In James Baldwin’s Fifty Famous Stories Retold your student will read well-told versions of fifty of the great stories that everyone needs to know. Stories include classics such as
- Androcles and the Lion,
- Bruce and the Spider,
- The Sword of Damocles,
- King Canute and the Sea,
- The Story of William Tell,
- Horatius at the Bridge,
- Whittington and his Cat,
- How Napoleon Crossed the Alps,
- and many more.
Baldwin begins by explaining what type of stories are included and why:
There are numerous time-honored stories which have become so incorporated into the literature and thought of our race that a knowledge of them is an indispensable part of one’s education. These stories are of several different classes. To one class belong the popular fairy tales which have delighted untold generations of children, and will continue to delight them to the end of time. To another class belong the limited number of fables that have come down to us through many channels from hoar antiquity. To a third belong the charming stories of olden times that are derived from the literatures of ancient peoples, such as the Greeks and the Hebrews. A fourth class includes the half-legendary tales of a distinctly later origin, which have for their subjects certain romantic episodes in the lives of well-known heroes and famous men, or in the history of a people.
It is to this last class that most of the fifty stories contained in the present volume belong. As a matter of course, some of these stories are better known, and therefore more famous, than others. Some have a slight historical value; some are useful as giving point to certain great moral truths; others are products solely of the fancy, and are intended only to amuse. Some are derived from very ancient sources, and are current in the literature of many lands; some have come to us through the ballads and folk tales of the English people; a few are of quite recent origin; nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions in poetry and prose and in the conversation of educated people. Care has been taken to exclude everything that is not strictly within the limits of probability; hence there is here no trespassing upon the domain of the fairy tale, the fable, or the myth.
That children naturally take a deep interest in such stories, no person can deny; that the reading of them will not only give pleasure, but will help to lay the foundation for broader literary studies, can scarcely be doubted. It is believed, therefore, that the present collection will be found to possess an educative value which will commend it as a supplementary reader in the middle primary grades at school. It is also hoped that the book will prove so attractive that it will be in demand out of school as well as in.
This beautiful Australian edition of Fifty Famous Stories includes:
- All fifty stories, carefully arranged to match the reading order assigned at AmblesideOnline.org (year 1)
- All original illustrations, correctly placed
- Large font for easy reading
- Long names and words spaced phonetically for emerging readers
James Baldwin (1841-1925) was an American educator and administrator, beginning at the age of 24. After serving as a superintendent of schools for 18 years, he became a widely published textbook editor and children’s author on biography, legends, mythology, and literature.