November 08, 2004

The largest collection of antique children's books online. Beautiful site of wonderful antique books from all over the world. In a multitude of languages from English, Spanish and Italian to Maori, Afrikaans and Chinese! A great site for children (or adults) trying to learn new languages!
  • this is great! in a previous life (which actually wasn't all that long ago) i was a linguist working on preserving endangered languages (canadian aboriginal, in particular). this could be an excellent way to get some material available for promoting literacy in these languages at low cost.
  • I very much enjoyed the illustrations, Darxhon. Who could resist a chorus line of dancing rabbits? Even today, I expect many youngsters would find these entertaining. Some of the authors are weak when it comes to natural history, in particular Charlotte B. Herr's The Bee Who Would Not Work caught my attention: the protagonist is a male worker bee. In reality all worker honeybees are female, and the only function of male honeybees is to impregnate a queen. So some adult oversight of the contents might be un order here and there.
  • Yes, I agree with you on that, bees. I had some other concerns, these being antique books. Some of the themes and attitudes would be very dated. You'd certainly want to do a bit of reviewing before letting kids have at it.
  • bees is an expert on bees. Do you keep bees? If so, what is it like?
  • Not, I think, the largest collection of antique children's books online: that distinction goes to the Hockliffe Project. But certainly the most polyglot collection. Great fun: thanks, Darshon. I was particularly interested in the American piracies of the Beatrix Potter books, which I'd never seen before. Potter's books were copyrighted in the US, but it looks as though publishers were able to get round the copyright laws by putting new illustrations to the original text. (Can anyone shed any light on this?) I can't imagine reading Potter's books without her own illustrations; it would be like Carroll without Tenniel, or Milne without Shepard, almost unthinkable .. (In passing: Beatrix Potter died in 1943, so her books are now in the public domain. However, I think some of her characters may still be trademarked -- so the Rosetta Project had better be careful about selling Jeremy Fisher T-shirts, or Penguin may sue the pants off them.) Hmm .. aren't you being a little inconsistent here, beeswacky? If you can accept a chorus line of dancing rabbits, I don't see how you can object to a male worker bee ..
  • Wonderful post, thank you.
  • Have kept bees, jb, and still have a few hives. ...what is it like? Not so good, right now. Honeybees and wild bees in North America have suffered lately from mites, so it's uncertain what their future is going to be. Bees are an ancient species, and hopefully will develop resistance.
  • Heh. SlightlyFoxed, surely everyone has heard of the Bunny Hop? More seriously, folklore has it hares in March will dance, among other antics.