The Girl's Own Book

Educational Texts

ducational texts present a challenge: how does one write nonfiction for children — history, geography, biology — in a way that makes the reader eagerly turn the pages? Nineteenth-century publishers produced hundreds of books that were informative, attractive, and appealing. Their success depended on informal language, humor, framing narratives within which facts were presented, and extensive and colorful illustration.The most prominent of these publishers was John Harris, who took over the firm the Newbery family built in the eighteenth century.

Scenes in Europe includes geography, ethnography, history, and social commentary — with 84 illustrations, colored by hand.
Punctuation Personified teaches the correct use of punctuation, including how long to pause while speaking to reflect the meaning of each mark.
In A Visit to the Bazaar, Harris indulged in self-referential product placement. After the children recite to their parents everything they know about the production or use of each type of merchandise, and been provided with additional information, they are rewarded by being permitted to choose new books. All of their choices (which include Scenes in Europe) are from Harris.
Science texts were also popular. Quadrupeds is large and attractive, with multiple illustrations for each animal and engaging stories that tie the information to the child’s own experience.
The Young Gentleman and Lady’s Philosophy is written in the form of conversations between a boy, home from school for the summer, and his sister. Her lively interest in the natural sciences has been stifled because of her gender.

This page has paths:

This page references: