they are for fear of becoming contented.”

Emil also notices the differences in a large city with regard to the lack of closeness of community:

“The city was so big and Emil was so mall.  And no one cared to know why he had no money and why he didn’t know where he had to get off.  Four million people lived in Berlin, and not one of them was interested in Emil Tischbein.  No one wants to know about other people’s troubles.  And when anyone says, “I’m really sorry about that,” he usually doesn’t mean anything more than, “Oh, leave me alone!”

Here are a few of the places Emil visited in pursuit of the thief and justice:

Nollendorfplatz
source 
Motzstraße
source
Schumannstrße
source
Alexanderplatz
source
This book was absolutely delightful.  Being translated from the original German, it had a somewhat different tone, but the action and the repartee from the characters leaves the reader both in suspense and laughing.  There are wonderful contrasts of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the young and the old, and the importance of loyalty, duty, perseverance and family.  It is a clever and adventurous tale, both endearing and diverting.

The author himself appears in the story, as an unidentified man who assists Emil with money, then he later returns to take part in the mystery.  Erich Kästner was a poet, author, screenwriter and satirist, and when he wrote Emil and the Detectives in 1928, the book sold two million copies in Germany and was translated into 59 different languages.  With the advent of the Second World War, Kästner opposed the Nazi regime but chose not to go into exile.  He was interrogated many times, and personally watched Goebels book-burning of May 10, 1933, his books being part of the kindling.  His home was destroyed in a bombing raid in 1944, and finally in 1945 he obtained permission to travel to the Tyrol for a fictitious moving filming, instead managing to avoid the Soviet assault on Berlin.  He was still in Tyrol at the close of the war; when he returned to Germany he moved to Munich where he lived until his death.

The Classic Children’s Literature Event IV

Amanda at Simpler Pastimes has hosted a Classic Children’s Literature event every year for the past three, and as April rolls around it’s time to pull out any classic children’s book and read, read read!

I have had no time to really target the specific books I’m going to read, but I do have a few in mind.

  • A Triumph for Flavius – Caroline Dale Snedecker
  • Three Greek Children – Alfred J. Church
  • All Alone – Claire Huchet Bishop
  • My Father’s Dragon – Ruth Stiles Gannet
  • Blue Willow – Dorothy Gates
  • When Hilter Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch – Jean Lee Latham
  • Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
  • With Pipe and Paddle Song – Elizabeth Yates
  • The Sprig of Broom – Barbara Willard    
The read-along for the event will be Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner, which I have had on my shelves for ages, but haven’t read yet.
So come one, come all, to read some children’s literature with us as a pleasant introduction to the spring season.  Just pop over to Amanda’s blog to sign up.

The Forgotten Daughter


Author:  Caroline Dale Snedecker

Illustrator:  Dorothy P. Lathrop

Era:  2nd century B.C. (around 113 B.C.)

Published:  1933 (Doubleday)

Award:  Newberry Honor (1934)

Age Range:  8 – 14 years old

Review:  ★★★★

Twelve year old Chloé lives with her companion, Melissa, in a shack in mountains of Samnium outside of Rome.  The daughter of a Greek slave and a Roman centurion, at her mother’s death she is abandoned by her father to her fate, which is that of a slave.  As Chloé grows to womanhood, she draws from the animals and nature around her as companions.  Her character is as lovely as the woods around her, yet still she nurses an abiding hatred for the man who should have loved, nurtured and raised her as his own.  When a young Roman nobleman arrives at a neighbouring villa and encounters the young girl, Chloé’s circumstances appear destined to change for the better, yet her past finally catches up with her and Chloe must decide whether she will hold on to the ghosts of the past or reach forward into a new future.

Map of Ancient Samnium
from the Historical Atlas William R. Shepherd (1911)
source Wikipedia

Snedecker was known for her extensive research using only primary or secondary sources, and The Forgotten Daughter sings with a melody of the past.  Snedecker’s writing brings Roman life to the reader in vibrant colours and poignant emotions.  The descriptions of the setting are beautiful and living, and as a reader you feel that you have stepped right into the story.

