First published in 1959, Iona and Peter Opie’s The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren is a pathbreaking work of scholarship that is also a splendid and enduring work of literature. Going outside the nursery, with its assortment of parent-approved entertainments, to observe and investigate the day-to-day creative intelligence and activities of children, the Opies bring to life the rites and rhymes, jokes and jeers, laws, games, and secret spells of what has been called "the greatest of savage tribes, and the only one which shows no signs of dying out."
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“The Opies, professors of literature and essentially folklorists, did something path-breaking: they observed children and took their play seriously…The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren reminds us that children are their own beings who create and navigate complicated social worlds, and the way they do so is worthy of respect and understanding.” —Hilary Levey Friedman, Brain, Child Magazine