A mother reads to her children, depicted by Jessie Willcox Smith in a cover illustration of a volume of fairy tales written in the mid to late 19th century.
Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are enjoyed by children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.
Children's literature can be traced to stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. Since the 15th century, a large quantity of literature, often with a moral or religious message, has been aimed specifically at children. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature" as this period included the publication of many books acknowledged today as classics.
The Story of Miss Moppet is a tale about teasing, featuring a kitten and a mouse, that was written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. It was published by Frederick Warne & Co for the 1906 Christmas season. Potter was born in London in 1866, and between 1902 and 1905 published a series of small format children's books with Warne. In 1906, she experimented with an atypical panorama design for Miss Moppet, which booksellers disliked; the story was reprinted in 1916 in small book format. Miss Moppet, the story's eponymous main character, is a kitten teased by a mouse. While pursuing him she bumps her head on a cupboard. She then wraps a duster about her head, and sits before the fire "looking very ill". The curious mouse creeps closer, is captured, "and because the Mouse has teased Miss Moppet—Miss Moppet thinks she will tease the Mouse; which is not at all nice of Miss Moppet". She ties him up in the duster and tosses him about. However, the mouse makes his escape, and once safely out of reach, dances a jig atop the cupboard. Although, critically, The Story of Miss Moppet is considered one of Potter's lesser efforts, for young children it is valued as an introduction to books in general, and to the world of Peter Rabbit. The character of Miss Moppet was released as a porcelain figurine in 1954 and a plush toy in 1973. The book has been published in a Braille version, translated into seven languages, and was released in an electronic format in 2005. First editions in the original format are available through antiquarian booksellers.
PJ Haarsma is a Canadian born science fiction author best known for his creation of the Rings of Orbisuniverse, which encompasses The Softwire series of books. Haarsma created a free, online role-playing game, also called the Rings of Orbis, set in the same universe. Both the book-series and the game target young, often reluctant readers in an attempt to encourage them by rewarding them for reading. Haarsma also developed a school presentation program in which he discusses The Softwire books, astronomy, and other science fiction and science fact topics. He is also one of the co-founders of The Kids Need to Read Foundation, a United States Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity that purchases books to donate to underfunded schools and libraries.
Three blind mice, Three blind mice, See how they run! See how they run! They all ran after the farmer's wife, Who cut off their tails with a carving knife; Did you ever see such fun in your life As three blind mice?