Chloé’s life as a child slave was perhaps the most troubling and effective portrait that I’ve every read in a book.

“Forever besetting mankind is this temptation — to make other men into machines.  Always in a new form it comes to every generation, and always as disastrous to master as to slave.”

 Snedecker delves into the emotions of the characters in such a visceral way and with an uncanny perception.

“Despair in the old is a grievous thing, but not so bad as despair in the young.  The young have no weapons, no remembrances of evils overcome, nor of evils endured.  They have no muscle-hardness from old battles.  They see only what is present, and they believe it to be forever.  And they are very sure.  Besides, joy and up-springing are the right of youth, and without it youth falls to the ground.”

The theme of slavery was obvious on the surface but also subtly explored through other occurences, weaving fine threads of insight through an already well-constructed story.  I absolutely loved this read and will be seeking out other books by Snedecker.

This book was read for Amanda at Simpler Pastimes Children’s Literature Event.

A more extensive review can be found at my children’s blog, Children’s Classic Book Carousel.

Deal Me In Challenge #3 – Ace of Hearts

The Cabin Faced West

Author:  Jean Fritz
Illustrator:  Feodor Rojankovsky
Era:  1784
Published:  1958 (G.P. Puntam’s Sons)
Award:  none known 
Age Range:  3 – 12 years old
Review:  ★★★★★
Fritz relates the wonderfully poignant story of Ann Hamilton, a young girl who has moved west with her family, which include her parents, and two brothers. Her father, in his wisdom, emphasizes that the family must “look west” now, and that there should be no looking back.  Ann, however, finds this resolve difficult.  She misses her family, especially her cousin, Margaret, who was her best friend.  How will she be able to carve out a new identity for herself in this new unfamiliar land.  Who is this new Ann, who is now a pioneer girl?

Eventually, through various interactions with her family, other settlers, and George Washington himself, Ann learns the value of this new land and her place within it.

Set during the late 1700s, this story is based on a true one which happened to Fritz’s great-great-grandmother, Ann Hamilton.  George Washington did indeed stop at the Hamilton’s for dinner on September 18, 1784.  His diary reads:  “Set out with Doctr. Craik for my Land on Miller’s Run.  Crossed the Monongahela at Devore’s Ferry —- bated at one Hamilton’s about 4 miles from it, in Washington County, and lodged at Colo. Cannon’s”  And so the story passed down through generations to finally be shared with us all.

For a more extensive review, please see my Classical Children’s Carousel!

Oh yes, and the first book read for the January Classical Children’s Literature Event!

Deal Me in Challenge (#2) – Eight of Hearts




The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

“Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.”

There is a wardrobe in an old room.  Picture yourself opening the wardrobe door.  You climb inside it, careful to leave the door cracked open slightly as you push your way back in amongst the antique coats, which smell of dampness and age and silent history.  But wait!  It is cold underneath you and, as you reach down, you grasp a wet, slushy substance that could only be snow!

What a wonderful way to begin The C.S. Lewis Project and the Classic Children’s Literature Event!  The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is an enduring children’s classic that is magic, just pure magic!  Peter, Susan, Edmond & Lucy discover an old wardrobe and find that it can transport them to another world called Narnia, where the White Witch has cast a spell on the land and “everything is winter and never Christmas.”  However, all is not bleak and hopeless because Aslan the Lion is on the move.  He begins to bring spring to Narnia, but Edmund betrays his siblings with the result that Aslan willingly pays for Edmund’s transgression with his life.  With his resurrection, and after an enormous battle led by Peter and Edmund, Aslan is acknowledged King of Narnia.

Lewis rejected the assertion that this story was intended as an allegory and, being an expert in that area, Lewis was certainly qualified to judge:

“By an allegory I mean a composition (whether pictorial or literary) in which immaterial realities are represented by feigned physical objects, eg., a pictured Cupid allegorically represents erotic love (which in reality is an experience, not an object occupying a given area of space) or, in Bunyan, a giant represents Despair. 

