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Literary Appreciation

A half century ago or so, the ultimate goal of academia was for students to gain an appreciation for the written word. Over time, however, that lofty goal has faded to the point that it hardly exists today.


Today, a large number of students, perhaps the majority of them, graduate from elementary school, high school, and college without any literary appreciation whatsoever. In fact, literary courses are no longer a requirement in many schools. And in those schools where they are still a requirement, quite often students take such courses merely because they have to.


Sadly, many students cannot define literary appreciation in their own words. Rather, they can only parrot what's in their class syllabus. Many students today don't value literature at all. What's more, they cannot discern much, if any, difference between the quality of a literary masterpiece and that of a pedestrian newspaper article. They are stone-blind to literature's many rich benefits, benefits that most markedly distinguish thinking men from cavemen; independent thinkers from those with hive-mind mentality; and visionaries who reflect on the past to better the future from idle TV-watchers who at best can only dream.​


Totally Literate endeavors to change this mindset. One thing we have done thus far is to provide classic favorites--some for beginners and students a bit older, a few for middle schoolers, and a few for high schoolers. Although our library is small, it is large enough to get students on track to become appreciative of the written word, even well read, and ultimately Totally Literate.


Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes are for the newest visitors on planet earth. Fables are for pre-schoolers to highschoolers. Half the classic stories is for beginners, and the other half is for middle schoolers and above.  


Fables are accessed directly on our website, and they can be read in scores of languages, whereas classics, which must be downloaded, can be read only in English. Fables can be read on both desktops and smartphones, but not Classic Stories. They can be read on desktops only.

To round out our offerings, Evangeline is for middle and highschoolers.

 Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes

  • Hush Little Baby

  • Mary Had a Little Lamb

  • Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

  • Jack and Jill

  • Little Miss Muffet

  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

  • Little Tommy Tucker

  • ​Lou Lou, Skip to My Lou

  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm

  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat​

  • Lullaby and Good Night

  • Rock-a-bye Baby

  • Humpty Dumpty

  • Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

  • Jack Be Nimble

  • Itsy-Bitsy Spider

  • The Farmer in the Dell

  • Rub-a-Dub-Dub

  • The Muffin Man

  • Round the Mulberry Bush


  • The Wolf and the Kid

  • The Frog Prince

  • The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox

  • Belling the Cat

  • The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf

  • Rapunzel

  • Evangeline

Supine Girl Figure Reading a book in the mouth of an alligator

Epic Poem

Classic Stories

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit

  • Little Red Riding Hood

  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

  • Animal Farm

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

To help students get a mental picture of each story, drawings and other graphics have been added, albeit judiciously.

  • Those stories that have been written in the Queen's English have been reworded to conform with American spelling and punctuation. And occasionally the punctuation has been modified to enhance readability. 

  • All the stories have been painstakingly reformatted so as to prevent sentences and paragraphs from pausing partway through. And many paragraphs have been shortened to make for easier reading and to prevent them from running over onto a following page. 

  • Stories of antiquity, written in Middle English or Old English, would scarcely be understandable today left in archaic styles. Over the course of history, these works have been rewritten countless times, leaving only the gist of them known with any degree of certainty. Hence, to provide members with a cohesive rendition that leaves no loose ends dangling, Totally Literate has taken poetic license to render its own version of the stories it presents. 

These classic stories are also available as downloads at our Campus Bookstore. Once downloaded, each file can be read out loud on a desktop as a more user-friendly Adobe PDF, aka Traditional. Also, if students have an Adobe Acrobat subscription as well as a Microsoft Word subscription, they can convert these files into Word documents. Then, even without an Internet connection, students can read along as the highlighted text is read aloud on their smartphone. 

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