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The Ultimate Guide to Childcraft, part three 1939-1947

Books Inspiring Books

In sets from 1939 -1947, the number of books was increased to 14, but not much new material was added. They did this by splitting up each book from the earlier edition and rearranging them into 12 of the books for this edition. There was also a Teacher set published in 1939. The paper has been changed from the thicker, rougher textured of the early editions, and in this set is a thinner, slick coated paper. The covers are slightly more orange, and are described as such on many online listings for them, but I believe the red has just faded. You can see in the photo above that the first of the standing books is redder than the others, it was from a different set. I still think of these books as red, though a warm red.

The 14 books are as follows (with some variation on the book order between the years).

1. Poems of Early Childhood - Same cover as Book #1 from the earlier edition, with nine small images.

Nursery Rhymes - Classic Mother Goose nursery rhymes like Wee Willie Winkie,, Sing a Song of Sixpence, Little Miss Muffet  and a few other authors including Kate Greenaway and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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

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

2. Narrative Poems and Creative Verse - Paul Revere with a Church on the cover.

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

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


3. Experience Stories and Animal Friends - two black bears on a mountain on the cover.

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

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


4. Tales and Legends  - Same cover as Book #2 in the earlier edition, with The Fox and the Stork.

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.

Myths and Legends - Including Pandora, Persephone, and Balder.


5. Our Own Country and Foreign Lands - Same cover as Book #3 in the earlier edition, with a bridge, windmill, and two children on a rocking horse.

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

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


6. Holidays and Famous People - Cover has six images of holidays, Santa and a Christmas Tree in the center, and two marching children with a drum and flag at the bottom.

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

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.

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


7. The Growing Child - The covers of all the remaining books are the same. Stripes at the top and bottom, with a small image of a mother helping a small child walk.

Much of the same content as book 4, The Child at Home, from the earlier set. However, the classic illustrations have been replaced with staged photographs, which are sweet and a fun look at the past, but don't have the same visual appeal, at least in my taste.

In the Food and Nutrition section, there are sample menus for children - and they offer much insight into how children were encouraged to eat before the advent of junk food. Dinner suggestions of Broiled Liver (my mother said that all mothers were encouraged by their doctors to require children to eat Liver weekly for the Iron content), Stuffed baked onion, scalloped potato, water cress sandwich, milk and a sliced orange, are encouraging to me in my endeavor to have my whole family eat real food.

Another section, Work and Play for the Preschool Child is great fun, with lots of ideas for play and work. 

"Water and mud and sand are the cheapest toys in the world and the most universally satisfying. They are best, perhaps, in their natural setting of beach or pond or running brook, but endlessly entertaining in any form. The hose, a sprinkling can, or a tub of water in the yard are fine playthings in warm weather."

"Most of all he needs time to watch and experiment and wonder... Too often adults are slaves to time, and hurry a child past his learning experiences... One's child is not wasting his time when he stops to watch the birds on the lawn or the steam roller in the street, or when he plays with the water tap, or gazed fascinated at the ripples on the pond. This, too, is part of his education."

The chapter The Kindergarten and the Child is a look back at what Kindergarten used to be, and there is even a comparison to Kindergartens of the past. 


8. Guidance and Development

Much of the same content as book 4, The Child at Home, from the earlier set. However, again the classic illustrations have been replaced with staged photographs.

Character Development, Children and their Habits, Obedience and Discipline Guidance, The Child Who is Different, Speech Defects, Manners and Courtesy, Right and Wrong forms of Respect, Right and Wrong forms of Affection, Emotional Problems of Children, Children's Fears, Children and Money, Storytelling, Children and Motion Pictures, Children and Radio, Schools of Today.


9. Ways to Learning

Much of the same content as book 5, The Child At School, from the earlier set. Illustrations have been replaced, for the most part, with photographs.

My favorite addition by far to this edition, is the new chapter in this edition, A Library of 300 Titles. With two sections - Picture and Read-Aloud Books (for the two to six year old), and Books for the Six-to-Ten-Year-Olds, The second section is divided loosely by reading level and topic, Stories of America, Stories of Animals, Stories About Children of Other Lands, Animal Stories, Stories of Imagination, The World Around Us, Living Things, Story Collections, Poetry and Music.

"One hundred books have been marked with a star (*). These would make a good basic library for any child."

"If you can give a child ten good books a year, you have laid a splendid foundation for him in this business of learning to live."


10. Nature Excursions

Gardens, Garden Flowers, Wild Flowers, Trees, Insects, Spiders and their Kin, Frogs Toads and Salamanders, Birds, Domestic Animals, Sky and Weather, Looking at the Stars.

Mostly photographs, with a few illustrations. This book has the wonderful addition of several full color plates of flowers, wildflowers, carnivorous plants, tree leaves, moths, birds,and even a two page spread in color of bird migration patterns. A great resource for learning all about the natural world, the parts of flowers, roots of trees, honey bees, and more.


11. Play Activities

Chock full of "unplugged" play ideas: indoor and outdoor games, cooking outside, party planning, holiday activities, hobbies, collections, pet care, building, doll making, sculpting, making wooden toys, cooking, sewing, dramatic play,and even a complete script and production how to for a play of The Pied Piper.

There is a cute section of "Jolly Action Jingles", little hand-motion exercises set to words. These were intended for use with children who couldn't sit still any longer, to stretch their muscles and get the blood flowing. They would be fun to use with a group of young kids at a party or co-op class.

"Through his play life a child becomes acquainted with the manners, customs, ideas, and ideals of his social group. Every child is constantly reproducing the world about him through his imitation of adult activities, and thus he is forming habits which are basic for adult life. What children learn, how they learn, and how much they learn are largely dependent upon their toys and play materials."

"A rainy-day box sometimes saves the day! Into such a box go pieces of tissue and crepe paper, tin foil, corks, catalogues with colored pictures, colored post cards, empty spools, old magazines, collar buttons, milk-bottle tops, and boxes of all sizes. This box becomes a thing of joyous surprise for the children on a rainy day. When they are supplied with paste and scissors, hour upon hour will roll away."


12. Parent Guide and Index

This is basically the same as the Parent Guide in the previous set.


Volumes 13 and 14 are larger books, the covers are twice the width. 

13. Art and Music

Showing black and white photographs of paintings, sculptures and portraits by children, from toddlers to about 10 years old. 
Children creating with paper, wood, cloth, weaving and puppets. Not a how-to book, more of an idea book and tips for teaching children.

The Music section has about 50 short songs, with the printed music, and illustrated in two colors, with instructions for singing the songs, acting the songs and playing the songs on a "Glass Harp", which is a xylophone of water glasses.


14. Science and Industry

This book is a bit like a picture encyclopedia, with black and white photographs and full color illustrations.

The Science section covers plants, animals, weather, solar system, weather patterns, Physics and simple machines.

The Industry section is full of photographs, black and white, of farmers in their fields, food processing plants, leather tannery, shoe making, wool, cotton, industrial looms, silk, lumber, paper, and lots more. You could liken it to a vintage "How It's Made" book.


The Teacher Set was the same for books 1-6. Books 7-12 were as follows. 

7. Fundamentals of Teaching

8. Guidance of the Child

9. The School Subjects

10. Nature Excursions (same as regular set)

11. Units of Experience

12. Teacher Manual Index

From the looks of the titles, the content may be very similar to the regular set, with a few additions for teachers.

Ultimate Guide to Childcraft Series

Part One - Introduction
Part Two - 1934-1937 Editions

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