A couple of years ago, right around 2 a.m., I was at the table eating peanut butter and crackers when I saw The Swiss Family Robinson on the bookshelf. As it turns out, this is not the original title of this wonderful classic.
It was first published as The Shipwrecked Preacher and His Family: An Instructional Book for Children and Their Friends in City or Country.
The author, Johann David Wyss, was a pastor with four sons. One of them (Johann Rudolf Wyss, who also wrote the Swiss national anthem) got his father’s permission to edit the written stories that Pastor Wyss had shared with his children when they were young.
It may be that the sons also contributed to these stories; or it may be that his son Johann Rudolf Wyss not only edited but finished writing them–or actually wrote them based on his father’s oral stories. There are competing versions of this on the internet and elsewhere. At any rate, the book was published in 1813. Pastor Wyss died in 1830, but already his book was popular in many countries.
If you have children, this is a good book to read as a family.