Teaching My Baby To Read

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Canterbury Tales for Kids

Let me tell you about one of my more inane book purchases from this past year.  It is Barbara Cohen’s Canterbury Tales, and I had originally chosen it in mind for my SLE Inspired Reading List.  The problem is that it includes very adult subject matter not appropriate for children.  For some reason, I couldn’t tell this by reading the Amazon reviews at the time.  It looks like it’s going to be a kiddie version of The Canterbury Tales, but it is definitely not!

To be fair, in Barbara Cohen’s translation the illustrations are really beautiful and the writing is witty.  This would be a fun gift to give to an adult who loves the Middle Ages.  But it is not a good fit for kids at all.  A better choice for children would be Mary Poe Osborne’s Favorite Medieval Tales, which includes Chaucer’s “Chanticleer and the Fox”.  Please learn from my mistake!


  1. Jean says:

    Well that’s disappointing. I was going to use that later this year. I’ll have to read the whole thing now. I was looking forward to it–Trina Schart Hyman is one of my all-time favorite illustrators, for one thing. (See if you can find her version of “Comus”–now there’s an obscure literary gem!)

    You might be interested in an e-book I found a little while ago, I think on archive.org or someplace like that. Eleanor Farjeon (one of my all-time favorite children’s authors) wrote “Tales from Chaucer”–and it’s the *whole thing,* done for children. I haven’t read it yet, but am wildly curious to find out how she managed to accomplish such a feat, if she did.

    • jenbrdsly says:

      The illustrations ARE beautiful. It will be a very fun book when my kids are MUCH older. I’ll have to look up the Eleanor Farjeon version. Thanks for the tip.

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