Monday, September 21, 2009

Orbis Pictus

Today is Monday--Picture Books Past. Let's go back to the very beginning. It's generally agreed that the first picture book for children was Orbis Pictus by Czech educator J.A. Comenius, published in 1657. The Latin title translates to, "The Visible World in Pictures." The book was very popular and served as a kind of encyclopedia for young people. Look here to see a English/Latin edition from 1777. Scroll down on that link and look at some of the charming little pictures. More background info is here. Children of 17th century Europe had a book made just for them. Quite a beginning.

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