Why so few physicians have acquired an interest in the books written for children over the past two or three centuries—either to educate or to amuse them—has long puzzled me. For the pediatrician especially, even a cursory knowledge of the changing contents and of the literary style of these books will immensely broaden his perspective and understanding of how it came about that the child has risen from his older place as an ill-formed adult at the edges of society to his present position as the cultural hero of our society—an invention of modern times.

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