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I was eager to dive into this essay. As a former teacher who founded a chain of nursery schools, I was always interested in the history of children's stories. (As a child, my mother read us children's stories from her youth in Germany - they were horrific stories and I came to believe the way Germans raised their children helped mold them into adults who could more easily be Nazified - but that's for another time.) I recently read in The New Yorker about the influence of Margaret Wise Brown - an early and radical "founding mother" in the American growth of children's literature as a genre. I highly recommend that piece. But now, since reading your column, I have a greater understanding of where children's stories come from and how they fit into our literary world today.

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