Saturday, December 8, 2007

The First Line of Children's Novels

All children, except one, grow up. Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. Madeline - Ludwig Bemelmans

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

In the great green room, there was a telephone and a red balloon. Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice "without pictures or conversation?" Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

When Mrs. Frederick C. Little's second son arrived, everybody noticed that he was not much bigger than a mouse. Stuart Little - E.B. White

This is George. He lived in Africa. Curious George - H.A. Rey

Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong The Little Engine that Could - Watty Piper

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were looking for a place to live. Make Way for Ducklings - Robert McCloskey

Most motorcars are conglomerations (this is a long word for bundles) of steel and wire and rubber and plastic, and electricity and oil and gasoline and water, and the toffee papers you pushed down the crack in the back seat last Sunday. Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang - Ian Fleming

It was seven o'clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day's rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White

When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis

For many days we had been tempest-tossed. The Swiss Family Robinson - Johann Wyss


The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell

There was a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself - not just sometimes, but always. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster

I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house. Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson

Mathias cut a comical figure as he hobbled his way along the cloisters, with his large sandals flip-flopping and his tail peeping from beneath the baggy folds of an oversized novice's habit. Redwall - Brian Jacques

"Please, sir, is this Plumfield?" asked a ragged boy of the man who opened the great gate at which the omnibus left him. Little Men - Louisa May Alcott

Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity --- Good. Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

It was not that Omri didn't appreciate Patrick's birthday present to him. The Indian in the Cupboard - Lynne Reid Banks

He rode into our valley in the summer of '89. Shane - Jack Schaefer

Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on a lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldn't go, there lived a cold, aggressive Duke, and his neice, the Princess Saralinda. The Thirteen Clocks - James Thurber

It was an afternoon in late September. In the pleasant city of Stillwater, Mr. Popper, the house painter, was going home from work. Mr. Popper's Penguins - Richard and Florence Atwater

I expect I might as well begin by telling you about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle so that whenever I mention her name, which I do very often in this book, you will not interrupt and ask, "Who is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle?" Mrs. Piggle Wiggle - Betty MacDonald

A mouse was looking at Mario.
The mouse's name was Tucker, and he was sitting in the opening of an abandoned drain pipe in the subway station at Times Square. The Cricket in Times Square - George Selden

Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares. A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett

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