anti-copyright children's books?
February 4, 2007 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Do you know of any children's books that are not copyright protected?

They don't necessarily need to have political connotations, but I presume some would (copyrights are a touchy subject, as it goes). They can be of any content and/or styling, the only stipulation is that they need to be targeted at younger children (ten or under) and not copyright protected.
posted by deep_sea_diving_suit to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you excluding books that are old enough that the original copyright has expired?
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on February 4, 2007

Response by poster: I'd prefer more recent books, but any recommendations of good old are surely welcome.
posted by deep_sea_diving_suit at 10:20 AM on February 4, 2007

Well if you're okay with the old stuff, there are some classics here and a huge number here that might be of interest.
posted by Partial Law at 10:37 AM on February 4, 2007

Public domain children's literature.
posted by WCityMike at 10:39 AM on February 4, 2007

Lots of pretty scans of older children's books here.

I found a couple newer ones by searching for children's books with a Creative Commons license, and found a couple, but these are still protected by a limited copyright, and I was unable to find a definitive list of such books.
posted by rajbot at 11:03 AM on February 4, 2007

The Lewis Carroll books are now in the public domain.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:22 AM on February 4, 2007

I have a couple books called "Grimble" and "Grimble at Christmas" that I found off boing boing (i think) that are really quite delightful.
posted by muddylemon at 11:50 AM on February 4, 2007

Tales from the Public Domain: BOUND BY LAW?
posted by yoyo_nyc at 11:59 AM on February 4, 2007

I agree the Grimble books are great (that obsession with really small sums of money that I remember as a child) - but are they out of copyright? They were published in 1974.
posted by paduasoy at 12:14 PM on February 4, 2007

Sadly, it seems that new public domain children's fiction is hard to find. There's probably a few reasons, like the fact that children generally don't worry about copyright, children's books are considered a less skilled field, or the fact that children's books are more often a collaborative effort (a writer and an illustrator). Someone tell Cory Doctorow this is an untapped market!

I can offer some suggestions of what I enjoyed reading that is now in the public domain. I hope some of this will fit your needs.

- Many of the 'Wizard Of Oz' books are in the public domain. There are 40 books that are considered canon (the Famous Forty) and of those, 22 are in the public domain. Since the stories are generally self contained but in familiar settings, it wouldn't be too hard to just read the public domain books.

These are the Famous Forty Oz books that are now in the Public Domain (The numbers are their number in the series):

1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1900)
2. The Marvelous Land of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1904)
3. Ozma of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1907)
4. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1908)
5. The Road to Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1909)
6. The Emerald City of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1910)
7. The Patchwork Girl of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1913)
8. Tik-Tok of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1914)
9. The Scarecrow of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1915)
10. Rinkitink in Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1916)
11. The Lost Princess of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1917)
12. The Tin Woodman of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1918)
13. The Magic of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1919)
14. Glinda of Oz (L. Frank Baum, 1920)
15. The Royal Book of Oz (Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1921)
16. Kabumpo in Oz (Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1922)
29. The Wishing Horse of Oz (Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1935)
30. Captain Salt in Oz (Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1936)
31. Handy Mandy in Oz (Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1937)
32. The Silver Princess in Oz (Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1938)
33. Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz (Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1939)
37. The Magical Mimics in Oz (Jack Snow, 1946)
38. The Shaggy Man of Oz (Jack Snow, 1949)

(More details on the books over at Wikipedia)

- The Stratemeyer Syndicate put out some of the most famous juvenile lit ever produced. While the most famous (Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys) are still under copyright, most of the other series (Tom Swift, Bobbsey Twins) are now in the public domain. When I was 8-10, these were some of my favorite books. The wikipedia page on the syndicate has links to the authors on Project Gutenberg.

- I must second any mention of Lewis Carroll's work, and not just his Alice books. The Hunting of the Snark is a fantastic piece of nonsense poetry. Alice's Adventures Under Ground is on Project Gutenberg and features the drawings originally done by Carroll himself. I have a dead-tree version of this that's in his handwriting that just adds so much to the reading.
posted by aristan at 12:15 PM on February 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I believe Kipling's works are now out of copyright. They can be read here--the short stories (Just So Stories) were something he wrote specifically for his young daughter, I think.
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 3:46 PM on February 4, 2007

« Older You were doing 80 in a 20 mph zone.   |   Trying to find a cheap, private workspace in New... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.