The purpose of this book is to provide, in ten volumes containing about five thousand pages, a classified collection of tales and stories ancient and modern, suitable for boys and girls of from six to sixteen years of age. Thoughtful parents and teachers, who realize the evils of indiscriminate reading on the part of children, will appreciate the educational value of such a collection. A child's taste in reading is formed, as a rule, in the first ten or twelve years of its life and experience has shown that the childish mind will prefer good literature to any other, if access to it is made easy, and will develop far better on literature of proved merit than on trivial or transitory material.
The boy or girl who becomes familiar with the charming tales and stories in this collection will have gained a knowledge of literature and history that will be of high value in other school and home work. Here are the real elements of imaginative narration, poetry, and ethics, which should enter into the education of every English-speaking child.
This collection, carefully used by parents and teachers with due reference to individual tastes and needs, will make many children enjoy good literature. It will inspire them with a love of good reading, which is the best possible result of any elementary education. The child himself should be encouraged to make his own selections from this large and varied collection, the child's enjoyment being the object in view. A real and lasting interest in literature or in scholarship is only to be developed through the individual's enjoyment of his mental occupations.