Is Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog safe for kids?

Is Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe safe for kids? One of the factors that persuaded us to include Hop-Frog in the Adapted Classics collection was its inclusion in “Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination”. George G Harrap & Co. Ltd  published that volume of illustrated, unadapted Poe stories in 1935. The Harrap Company specialized in publishing educational books, but they also published many illustrated books for children.

So we don't think we presumed too much when we decided to publish our version of Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog. After all, a noted major publisher found Hop-Frog and other Poe tales safe for children in 1935. That would mean Poe's tales must also be safe reading for middle-school readers in the modern age.

Subsequent research made us more comfortable. We discovered that an illustrated, unadapted version of Hop-Frog was also included in ”Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness”. Simon & Schuster published a collection of four Poe stories in 2004 via its imprint, Atheneum Books for Young Readers. They included Hop-Frog in that collection. Simon & Schuster listed that book’s target audience as readers ages 8-12.

Edgar Allan Poe's Hop-Frog - Safe for Kids

Well, we think that pretty much takes care of that! We were not publishing stories unsuitable for middle-school readers in the modern age! Edgar Allan Poe passes the safety check for kids! Still, we do believe that parents and guardians should be aware of what young people under their supervision are reading. And if they believe Edgar Allan Poe unsuitable for the middle-school reader they know and supervise, their judgement matters. 

The illustrator for the 1935 volume of Poe stories was Arthur Rackham. In our next blog, we will mention him and compare one of his illustrations in Hop-Frog with the same scene illustrated in our adaptation of Hop-Frog.

[caption id="attachment_170" align="aligncenter" width="461"]Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe, adapted for middle-school readers Hop-Frog the court jester[/caption]