A big thanks to Reading For The Heck Of It for letting me know about this fun book about books!
It took me forever to read it because I kept stopping to read children's books, and I have a long list of others -- from 17th century children's books to Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction and other recent adult topics to read in future.
I learned a lot and laughed a lot throughout this book. Bruce Handy never fails to toss in a comment that reminds us we're reading here and now in the 21st century. Whether it's an aside about the normality of walking home alone in the 1960s or a quip, "She's lucky there were no Mommy Blogs in nineteenth century Germany," we're in on the laughs and we learn or are reminded of quite a bit about being a child and the wonderous world of reading as one.
In chapter after chapter, we go from the most beloved and/or commonly read to the obscure and often wonderful finds. It's clear that a lot of research went into this book (a ton of visits to libraries housing out-of-print books for children that I'm glad to know about and equally glad he visited rather than me.) From the Brothers Grimm in the original language to Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss and even Disney - not really books. We go from the earliest baby picture books to separation anxiety to educational books to dealing with mortality and many other topics - all with a child's eye.
I will certainly be buying a copy of this one for myself if only to annoy people by reading the huge amount of hilarious highlighting I did in the library's digital copy.