If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair represents Despair, he would be an allegorical figure.  In reality however he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, “What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?”  This is not allegory at all ……. This …… works out a supposition.”

While this book contains references to Christianity, Lewis did not initially set out to write a Christian story:

“Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided to what age group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out ‘allegories’ to embody them.  This is all pure moonshine.  I couldn’t write in that way.  It all began with images: a faun with an umbrella, parcels, a lamppost, a snow-covered kingdom.  At first there wasn’t even anything Christian about them.  That element pushed itself in of its own accord.”

Within the story, Lewis communicates aspects of Christian faith in way that is easy to understand and, through the death of Aslan, Lewis allows us to experience the agony and horror of Christ’s death and to experience the conflicting emotions of his friends and disciples, as well as their joy upon his resurrection.  His style is a simple straight-forward narrative that easily communicates emotions of joy, perseverance, loyalty, pride, envy, betrayal, and sadness.  A timeless story with timeless themes that can be read again and again.

C.S. Lewis Project 2014

Other Narnia Books

 

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

“Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife.”

Whether first introduced to the book or the movie, which one of us is not familiar with the story of The Wizard of Oz?  As I child, I remember feeling dizzy as Dorothy was whirled away in the cyclone to the land of Oz; those shoes she inherited from the dead Wicked Witch of the East, just dazzled; the Scarecrow who wanted a brain, the Tin Man who wanted a heart, and the Lion who wanted courage stirred my sympathies, and I was as in awe of Oz as Dorothy and her companions, until I found out, as they did, that his persona was all a hoax.  All throughout Dorothy’s adventures with the Munchkins, the Flying Monkeys, and  the Wicked Witch of the West, I cheered for Dorothy to find a means to return safely to Uncle Henry and Aunt Em and her home in Kansas.

Dorothy meets the cowardly Lion
from the first edition
(source Wikipedia)

Re-reading this book as an adult, I admit I’ve lost the delight of the childhood experience, yet I found if I focused on the story’s simplicity, there was charm in it.  Both Dorothy and her companions were straightforward, uncomplicated personalities, trusting, honest and unquestionably sincere.  In spite of the dangers they encountered, somehow their innocence and naiveté helped them pass through their trials and realize their dreams.  While the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion each desire a quality that they perceive they lack, their actions in situations of danger, show that they already possess these qualities, and that they simply had to employ them, in order for them to be revealed.  Perhaps this shows that we all have special qualities within us that only rise to the surface in the face of adversity.  
All in all, I found this a short and pleasing read, a chance to travel back to a childhood favourite and revisit memories that still linger in spite of childhood left behind.

Classic Children’s Literature Event – January 2014

Amanda at Simpler Pastimes is hosting a Classic Children’s Literature Event for January 2014.  I will be reading at least two classic children’s books in January and I will try to participate in The Wizard of Oz read that she has scheduled for this month.  It is one of the few well-known children’s books that I haven’t yet read, so I am looking forward to it!

Rules for the challenge:

~  During the month of January, read as many Children’s Classics as you
    wish and post about them on your blog and/or leave a comment on the 
    event page on Amanda’s blog.  She will have a link page starting the first
    of the year to gather posts so that we may share as we go.

~  The optional RAL title:  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
     She plans on discussion the weekend of January 24-26.

~  Use your own judgement for what fits the category but here are some 
     guidelines:
            *  Read books prior to 1963.
            *  Books appropriate for approximately an elementary-school aged
                child or preteen including fairy tales.
            *  Feel free to included books from any country, in translation or not.
            *  Feel free to double up with other events or challenges if you wish.

~  There is no deadline for joining or participating (except, of course, the end 
    of January.

Most important:  Have Fun!

I will start my list here and hope to get at least 2 – 4 done by the end of the month:

1.  The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

2.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

3.  Once and Future King – T.H. White

4.  Prince Caspian – C.S. Lewis

Breton Children Reading by Emile Vernon