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The Ultimate Guide to Childcraft Books, part two 1934-1937

Books Inspiring Books

ENDED - Win A FREE Set of this edition of Childcraft! 

Enter by commenting on this post about your favorite childhood book. Winner drawn Aug. 28th.

Congratulations Jennifer Richey - You Won!!!!

The First Childcraft Set

1934 -1937 - 7 volumes (6 shown) - Red binding, diamond checks on spine in gold.

Books 1-3 are intended for reading aloud or for an older child to read themselves. These have cover illustrations printed in black, blue and white on the red background. The Book of Verse shows nine small images including a man, a rabbit, a ship and a little house. Stories of Fact and Fancy features an illustration of Aesop's The Fox and The Stork. Stories of Life and Lands has a bridge and windmill, and two children on a rocking horse.

Books 4-7 are intended for the parent or teacher and have a classic 1930s Craftsman cover design, with a small image of an elephant pulling a boy in a cart with billowing clouds, the words Knowledge Governs Strength under the little image, and black lines with black squares in a pattern around the edges.


  1. Book of Verse -

Perfect for reading with a child on your lap. Wonderful illustrations on every page. Mostly black and white line art, with some two or three color illustrations. Fanciful fairies, fluffy clouds, girls in bonnets and billowing dresses, boys in overalls and neckties, animals parading and babbling brooks. Most illustrations are without complete backgrounds. 

Pages 3-44 -  Nursery Rhymes - Classic Mother Goose nursery rhymes like Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty and a few other authors including Kate Greenaway and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Pages 47-128 - The World About Us - Poems about seasons, animals, plants and such, including Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and America.

Pages 131-194 - The World of Fancy - Poems about fairies, elves and imagination by Authors such as Shakespeare, Longfellow and Browning.

Pages 197-251 - Story Telling Poems - Longer poems including stories about Johnny Appleseed, Joan of Arc, Robin Hood and Paul Revere's Ride.

Pages 257-299 - Children's Own Verse - A collection of poems written by children of all ages.


  1. Stories of Fact and Fancy

More of those beautiful illustrations in this volume. Most illustrations are of a more regular, rectangular format, about every two pages or so. Not as full of illustrations as book 1, but the illustrations tend to be full scenes with backgrounds too.

I especially like that the classic fables and fairy tales are not the watered down versions we see published today. In The Three Little Pigs, even though it is a very short version, the foolish pigs are eaten by the wolf, and the wise pig boils the wolf for dinner in the end, he doesn't just chase him off. These old tales really defeat the bad guy,who can never return because of the hero's bravery. I think this has much better lessons than the watered down versions so common today.

Pages 3-49 - Experience Stories - Short stories a few pages long about making maple sugar, hot air balloons, building roads.

Pages 57-208 - Folk and Fairy Tales -  Includes Goldilocks and The Three Bears, some of Aesop's Fables, Cinderella, The Real Princess by Anderson, and Sleeping Beauty by the Grimm brothers.

Pages 219-280 - Myths and Legends - Including Pandora, Persephone, and Balder.

Pages 283-302 - Holidays and Festivals - With Tiny Tim, A Valentine Story and Thanksgiving Day of 1779.

Pages 307-340 - Bible Stories - Stories about Noah, Ruth, Samuel, Joseph, David and Goliath, and David and Johnathan.


  1. Stories of Life and Lands  

Illustrations similar to book 2, with images every couple of pages. Short stories, a few pages long, great introductions to many classic tales, and some are complete chapters from the classic featured.

Pages 3-104 - Animal Stories - Includes Black Beauty and Peter Rabbit, along with many stories of beavers, chickens, dogs and frogs.

Pages 109-170 - Our Own Country - Includes The Sugar Snow from Little House in the Big Woods, Daniel Boone and stories of pioneers and natives.

Pages 179-254 - Foreign Lands - The Skates from Hans Brinker, Christopher Columbus, and stories about Switzerland, Russia, China and more.

Pages 261-336 - Glimpses of Famous People - Includes Poets, authors, heroes, naturalists musicians, artists and explorers. From American Founders Washington and Franklin, to Lincoln and Lee, from Joan of Arc and Louisa May Alcott to DaVinci and Mozart.


  1. The Child at Home    

From the Forward - "Volume four, The Child at Home, deals with the child's physical welfare, the formation of desirable habits, and the development of wholesome character."

This one has scattered small illustrations and photographs, both in black and white, similar to those in book 5.

Some of the topics covered are: Nutrition, Health, Posture, Baby Care, Manners, Character Development, Habits, Safety,  Money and more.


  1. The Child at School    

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but on further investigation, I can say I love what it has to say about learning. It really does make the point that interested children learn, not through force, but through environment and inspiring resources.

