Over a span of six decades, Ruth Ainsworth wrote some of the most charming and endearing children's fiction of the English-speaking world: stories in a traditional style that are positive, healthy and often with a touch of magic. Long out of print, these works are still available from online secondhand booksellers. This website makes it easy to find them.

"Children find magic in the everyday life of play and family." --Ruth Ainsworth

Young girl reading Ruth Ainsworth

A message from Ruth

Ruth Ainsworth

"Every year, indeed every day, lived in a sheltered, loving, caring home prepares children for the realities of the world as known to adults. Facing each challenge as it comes, learning to be truthful, brave and unselfish, is the best preparation for the demands of adult life. Stories are particularly valuable in showing close, human relationships by example and not precept. For small children, the understanding and patience shown by parents in stories is comforting and they easily identify with the situation.

If children enjoy stories and poems, their imagination will be stimulated, their emotions touched and their experience enlarged. All children experience in stories situations with which they, themselves, are learning to cope, when anger, fear, compassion and the range of often bewildering emotions are faced and explored. In fact, learning to behave reasonably is one of the by-products of most good stories. All this and much more seeps unconsciously into the child's mind and stays there, possibly for life, even if partially over-laid by the false values of more sensational writing.

Small children naturally love poetry, and the more they hear when very young, the better. It is a love that seems often to be lost in the higher forms at school, and may be absent in adult life. Yet no one can doubt the pleasure which very small children get from nursery rhymes. Children's memories are excellent and they will remember, and repeat, what pleases them. The rhythm of poetry is very close to the rhythm of a growing child. Please read what is liked again and again, and again and again the next day, and the one after that. A three-year-old's pleasure in hearing a poem over and over is no less than that of a teenager playing his favorite record twenty times a day. This applies to stories too, and I beg the parent to be patient and repeat what is requested seventy times seven. Familiarity does not breed contempt. It gives lasting joy.

A child being read to is a happy child, but the blessing is on the reader, too. Such shared joys are unforgettable. Such hours come back again and again in memory, when the little listener has become the parent and reader in his turn. He will look back with delight on the lovely story times of his youth, and take care that his own children have the same delight."