Children’s literature quiz: answers

The wait is over, the answers to our children’s literature quiz are here. Find out if you’re a children’s literature expert or whether you need to scrub up on your knowledge, by checking the answers below:

  1.  When was The Very Hungry Caterpillar first published?
    ANSWER:  A counting book by Eric Carle in 1969, this was one of the most enduringly popular children’s books of all time, with sales to date topping 30 million copies.
  2. ‘Once upon a time…’ is a formulation that has been used for the beginning of many traditional stories for how long?
    ANSWER:Over 6 centuries. It tends to be used at the beginning of stories which for the most part, see the hero and/or heroine ‘live happily ever after’ at the other end.
  3.  True or false. Beauty and the Beast is a fairy story that first appeared in English in 1757, in a translation from a French narrative.
    ANSWER: True, the story was adopted into English folklore as part of the Enlightenment desire to teach children about the virtues of good behaviour through narrative.
  4. What children’s book did author Roald Dahl not write?
    ANSWER: The Enormous Egg is a novel by the American author Oliver Butterworth (1915-90).
  5. Author Beatrix Potter of the ‘Peter Rabbit’ series of books kept which of the following as a pet?
    ANSWER: Potter often smuggled live creatures back to her home, including at various times a hare, several rabbits, mice, a tortoise, a rat and a hedgehog. She had a rabbit named Peter, a hedgehog named Mrs Tiggy and a white rat named Sammy.
  6. Which children’s book does this quote belong ‘To die will be an awfully big adventure’:
    ANSWER:  This quote originally comes from a version of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie.
  7. The character Hush, from the Australian picture book Possum Magic, didn’t begin her life as a possum, what animal was she originally?
    ANSWER: Hush began life as a mouse and over half the book was illustrated when it was decided to strengthen the Australian theme and make her a possum.
  8. The first draft of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was titled what?
    ANSWER: The Emerald City. This was allegedly altered  because of a superstition that it is unlucky to publish a book with a jewel in the title.
  9.  Paul Jennings was the first writer to sell how many copies of his book in Australia?
    ANSWER: The British-born Australian author had the distinction of being the first writer to sell one million copies in Australia.
  10.  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was an expansion of Alice’s Adventures Underground, which begun as an impromptu tale told to ten-year-old Alice Liddell.
    ANSWER: True, the tale was told to Alice and her sisters Lorina and Edith, daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, during a boat trip on 4 July 1862.

Oxford-Companion-to-Childrens-LiteratureAll information has been taken from the new edition of The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. This accessible A to Z is the first place to look for information about the authors, illustrators, printers, publishers, educationalists, and others who have influenced the development of children’s literature, as well as the stories and characters at their centre. Written both to entertain and to instruct, this highly acclaimed Companion is a reference work that no one interested in the world of children’s books should be without.

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