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Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous…
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Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's… (utgåvan 2017)

av Michelle Markel (Författare), Nancy Carpenter (Illustratör)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
907232,963 (3.96)1
This rollicking and fascinating picture book biography chronicles the life of the first pioneer of children's books--John Newbery himself. While most children's books in the 18th century contained lessons and rules, John Newbery imagined them overflowing with entertaining stories, science, and games. He believed that every book should be made for the reader's enjoyment. Newbery--for whom the prestigious Newbery Medal is named--became a celebrated author and publisher, changing the world of children's books forever. This book about his life and legacy is as full of energy and delight as any young reader could wish.… (mer)
Medlem:lydiachristian
Titel:Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books (Nonfiction Books for Kids, Early Elementary History Books)
Författare:Michelle Markel (Författare)
Andra författare:Nancy Carpenter (Illustratör)
Info:Chronicle Books (2017), Edition: Illustrated, 44 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:biography, John Newbery, Children's Literature, Non-Fiction, Books, Publishing, England, history

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Balderdash! John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books av Michelle Markel

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Balderdash! is a book that follows the life of John Newbery, and how he became one of the first people to create books specifically for children to enjoy. This is a fun book that taught me something I had not known, which is how children's literature specifically began to take off. It was interesting to see how scandalized people were at first but how popular the literature still was. This book would be a fun way to get children thinking about books and an assignment discussing kids' favorite books would pair quite well with this. ( )
  lydiachristian | Oct 22, 2020 |
Who knew kids could read without becoming feral monsters? Not adults, that's for sure.

( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
As someone who has a great interest in the history of children's literature, and who has done some research into the earlier centuries of that history, I was quite excited to discover that there was a picture-book biography of John Newbery, the eighteenth-century British publisher who did so much to popularize books for the young, and for whom the Newbery Medal is named. Unfortunately, almost everything about the book - with the notable exception of Nancy Carpenter's expressive and amusing illustrations - was a disappointment to me. From the title on - no, Michelle Markel, Anglophone children's books did not have their birth with John Newbery or his contemporaries - I found myself irritated by the tone here, and by some of the author's underlying assumptions about early children's books and how they were received. In the end, I concluded that although the topic here was worthy, the book itself was sufficiently misleading to give a wholly incorrect impression of early English children's literature. Given that this is so, I simply cannot recommend it.

One of the classes I enjoyed most, during the course of completing my masters, was devoted to early English children's literature, stretching from the Puritan period through the late eighteenth century. When reading such works as James Janeway's 1671 A Token for Children: Being an Exact Account of the Conversion, Holy and Exemplary Lives, and Joyful Deaths of Several Young Children it is easy for the contemporary reader to conclude, as Markel does, that children were forced to read "religious texts that made them fear that death was near." What readers coming from such a perspective fail to understand about the historical and cultural context of such works, is that in a time when infant mortality was incredibly high, and most children would have experienced the loss of multiple siblings before reaching the age of ten, the idea of deceased youngsters finding a better life in the hereafter would have offered, not fear, but great comfort. This is but one example of how Markel misreads her subject, too enmeshed in her contemporary viewpoint to really understand the texts she has (one hopes?) read.

Markel's statement that there were no books for children in the early 18th-century isn't simply factually incorrect, it is self-contradictory, given her subsequent (misguided) statements about the nature of those earlier books. Her claim that the exciting books being produced in the period weren't shared with children is also a misreading. It ignores the fact that social mores about the appearance of children in public would have been different at that time than those we observe today, assuming that because children were not permitted in such institutions as lending libraries, the books sold there were not shared with young people. In point of fact, many works were written explicitly to be shared in the family circle, and were intended, if not solely for children, at least partially for them. Markel mentioned John Locke in her afterword, which I find ironic, given that it was his statement in his 1693 Some Thoughts Concerning Education about the suitability of The History of Reynard the Fox as children's literature that first inspired me to examine three centuries of children's retellings of that tale in my masters dissertation. Needless to say, quite a few versions of Reynard predate John Newbery and his influential Little Goody Two-Shoes, discussed by Markel in her text.

I recognize that my interests and training are not those of many other readers approaching this picture-book - something that can be seen by the almost universal praise heaped on Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books by other online reviewers - but I feel they do give me the ability to pick out the subtle but persistent inaccuracies to be found therein. That so many, even in the world of children's literature studies, continue to believe some of the canards presented here is a cause of concern to me, but given that Markel explicitly set out to research the subject, I expected something a little more nuanced and accurate from her. I do think Newbery and his story are worth telling, so it is with regret that I say: This one is not recommended. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | May 16, 2019 |
A picture book about non other than the father of picture books himself, John Newbery.
  darianskie | Nov 16, 2018 |
John Newberry grew up loving reading but never understood why there weren't any good books for children to read. After he moved off the farm he became a printer and then eventually a publisher of children's books. He moved to London and set up shop right in St. Paul's Churchyard. At first some parents were afraid that these books would make their children go mad, but Newberry and other publishers believed that reading was a treat for children. He started writing tales of giant-killers and ABC's proverbs that would fly off the shelves of his book store. He also got the bright idea to write novels for children and his first one was a major success in England and in the United States.
  sbizon16 | Mar 1, 2018 |
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Michelle Markelprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Carpenter, NancyIllustratörmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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This rollicking and fascinating picture book biography chronicles the life of the first pioneer of children's books--John Newbery himself. While most children's books in the 18th century contained lessons and rules, John Newbery imagined them overflowing with entertaining stories, science, and games. He believed that every book should be made for the reader's enjoyment. Newbery--for whom the prestigious Newbery Medal is named--became a celebrated author and publisher, changing the world of children's books forever. This book about his life and legacy is as full of energy and delight as any young reader could wish.

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