Children's Stories by Eleven Sophomores. Roberts Brothers. 1874.
WE have received from the editor a copy of this now celebrated novelty in juvenile literature, - a notice of which was unfortunately crowded out of our last issue. Seventy-six has at length found its specialty, and is to be congratulated on its success. It is a pleasing thing - a bright omen of the future - to see the Sophomoric mind turned to such innocent and humanizing pastimes, instead of planning new cruelties and tortures for the harmless Freshmen, as in the bloody days of hazing, - past, we hope, forever.
The difficulties of this style of writing have always been acknowledged, and have required the skill and experience of authors of no mean merit, since the days of the greatest of children's epics, "Mother Goose." The difficulties arising from the age of these young writers must have been peculiarly great. Young men, if we mistake not, are not proverbially fond of children. Not youthful enough to enter into childish thoughts and feelings, they are not old enough to take that fatherly interest in them which, later on in life, will bridge the years between childhood and age in such a wonderful manner. The child is father to the man; but, like most fathers, is too apt to be disregarded by young men. For this reason, we regard the present triumph - for such the children cannot fail to find it - as doubly great. The stories are of somewhat unequal merit, but are all good. The natural fault, that of a want of naturalness and simplicity, is rarely met with. "Santa Claus' Deer," "Bertie's Dream," and "Rose Bud's Story," deserve particular mention. The second of these leaves nothing to be wished for in the way of simple and beautiful description, besides conveying the best of morals in a most attractive garb. "Santa Claus' Deer" is a happy thought, well worked up; while "Rose Bud's Story" inculcates an important doctrine of physics in a felicitous manner. "Bronco" is well written, and will appeal to the love of animals in many boys; but the colt of that name is made to perform prodigies which will puzzle the experience of country-bred youths. The book appears at an opportune time of the year, and should be found in every child's stocking and on every Christmas-tree. It is printed in large type, on good paper, attractively bound, and costs $1.50.