My favorite editor just sent me a book that was published in 1937. It’s called FOUR AND TWENTY FAMOUS TALES, A Silent Reader. It was written by Anna Clark Nelson and published by Hall & McCreary Company in Chicago. Following the introduction and procedure are twenty-four short fables, a spelling list, and a brief test for each tale.
I read every word and marveled at how education has changed over the last eighty years. I’ll quote an example from the procedure. “As a chart to show improvement in comprehension is an incentive to more careful reading, it is suggested that the name of each pupil be written on the blackboard in a column, after which, in vertical spaces, may be recorded the correct number of answers of each pupil each day.”
I recognize some of the tales: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” etc. Many others were new to me although they followed a traditional formula. I have vowed to keep this book on my desk where I can see it and smile. I’m most grateful.