Friday, December 2, 2011

Vintage 1963 Children's Book Lists

Cover, Mother's Guide to
Children's Reading
Recommended Books from Young Years Library: Mother's Guide to Children's Reading by Rachele Thomas, Parents' Magazine's Press, 1963. LOC 63-15865

Young Years Library was a five or 10-volume anthology of reading material for children. The product evolved over the years, but generally it was sold direct to parents who wanted to provide an educational or literary advantage to their children. Many of the great children's librarians of the day were involved, including the pioneering Augusta Braxton Baxter.

Full title page, Mother's Guide to Children's Reading
My copy, published in 1963, includes a 74-page list of recommended books for various ages and stages. To my eye, quite a few of these books (especially those for slightly older children) have long since been forgotten, not least because of the revolution in children's literature that took place following the publication that year of Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.

I'll be transcribing the sections of the Mother's Guide to Children's Reading reading list, one by one, in hopes of providing a starting point for modern mamas looking to explore more unusual, likely out-of-print book suggestions, beyond those usually included in generally available contemporary reading prescriptions.

Aren't the endpapers sweet?
Mother's Guide to Children's Reading 
Copyright, of course, remains with Home Library Press.
Here are some photos of the original illustrations in the book (all the rest are John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland), which make it quite clear that everything old is new again in the world of reading education and childhood literacy!

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