Friday, March 9, 2012

Used Book Report: More ValueTales & Old-Timey Astronomy

Man, there's a new dollar-a-book used book emporium near our house (housed in the old Borders space at the Howard Hughes Center) and I am going to get in truh-buhl if I go there to much. Towit:

Ahhh! I found 12 ValueTales in great condition. I love these ridiculous old things. To this day I'm weirdly obsessed with  diplomat and early United Nations leader Ralph Bunche because of the ValueTales book about his life. I know explicit morality plays are wildly out of fashion, but I think they're harmless at worst (the kids will figure out morals in all the usual ways, this is just reinforcement!) and kind of educational at best, so I was delighted to find these values-based biographies for the stockpile in the garage.
I also snagged four Bright & Early books for our collection, including the out-of-print The King, The Mice & The Cheese from the wonderful, underappreciated Eric Gurney. I think the New Tricks I Can Do is one of those suspicious exploitative sequels, but eh, what the hell...
Two Anno books for a few years from now, a Random House Pictureback about harbors and waterfronts (we love trucks and ships around here), a new vintage Richard Scarry (i.e. a typical Scarry compilation repurposing lots of existing familiar material), Ask Mr. Bear (which came recommended for this age group in one of those Gessell Institute books, plus we love Marjorie Flack from Ping and Angus; as it turns out: it's great and/or already a family fave!), and another Emberley monster book since we love Big Green Monster so much.
Larry Sanger recommended the Oxford Picture Dictionary so this was a nice find. The astronomy book is from 1940 (!) but the text is actually so brief, gentle and open-ended that I only spotted two instances where it's explicitly out of date: plant life on Mars and, of course, Pluto as a planet.  The Countryside book is British/European, but has some really nice interactive nature-study projects that should be applicable here, even if the plants and animals are different.
A bunch of totally random vintage pictures books from the '60s and '70s, including one by a very funny British author named Colin McNaughton, who wrote and illustrated a personal fave of mine: If Dinosaurs Were Cats and Dogs.

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