Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kiddie Lit Quiz Time!

A quiz based on some of the fun facts I gathered from Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature, by Leonard S. Marcus.

Are you ready?

1. What was the first children's book of American origin? When was it published?

2. By 1830 that book had gone through 450 editions. How many copies had been sold?

3. In 1865, two books published in America qualified as the top best sellers. One was Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. The other was which children's book?

4. Which publisher created the first department devoted to children's books? When?

5. Which 1940 children's title was advertised with the slogan: "For Whom the Bell Tolls is magnificent - but it hasn't any bunny in it." ?

6. Which of the first twelve Little Golden Books was the most successful?

7. Who was the first editor to have an eponymous imprint?

8. Which children's book had such a large crossover college audience that it was advertised on "Late Night with David Letterman" ?

9. Which famous children's author wrote a classic "in a mere forty minutes on a rainy Sunday afternoon" to give his artist friend something fun to illustrate?

10. What was Curious George's name in the original H. A. and Margret Rey manuscript before editors changed it?

Ta-da! And now for the answers:

1. The New England Primer. 1690.

2. Estimated to have sold 6 to 8 million copies by 1830.

3. Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates. Mary Mapes Dodge.

4. Macmillan. 1919.

5. Pat the Bunny. Dorothy Kunhardt.

6. The Poky Little Puppy. Janette Sebring Lowrey.

7. Margaret McElderry in 1970.

8. The Stinky Cheese Man. Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.

9. Munro Leaf wrote Ferdinand for Robert Lawson.

10. Fifi.

If you answered even three correctly, you win a signed copy of the first Harry Potter.

Yeah, right!


  1. That was fun. What's the prize for getting zero right? A copy of "Read All About It"?

  2. That was fun! I'm embarrassed at how little I know.

    But I will take heart that I could see the cover illustration for THE POKEY LITTLE PUPPY...alas I couldn't remember the title.

  3. Phew. Not the only one running my finger over my lips and going "bbbbbbbbbbbb".

    Thanks for the new brain wrinkle.

  4. I'm a zero. But then again, I always did much better with multiple choice....

  5. The only one I got was also THE POKEY LITTLE PUPPY...amazing number of NEW ENGLAND PRIMERS...and I so love FERDINAND....can't believe he wrote it in forty minutes....sigh!