"Whenever possible, parents should permit children to have a corner of their own in which to carry on the various science activities which interest them... The child's interests will naturally vary from day to day. Today his interest may be in cars; tomorrow, airplanes; next week, magnets; a month from now, electric bells. Do not worry because his interests change frequently. He is exploring a wide field. Let him be himself. Do not worry if much of his activity seems to be just play. Children learn more in what seems to be play than we usually realize."

"Introduce the child to different types of environment. Do not lecture, but show a real interest in scientific subjects yourself. A walk along a seabeach, for example, is always interesting to children. The little tidal pools can absorb many an hour. The forest, the mountains, and the prairie are rich environments for a study of science."

"If your own knowledge of these subjects is limited, study them with the child. You can secure a liberal education in this way."

"A child will learn to read in this natural and spontaneous way if he has books of rhymes and simple stories. This method presupposes, of course, that a parent, or some other person will read aloud to him frequently. Children in school will learn to read this same way if they are not victimized by a forced method. Observation has shown that they pass through certain definite stages."

Topics: Arithmetic, Reading, Spelling, Handwriting, Social Studies, Science, Literature, Music, Drama, Nursery School, Kindergarten, Radio, Story-Telling and more.


  1. The Child at Play

When I get my own copy of this book I will expand this section.

Includes: Pets and Their Care, Wild Flowers, Gardens, Trees, Insects, Spiders, Frogs, Birds, Sky and Weather, Games, Cooking and Sewing, Parties and Holidays, Things to Make and more.


  1. Parent Guide

8 Sections - Habits and Behavior, Four Periods of Childhood, Childcraft as an Aid to Schoolwork, Materials for Creative Activities, Age Scale of Mental Development, Tables of Height and Weight, Suggested Books for Older Children, Parents Rating Scale

The first section on Habits and Behavior is organized by topic, from Anger to Unselfishness. Each topic has a paragraph about the habit, suggested reading for parents and children from the various books in the set, and activities for the children which help them learn to correct their behavior or improve their habits.

The short but very useful section Materials for Creative Activities, is a wonderful list of Discarded Materials and Suggested Uses. Things like bottle tops, boxes, buttons, cans, corks, envelopes, feathers and on and on, that can be used for wheels, play money, doll heads, stages, wagons, door knobs, banks, etc. A very useful list for gathering materials for an "invention box" or craft closet.

Possibly my favorite section is the Suggested Books for Older Children, which are intended for children who have "outgrown the stories and poems in Childcraft", divided into Books for Girls and Books for Boys. However from looking the lists over, most are suitable for both boys and girls, and also would be fantastic read alouds for the entire family. On each list are Folk Tales, Fables and Fairy Stories; Hero Stories, Myths and Legends; Biography; History and Travel; Nature and Animal Stories; Fiction; and Poetry.

Some current ebay listings of this edition

Win A FREE Set of this edition of Childcraft! 

Enter by commenting on this post about your favorite childhood book. Winner drawn Aug. 28th.


1934-1935 Teacher Edition

 (found through online research, I did not have access to the actual books).

  1. Teachers' Problems - Includes Equipment, Discipline, Planning, Records, Emotional Problems, Habits, Problem Children, Character, Citizenship, Recreation and Social Order.
  2. Better Teaching - Includes Language, Spelling, Reading, Handwriting, Arithmetic, Art, Music, Science, Literature, Social Studies, Drama, Health, PE, Safety and more.
  3. Activity Units - Includes Transportation, Farm Life, Shelter, Textiles, Primitive Life, Pioneer Days, Garden, Animals, Natural Science, Desert, Literature, Light and more.


1937 Teacher Edition

Same as the regular set with the Teacher Guide replacing the Parent Guide

  1. Teacher Guide - Includes Reading, Language Literature, Handwriting, Arithmetic, Science, Industrial Art, Games, Organization, Child Development, Evaluation of Work, Equipment, Discipline and more.


The Ultimate Guide to Childcraft Series

Part One - Introduction

Older Post Newer Post

  • Marsha Patterson on

    I grew up in the 40s & 50s with the Childcraft Books. I loved each & every one of them. Wish I xould find a set to share with our grandchildren

  • CHristine oWens on
    two favorite books as a child were Are you my mother and There’s A Wocket in my Pocket. I was never a fast reader and my parents did not read to my brothers and I so that is about as good as it got. Wait, I also loved Beatrix Potter books. Small and beautiful pictures.
  • Lavinia on

    My favorite book as a child was “The Fairy Rebel” written by Lynn Reid Banks who also wrote "The Indian in the Cupboard ". It was such a fun and adventurous story about a girl who was part fairy. I can still picture my childhood friend’s home and backyard that I imagined the story taking place because it was so whimsical.

  • Crystal on

    So excited about this series (of posts.) LOVE the planner! Favorites we’re Boxcar Children and Anne of Green Gables for sure. Thanks for the great Childcraft info!

  • Jennifer on

    How to choose?! Honestly, it was probably any of the Berenstain Bear books. I loved them so much that my parents and siblings have given them as gifts to my children.

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