A Quiz for Easter: Children’s Classics

children-reading-1 I was expecting to be posting my third monthly War and Peace readalong update this weekend, but as I’ve found myself behind with this month’s reading I’ve decided to do something different instead. I know ‘first lines’ quizzes are not exactly very original, but I haven’t seen any book bloggers post one recently so I thought this might be something fun for the Easter weekend.

I’ve listed below twenty first lines from children’s classics, all of which I remember reading when I was younger. There’s probably a slight British bias here, but I’ve tried to include some that I would expect most people to be able to guess as well as some that are much more obscure. I’ll be impressed if anybody knows all of them.

Have fun and feel free to share your answers in the comments!


1. The primroses were over.

2. Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.

3. I myself had two separate encounters with witches before I was eight years old.

4. Roger, aged seven, and no longer the youngest of the family, ran in wide zigzags, to and fro, across the steep field that sloped up from the lake to Holly Howe, the farm where they were staying for part of the summer holidays.

5. If you want to find Cherry Tree Lane all you have to do is ask a policeman at the crossroads.

6. It began with the day when it was almost the Fifth of November, and a doubt arose in some breast – Robert’s, I fancy – as to the quality of the fireworks laid in for the Guy Fawkes celebration.

7. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

8. 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.

9. A sudden snow shower put an end to hockey practice.

10. The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.

11. The little old town of Mayenfeld is charmingly situated.

12. This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child.

13. Harriet was trying to explain to Sport how to play Town.

14. The tempest had raged for six days, and on the seventh seemed to increase.

15. When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.

16. The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.

17. “Mother, have you heard about our summer holidays yet?” said Julian, at the breakfast-table.

18. A tall, slim girl, “half-past sixteen,” with serious gray eyes and hair which her friends called auburn, had sat down on the broad red sandstone doorstep of a Prince Edward Island farmhouse one ripe afternoon in August, firmly resolved to construe so many lines of Virgil.

19. The Fossil sisters lived in the Cromwell Road.

20. When Mrs. Frederick C. Little’s second son arrived, everybody noticed that he was not much bigger than a mouse.


I’ll post the answers next week.

Good luck!

6 thoughts on “A Quiz for Easter: Children’s Classics

  1. Lisa says:

    I don’t know as many of these as I should! #2 is my favorite of the Little House books, Little House in the Big Woods. And I think #6 is an E. Nesbit book – but I’m not sure which one! I have some ideas about others –

  2. Charlie says:

    2) I’m thinking Little House In The Big Woods. 7) Little Women 15) The Secret Garden 16) Wind In The Willows 17) The Famous Five (no idea which).
    I can only guess those that have big clues in the sentences. Clearly my knowledge is lacking!

  3. jessicabookworm says:

    I’m really not doing as well at this as I’d hoped! All I’ve got is 3) The Witches (possibly), 7) Little Women, 15) The Secret Garden, 16) Wind in the Willows, and 17) I’m thinking could be one of the Famous Five novels. I look forward to the answers 🙂

  4. Elizabeth says:

    This is so much fun, even though I have no idea about lots of these! I agree with everyone about 2, 7, 15, and 16. And I think 5 is Mary Poppins, 6 is The Phoenix and the Carpet, 11 is Heidi, 18 is Anne of Avonlea (maybe?), and 19 is one of the Shoes books, but I don’t know which — maybe Ballet Shoes? Oh, and I think 20 is Stuart Little.

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