DUMBARTON OAKS RESEARCH LIBRARY AND COLLECTION
Cover: The Little Juggler, from Harvard University PressCover: The Little Juggler in HARDCOVER

The Little Juggler

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$12.50 • £10.95 • €11.50

ISBN 9780884024361

Publication Date: 09/03/2018

Text

52 pages

8-1/2 x 11 inches

19 color illustrations, 14 black and white illustrations

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection > Juggling the Middle Ages

World

Like many others who have retold the tale of the juggler, the American children’s book author and illustrator Barbara Cooney (1917–2000) dropped clues about her sources of inspiration. In the foreword to the first edition of 1961, she reported having been exposed to the story first on the radio in 1945. She knew that the roots of the story stretch back seven hundred years to a poem from France—her title page describes it as “an Old French legend.” When researching her project, Cooney journeyed to the Parisian library that holds the thirteenth-century manuscript with the best text and the sole illumination extant from the Middle Ages. Among other manifestations of the narrative that caught her attention, Cooney singled out the opera of French composer Jules Massenet, “The Juggler of Notre Dame,” and the short story of 1890 by Anatole France. From France’s retelling of the medieval poem, the American book artist took for her protagonist both the name Barnaby and the profession of juggler.

From these sources, Cooney, a two-time recipient of the Caldecott Medal, made a story of beauty and simplicity to entertain and edify young audiences. In it, she helps them to appreciate how they can offer their services, no matter how humble. Cooney’s gentle masterpiece has lived on from the mid-twentieth century into the present. Dumbarton Oaks is pleased to bring it back to readers once again.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Cover: A Shoppers’ Paradise: How the Ladies of Chicago Claimed Power and Pleasure in the New Downtown, by Emily Remus, from Harvard University Press

Going Downtown

As a child in Chicago, Emily Remus was enchanted by the sights and sounds of its downtown. Here she tells how those early experiences influenced her in writing A Shoppers’ Paradise, a book about how women in turn-of-the-century Chicago used their consumer power to challenge male domination of public spaces and stake their own claim to downtown

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.