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Eulalie Osgood Grover Children's author

The Eulalie Osgood Grover collection contains material about the local children's author Eulalie Osgood Grover, who lived in Winter Park from 1926 until her death on December 18, 1958.  There are personal letters, photographs, sketches, books, manuscripts, copies of speeches, and newspaper articles.

The Winter Park Public Library has the following titles, which are located in Winter Park History:  The Sunbonnet Babies' Primer,  The Overall Boys,  The Sunbonnet Babies In Holland,  The Sunbonnet Babies In Italy,  The Sunbonnet Babies in Switzerland,  My Caravan,  Folk-Lore Readers Book 3,  Mother Goose and  Robert Louis Stevenson, Teller of Tales. 


Eulalie Osgood Grover.

Eulalie Osgood Grover, a local children's author, was probably best known as the creator of a series of reading primers for young readers centered around the characters known as the "Sunbonnet Babies."   Miss Grover was born June 22, 1873, in Mantorville, Minnesota and moved to Winter Park in 1926.

The Sunbonnet Babies Primer, published in 1902, was illustrated by Bertha L. Corbett and revolved around the adventures of Molly and May, two little girls whose faces were completely hidden by large sunbonnets.   The primer was built around a 150-word vocabulary with later printings containing word lists to assist the teacher in picking out key words and phrases for emphasis.

The Sunbonnet Babies Primer was a huge success and was widely accepted in public schools throughout the United states.   In 1905 Miss Grover published a second series , The Overall Boys, which introduced little boy characters.

Miss Grover's European travels provided ideas and material for Sunbonnet Babies in Holland, Sunbonnet Babies in Italy, and Sunbonnet Babies in Switzerland.   These titles were primarily textbooks and used in conjunction with geography classes by second and third grade children.

Miss Grover also wrote for junior and senior high school students.   In her career she wrote twenty-seven books that sold over four million copies.   Miss Grover died in Winter Park, December 18, 1958.

Eulalie Osgood Grover signd dedication page. Eulalie Osgood Grover signed the dedication page in the copy of the Sunbonnet Babies in Italy, which is housed in Winter Park History and Archives.

TheSunbonnetBabiesPrimerBookCover.jpg (57810 bytes)

Shown here is the book cover of The Sunbonnet Babies' Primer, which was published in 1902.   This was Miss Grover's first book and introduced Molly and May, the original Sunbonnet Babies.   

The Sunbonnet Babies' primers were the first children's school books to carry the same characters all the way through the text. They were also the first to be printed in four colors and to use an improved, larger font.

SunbonnetBabiesPrimerTitlePage.jpg (37690 bytes) This is the title page from The Sunbonnet Babies' Primer, which was published in 1902 by Rand McNally and Company.
TheOverallBoysBookCover.jpg (83605 bytes)

This is the book cover of the The Overall Boys, which was published in 1905.  The Overall Boys was written after Miss Grover received many requests from boys and their mothers to include boy characters in her Sunbonnet Babies' primers.

PageFromTheOverallBoys.jpg (40324 bytes)

In this page from The Overall Boys, Jack, Joe, Tim and Ted are introduced to young readers.  Though drawn by the same artist, Bertha L. Corbett, unlike their little girl counterparts, their faces are shown.

ABCBookCover.jpg (66876 bytes)

This is the book cover of the Sunbonnet Babies ABC Book.  The Sunbonnet Babies' books were all created to be instructive and used in the classroom.  In the back of each book was a word list to assist the teachers in picking out key words and phrases.

DogABCPoem.jpg (59314 bytes)

In this example from Sunbonnet Babies ABC Book, you  see an example of the educational text and illustration Miss Grover developed to be used as a teaching aid

Also note that in the photograph above of  Miss Grover, she is reading the very page pictured here.

VerseForSunbonnetBabiesPicnic.jpg (57060 bytes) Sunbonnets and Overalls was a dramatic reader and operetta.   Miss Grover also wrote plays and song lyrics for classroom use.
SheetMusicForSunbonnetBabiesPicnic.jpg (93860 bytes) This sheet music from Sunbonnets and Overalls is titled "The Sunbonnet Babies' Picnic".   The words are also shown in the example above. Isadora Martinez wrote the music for this piece.
LetterFromArtistBerthaCorbett.jpg (71584 bytes) Bertha L. Corbett was an artist and the illustrator of The Sunbonnet Babies' Primer.  In 1902 she wrote to Mr. Grover (Dr. Edwin Osgood Grover, a former vice-president of Rollins College), Eulalie's brother, telling him how the Sunbonnet Babies originated.

SunbonnetBabiesMollyAndMay.jpg (44937 bytes)

This is  the artist's rendering showing Molly (left) and May (right) reading a page from The Sunbonnet Babies' Primer.   Here are sample lines from the primer:

"I am May.   See May's sunbonnet.  It is my sunbonnet.  Do you see May ?   Do you see the Sunbonnet Baby ?"

"I am Molly.  This is my blue dress.  See my pink sunbonnet.   I am a Sunbonnet Baby.   Who are you ?"

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