Reading Literature: The Primer

Harriette Taylor Treadwell and Margaret Free
Frederick Richardson
Published by:
Yesterday’s Classics
Suitable for ages:

In the Early 1900’s Harriette Taylor Treadwell together with Margaret Free produced a series of books intending to teach children how to read. Each book in the series is progressively more difficult. The books are put together from retellings of traditional tales from around the world and famous (traditional of authored) poetry. They did an excellent job of it. All of these books have fascinating stories; beautiful language and wonderful illustration.

They use various methods to teach reading but the stories maintain their integrity as stories throughout. The books intentionally emphasise good literature as much as learning to read.

I want to emphasise the word ‘beautiful’  regarding these books. They truly are that, and by being so, they teach children to love literature at the same time that they teach reading. Today the books may feel a bit old fashioned, but this is something I like about the books. Coming to us from the past, they books have become more than aids for teaching reading. They are now works of literature in themselves because they preserve stories and poems (and a particular style) that has been mostly lost in time.

I recommend these books for any household that loves literature and traditional tales. The primer is the first of the eight books produced in the series. It is the easiest and it is wonderful

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