A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
When I was a youngster, I remember seeing, in my mind's eye, the whole world spread out before me. One fine day I escaped from my dull town, and with two boys of my own age, Andre and Julien, traveled all over France through the pages of a beautiful book. Another time, led by Don Quixote and Sancho, I saw the plains of Castile, white-hot in the sun, with dusty roads and inns full of adventure. In my imagination I saw desert isles, the northern lights on the sea. I visited the pigmy country in Africa, which did not seem strange to me as I was familiar with Lilliput. I lived in Uncle Tom's Cabin and cultivated sugar cane with black slaves as companions. Like Baron Munchausen, I fastened a rope to the crescent moon so I could glide to earth, and the rope being too short I cut it above me to attach it to the end which was hanging under my feet. I went everywhere with Jules Verne, even to the very bottom of the ocean.
And so it comes about that in our first impressionable years the universal republic of childhood is born. The only rivalry in those days was in the color and picturesque quality. Beautiful stories grew to completion, doing no harm to one another, mingling harmoniously. All was peace and unity.
from Books, Children and Men*
*Copyright by The Horn Book, Inc., 1944, renewed 1972. Quoted with permission.
Getting Children Interested