'Round the Year in Myth and Song (Illustrated) Florence Holbrook Author
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This book is intended for use in all grades of elementary schools, the method of presentation varying with the age of the pupils. It has been welcomed even by pupils in higher schools, because easily familiarizing them with myths and characters that figure so largely in the literary texts with which they are to deal.In the first and second grades the teachers should read or tell some of the stories to the pupils, thus satisfying the demand of children for a story, and preparing the way for an appreciation of literature. The pupils should retell the stories, thus enriching their vocabulary and learning to express thought clearly, easily, consecutively, and confidently,—a power so much needed and so valuable to citizens of a republic.Some of the poems, as “Daybreak,” “The Moss Rose,” “Forget-me-not,” “Sweet and Low,” “The Child’s World,” etc., should be memorized. If this work has been well done in these grades, the pupils of third and fourth grades will enjoy reading the stories, continuing the reciting of myth and poem. The pictures that so well illustrate the myths should be studied and described. In these classes and in the grammar grades the stories should be written and the poems reproduced accurately, serving as valuable lessons in form, in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The reproduction of the myth and poem both orally and in written papers is an exercise whose value cannot be overestimated.[8] While the myths are valuable in themselves as stories which appeal to and which nourish the imagination, and as aids to expression in oral and written language, they are also very helpful, when presented early, to the understanding of references with which our literature is filled, and make the reading of the best in literature more of a delight because of this knowledge. It is important that these myths be given to children who enjoy the world of fairy tale and myth,—children who in their imagination drive the car of Apollo with the bold Phaëthon, and see with Narcissus the nymph smiling in the brook.The poems and pictures in the book serve to illustrate the debt both poets and artists owe to the fancies of the beauty-loving Greeks, the children of our race. With imagination and memory nourished and stored with stories that have been part of men’s literary possessions for centuries, and which have been embodied in all the arts, the love for literature which is permanent and valuable will leave no room for the worthless and transitory.Acknowledgments are due to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Company for selections from Holmes, Whittier, and Longfellow; to Messrs. D. Appleton & Company for selections from Bryant; to Messrs. A. C. McClurg & Company for the poem, “Rainbow Fairies,” from Tomlin’s “Child’s Garden of Song”; and to Mr. John Burroughs for permission to use his poem, “Waiting.”[9]


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