On page 73 of Children’s Literature in Action, Vardell challenges readers to take a “First Lines Quiz” online, on Kaye Vandergrift’s website at Rutgers University (http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/firstlinesindex.html)
The idea is to read the first lines of many children’s books, and then to guess the book title. I approached the quiz confidently, sure that I would know many if not most of the books. However, I was astonished to find that I remembered (or had read) only a few of these books. Books I remembered well included Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, The View from Saturday, The Hobbit, and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, among others. But there were many I had never read. One that I did remember well (and fondly) was the first line from A Little Princess, which I like so much that I have quoted it below:
Once on a dark winter’s day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.
There were several parts to this first-line quiz, comprising in total of five different pages. I will challenge myself now to read at least one “new to me” book from each of these five pages and discuss them on this blog.