Alphabets, Bedtime Stories, & Cautionary Tales: Children’s Stories and the Shaping of American Identity

The 18th and 19th centuries witnessed the emergence in England and America of new attitudes toward children and education at the same time that America was casting off its royal authority. The result was a booming market of print materials that, for the first time, contained text and illustrations geared toward a young audience. This exhibition draws from Pequot Library’s extraordinary Children’s Historical Collection to explore how children’s books published in the years following American independence reflect the changing political, economic, and social climate of the young nation.

Alphabets, Bedtime Stories, and Cautionary Tales: Children’s Books and the Shaping of American Identity was on view from Feb. 18th to May 6th, 2023.  This exhibition and all related programming are supported by the Connecticut Humanities.

Click full-screen for optimal viewing.

Explore the exhibition.