A Child's Delight

Noel Perrin

Any parent dismayed by the rows of Goosebumps books dominating the children’s sections of most bookstores, any grandparent concerned about the Nintendo induced glaze over a grandchild’s eyes, and any loving adult wishing a child to know good books will celebrate Noel Perrin’s latest collection of essays. His earlier guide to neglected adult literature, A Reader’s Delight, achieved the status of a classic, and now he has written a companion volume dedicated to children’s fiction. Perrin’s wit and engaging prose are, as always, in constant evidence, but it is his intuitive grasp of what makes a story work for children that renders this new book an essential resource for any home where books are valued.

Limiting his scope to those works already overlooked or in danger of slipping from view, Perrin leads us through a wide spectrum of fiction, ranging from stories for the very youngest listeners to nuanced novels for the adolescent reader. There is something here for every child: dolls and their houses; animals of varied talents and personalities; travels through time and space; romances promised, sometimes failed, sometimes realized; castles and battling warriors; magic of familiar as well as alien worlds; historical bits woven into textured stories. Richard Adams, Leslie Brooke, Arthur Conan Doyle, Wanda Gág, Rumer Godden, Anne Lindbergh, Hugh Lofting, Jean Merrill, Ernest Thompson Seton, Margery Sharp, Dodie Smith, and others know what it feels like to be a kid in an adult world. As does Noel Perrin — and so will the readers of A Child’s Delight.

Paper: $15.95
ISBN-13: 9781584653523
Pages: 178 | Size: 5 in. x 8.5 in.
Date Published: August 1, 2003


  • A series of short and delightfully readable essays in which [Perrin] discusses minor classics of children's literature that have been neglected or ignored of late . . . Each essay provides plot summary and insightful commentary, and a bibliography offers information on locating the books. A wonderful resource for librarians, teachers, and parents as well as for children of all ages; recommended for all libraries.

    Library Journal
  • Persuasive and engaging recommendations from a conversational and witty Dartmouth professor. He is an enthusiast and means to make it hard for readers to be content with just his word for it -- even if they don't have children of the appropriate ages . . . Even masters of children's literature will be grateful for Perrin's attempted resurrections of among others George Dasent's East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon, Laurence Housman's fairy tales and E. Nesbit's The Railway Children.

    Publishers Weekly
  • In this enchanting sequel to A Reader's Delight . . . Perrin turns his attention to the world of children's literature . . . Although librarians and booksellers may be familiar with many of the authors and titles, they will welcome the opportunity to provide this eclectic list to parents eager to acquaint their children with a diverse range of literary gems.

  • Reading Noel Perrin's A Child's Delight made me want rush out and re-read all the great 'friends' of my childhood and to read the ones I missed. What a treasure for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers -- a real road map for reading aloud and getting these masterpieces into the hands of young people. For myself, I'm immediately getting a NEW copy of Wanda Gág's Millions of Cats. Hail Mr. Perrin!

    Tomie de Paola
  • When I was a child, I thought as an adult. Now that I am an adult, I treasure moments when I think as a child. Noel Perrin's new book will delight adults. Here are books to read to children and grandchildren. Here are books to slip between the pages of the New Yorker, books which will bring smiles and tears and wonderful hours of fresh, green enjoyment.

    Samuel F. Pickering

About the Author

Noel Perrin

Noel Perrin has taught English at Dartmouth College since 1959, while learning and writing about the ways of rural New England from his home in Thetford Center, Vermont. Among his books are A Noel Perrin Sampler (1991), A Reader’s Delight (1988), and First Person Rural (1978) and its three sequels.

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