Thursday, February 9, 2012

General Information Books

General Information Books

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. My copy, published in 1963, includes a 72-page list of recommended books for various ages and stages. To my eye, many of these books 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. Copyright, of course, remains with Home Library Press.

An excellent explanation of the facts of birth.

An explanation of flight reveals that birds and airplanes are kept in the air by exactly the same principles.

How the fascinating concept of numbers developed, and its role in modern life.

The Cave of the Great Hunters, by Hans Baumann, illustrated with photographs of prehistoric art. Pantheon.
The true story of how four boys and their dog discovered an Ice Age cave.

Good historical account of how men have communicated with each other through the ages.

Engineers Did It!, by Duane Bradley, illustrated by Anne Marie Jauss. Lippincott.
The problems and scientific principles—simply stated—underlying some of the world's most spectacular engineering feats, such as the construction of the Pyramids and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

A vivid first-hand story of the voyage of the atomic-powered submarine.

Fun with Magic, by Alexander Van Renssalaer, illustrated by John Barron. Garden City.
A good how-to book of tricks and slight-of-hand fun.

A sympathetic account of the humanitarian work of the great world organization. Companion volumes are:

A must for children interested in American Indians. Demonstrates in text and pictures the positions and movements of hands to form over 500 words, including tribal names.

A good introduction to the history of music.

Let's Look Under the City, by Herman and Nina Schneider, illustrated by Bill Ballantine. W.R. Scott.
A fascinating look at the complex network of electric cables, water, gas, and sewer pipes that lie beneath the city streets.

This Is New York, by M. Sasek, illustrated by the author. Macmillan.
Beautiful picture-book panorama of a great city. Others in this series are:
     This Is Paris

This book—endorsed by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish organizations—describes our country's three great religions. Other titles on religious subjects by the same author:

The story of words, where they came from, and how they are used.

An interesting history of the calendar—why it was made, how it is used and other facts.

Exciting episodes in man's struggle to combat disease and to prolong life.

Words from the Myths, by Isaac Asimov, illustrated by William Barss. Houghton.
A book of myths for the scientific-minded child, showing how many modern scientific words originated from classic mythology.

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