Story: Children’s and young adult literature

The cradle ship, 1916

The cradle ship, 1916

A progressive and innovative teacher, Edith Howes believed that children learnt facts best through song and story. She went on to become one of New Zealand's most popular children's authors of the early 20th century. Her best-known book, The cradle ship (1916), was a landmark attempt at sex education. It is about a family that embarks on a magical journey through Babyland, in a cradle-cum-ship, after the children ask their mother where babies come from. They learn about plant and animal reproduction and finally discover where human babies come from – to a degree. According to a new mother they meet, babies grow from an egg in a silken bag under the mother's heart. How they get there is not explained. 

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Reference: Edith Howes, Cradle Ship, London: Cassell and company, 1916

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Children’s and young adult literature - Fairies, families and adventures, 1900s–1960s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 22 Oct 2014, updated 1 Aug 2016