French Language Children’s Books

Irvin Department of Special Collections

This collection entails a selection of French language children’s books from the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Read more about one of it’s featured items below.

About Filles et garçons: scènes de la ville et des champs

Filles et garçons: scènes de la ville et des champs was originally published as the last 10 of the 19 “scenes” in France’s Nos Enfants (Paris : Hachette, 1887); the first 9 scenes were also separately published, under the title “Nos enfants”.
The page numbering of this issue of Filles et garçons is carried over from the 1887 full-length edition of Nos enfants, also printed by Lahure. The signatures do not, however, follow on precisely from those of the 9-scene Nos enfants. Other, presumably later, issues are apparently renumbered, and some were printed by different firms, e.g. Kapp (Pierpont Morgan Lib.); the Bibliothèque nationale lists reprints of 1904 and 1907.

The book was a gift of Sarah Crawford Fox in 2003.

About the Author and Illustrator of Filles et garçons: scènes de la ville et des champs

This children’s book, written by Anatole France, pseudonym for Jacques Anatole Thibault (1844-1924), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921, is an excellent example of early twentieth century French children’s literature. The illustrator, painter Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1855-1913), was a highly successful children’s portraitist and illustrated a number of children’s books, including Vieilles chansons pour les petits enfants and Chansons de France pour les petits français both published in Paris, 1883. One of Boutet de Monvel’s most successful books was La vie de Jeanne d’Arc published in Paris by Plon Nourrit & Cie in 1896. Nos enfants published in Paris by Hachette in 1887, mentioned below, represents another collaboration between France and Boutet de Monvel.

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