Elementary reader taught good habits years ago

The Spanish and Latin American version of the McGuffey Reader is being displayed by the Archivo Nacional  to celebrate the national day of the librarian.

The McGuffey Readers were the most popular scholastic books in the 19th century in the United States. For Costa Rican youngsters at the same time there was the “Libro de los Niños” by Francisco Martínez de la Rosa. The Archivo Nacional has an 1869 copy of the book, and this one is the 43rd edition.

Like much of the reading material in those days, the books were published in Madrid, Spain. And children in the early grades had to read about spring, summer, fall and winter, whatever they are.

The book is part of a collection of 253 volumes from the 18th to the middle of the 20th century, according to a summary.

Like most school books of the time, the author tried to instill good habits and has on one page a prayer for going to bed and on another a song for the dinner hour.

The national archives, which is in Zapote considers this book on of its jewels.

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