Hello all!

Welcome to our blog, Once On A Tyme, where we (for more on “we”: About) will be exploring early children’s literature. We’ll post about such staples as fables, fairy tales, and folktales, and other perhaps lesser known genres, such as primers, books of religious learning, and courtesy books, which have also managed to escape oblivion–to our great delectation, and yours, we’re sure–and whatever else tickles our fancies.

The antiquarian children’s books we look at will be from Toronto’s own wonderful Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books, which is, of course, a place you all should visit (see links in left menu bar, or Their Website or Facebook Page).

For a taste (photos courtesy of the Osborne Collection, Toronto Public Library):

Study Room (ignore the body bag)
Peter Pan Exhibit in Display Room, seen from Study Room
Peter Pan Exhibit in Display Room
Some Early English Children’s Books

We’re sorry the pictures aren’t very revealing (close-up photographs of the displays aren’t allowed), so you’ll have to make a trip downtown to see for yourself. We’ll let the mystery entice you.

Incidentally, there’s a perfect opportunity for visiting the Collection next week, a forthcoming (FREE!) lecture in conjunction with their ongoing Peter Pan, Pirates, Mermaids and Fairies exhibition. In his talk, From Hobbits to HTML, Arthur Slade, author of Governor General’s Award winning novel Dust, will talk about electronic and self publishing. And this will happen on Thursday, October 20, 2011, at 8 p.m. (Link to Facebook Event Page)

So you have no excuse not to visit! Why not stop by earlier too and look around? Especially if you have always wanted to view items from the collection. Don’t let the fact that you must store your belongings in a temporary locker deter you, though we know the prospect might seem very alien, especially to you students out there. Neither let the serious-seeming hushed silence scare you off, which, we admit, might seem strange in a library setting. Nor let the fact that you cannot pick these books off their shelves yourself prevent your visiting, for the nice librarians will fetch you any book you desire, provided that you tell them clearly which book it is you want. Indeed, librarians are quite kind and obliging people, though it is understandable that a group of ladies in charge of children’s books might seem really intimidating.

In the meantime, look out for a couple of posts from us!


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