Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vintage Toy Coolness: 1989 Fisher-Price Post Office

Our amazing nanny Silvana stopped at a yard sale on the way to Jackson's birthday party today and picked up an amazing toy post office that another kid loved circa 1989. It was in pretty good, complete condition to start with, and then three different ladies (Silvana, my mom and me) scrubbed it clean and even removed the pen marks with Goo Gone, so it's virtually like new now. It was the hit of the day on a day when there were a zillion other entertainments, including a fire truck bed and a million kids of SUGAR. Anyway, since we all had so much fun with it, here's a look inside for you:

Fisher-Price Post Office: The front features a mail slot, a door for the postman to retrieve from and two separate P.O. boxes with locking doors.
Fisher-Price Post Office: The back features a plane stamp relief.

Fisher-Price Post Office: The kit comes with two plastic envelopes, a plastic package, two plastic picture postcards, three sheets of plastic letter paper, and a way to attach a variety of plastic stamps to the outside of all of the above!

Fisher-Price Post Office: It opens to reveal a mail safe, a clock and a stamp catalog/machine.

Fisher-Price Post Office: Store all your stuff in the embossed mailbag!

Fisher-Price Post Office: Automatic stamp dispenser really works!

Fisher-Price Post Office: Stamp dispenser fits inside one section...

Fisher-Price Post Office: Plus more storage on the back door! So much fun, so much to do! Great job, Fisher-Price toy designer of 1989!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Supplemental Reading List from 1937 History Text - Paleolithic to Middle Ages - Living Books

Glimpses into the Long Ago


Formerly Elementary School Supervisor
East Chicago ~ Indiana

With Pictures by George M. Richards

New York
The Macmillan Company


You will want to read some more stories about the people whom you meet in this book. There are several books in which you may find stories of each group of people whom you will meet. You probably cannot read everything in them, but you will like to look at the pictures and to read parts. The names of these books will be given only once, but you must remember to look in them again and again as you meet new people.

In this group of books are:

Here are some other books in which you can find stories of the people of the Dawn Age:

The Early Cave-Men -- Katherine E. Dopp
The Later Cave-Men -- Katherine E. Dopp
In the Beginning -- Eva V. I. Erleigh
How the World Grew Up -- Grace Kiner
The First Days of Man -- Frederic Arnold Kummer
Man’s Long Climb -- Marion F. Lansing
Dan-Hur and the First Farmers -- William L. Nida
Taming the Animals -- William K. Nida
From Then till Now -- Julia Augusta Schwartz
How the Present Came from the Past, Book One -- Margaret E. Wells

George M. Richards illustration of life on the Nile in ancient Egypt.



If you like fairy stories, try Sokar and the Crocodile, by Alice W. Howard.

If you are a very good reader, you will like Long Ago in Egypt, by Louise Lamprey.

An easy book is Inventions and Discoveries of Ancient Times, by William L. Nida.

Look also in these books:

How the Present Came from the Past, Book Two -- Margaret E. Wells
Man’s Long Climb -- Marion F. Lansing
From Then Till Now -- Julia Augusta Schwartz
The Princess Runs Away -- Alice W. Howard
The First Days of Knowledge -- Frederic Arnold Kummer


If you like to look at pictures, you will enjoy seeing A First Bible, by J. W. Maury, with pictures by Helen Sewell.

You can find very good stories of the Hebrews in The Garden of Eden, by George Hodges.

If you read well, try Metten of Tyre, by Helena Carus. This is the story of a little Phoenician boy.

Look for new stories in these books:

Man’s Long Climb -- Marion F. Lansing
In the Beginning -- Eva V. I. Erleigh
The First Days of Knowledge -- Frederic Arnold Kummer


{Ancient Greece}

You will find the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey told for you in two books:

The Iliad for Boys and Girls, by Alfred F. Church
The Odyssey for Boys and Girls, by Alfred F. Church

An easy and interesting story which tells much of how people lived is Theras and His Town, by Caroline Dale Snedeker.

Two books which you will enjoy if you read well are:

Look for the story of Cleon, the Greek boy, in Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now, by Jane Andrews.

{Roman Empire}

You should look for easy stories about the Romans in these books:

In the Beginning, by Eva V. I. Erleigh
Mighty Men, by Eleanor Farjeon

Look for the story of Horatius, the Roman boys, in Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now, by Jane Andrews.

Some books in which you can find other stories of the Romans are:

The Story of the Romans, by Helene Adeline Guerber


An interesting and easy book about those Northmen who were often called Vikings is Reindeer of the Waves, by Ruth Harshaw.

Two books in which you may find some of the old German myths and legends are:

Siegfried and Beowulf, by Zenaide A. Ragozin
Sons of the Volsungs, by Dorothy Grant Hosford

In Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now, by Jane Andrews, you will find a story of a Saxon boy who helped to make England.

{Middle Ages}

Two books which good readers will enjoy are A Little Shepherd of Provence and Gabriel and the Hour Book. Both are written by Evaleen Stein.

You can also learn much of how people lived in Stories of Our European Forefathers, by Henry Smith Chapman.

Look in Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now, by Jane Andrews, for the story of a little page of the Middle Ages.

Behind the Battlements, by Gertrude Linnell, is an interesting story about life in a castle in those times.

You will find stories of the Crusades in these books:

Page, Esquire and Knight, a Book of Chivalry, by Marion F. Lansing
From Then Till Now, by Julia Augusta Schwartz
The Prince and the Page, by Charlotte Yonge
Stories of Our European Forefathers, by Henry Smith Chapman

Monday, March 18, 2013

Politically Incorrect Richard Scarry

If you look at your copy of Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, you'll probably find a note on the cover in tiny print that says "Abridged Edition." Originally published back in the 1960s, the current edition is somewhat different than the contemporary edition. The blog has covered some of the alterations--I is now just for Ice Cream (instead of an Indian eating Ice Cream), Hannukah was added as a notable holiday, etc.--but when I was paging through my husband's childhood edition, I found some spreads I didn't even know existed. One of them, "Out West," is no longer politically correct, and I think the other two were either deemed boring or  too culturally incorrect to warrant saving. I believe there are a handful of other pages excised from the current edition that used to be included, by my husband's old copy is so savaged from years of reading love that it'shard to be sure what's what. (Lots of pages are missing, some are taped together even if they don't match, etc.) Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here's some old-school Richard Scarry for ya:

If you're a nerd like me, you could cross-reference this original TOC with the pages in your edition and see which are missing and which have been rearranged. For example, I'm pretty sure that "Last Words of the Day" isn't in our new edition. The original edition also has different endpapers, while our new edition uses the letters and numbers pages for endpaper material.

"Out West" was a revelation to me. This would have been ultrapopular with the kiddos back in the 1960s (and before that, during the height of the Western craze in the 1950s), but the Native American depictions just don't play anymore.

Richard Scarry was underrated as an architectural illustrator. This "Buildings" spread gives you an idea of what he could do, and he takes it up a notch in the book Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy World, which is full of gorgeous full-color spreads of buildings like St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

"Houses" is another page that I don't think appears in modern editions. Are some of these buildings culturally insensitive and out-of-date, or was this spread just cut to save space? Discuss in the comments!