Vintage Children’s Reference Books

I saw a post by Anna (St. Theophan Academy) the other day in which she displayed her find at a homeschool conference: a set of Childcraft books. They’re full of crafts, poetry, explanations of how things are made, etc.

We have a set too, the 1975 edition (I know that sounds old but it’s still younger than I am), and our children enjoy them as much as Anna enjoyed her set. I found our set of 16 books many years ago at a thrift store for $10. Can’t beat that!

 Look how nicely every one is dressed. How times have changed…

My family tends to keep an eye out for books for me. My aunt, a wonderful librarian, volunteered to sort through books for discard in the little Apalachicola library. She uncovered a few books on meteorology that had belonged to my grandfather (the meteorologist) who had donated them a few decades ago. She also found a few other gems like this one:

copyright 1941 – features many photographs of Ann Rutherford, MGM star

There are directions for making anything from dressing table skirts to Christmas decorations to centerpieces for weddings.

Over the years the thrift store has yielded many, many treasures. While people were pawing through the designer jeans and looking over the televisions, I was hunkered down with the books.  All of the following books were found at this one particular thrift store near Birmingham. Oh, how I miss that store. The fact that these books are rather old only makes them that much more fun to me.

A set of five (missing #1, sadly) books on American History, copyright 1963. ($.59 each)

I love the maps and illustrations.

A set of 6 Golden Book Illustrated Dictionaries, copyright 1961. ($.79 each)

A set of 16 Golden Book Encyclopedias, copyright 1959. ($.59 each)

Do any of you have favorite children’s reference books?

5 thoughts on “Vintage Children’s Reference Books

  1. My cousins had a set of Childcraft in the 50's (they were red) – I can still see pages in my mind, such gorgeous illustrations, such as for “The Highwayman” — not a poem you'd see in a children's book today, probably! My sister and I had another set whose name escapes me – they were gray and each volume had a different color stripe. There was one devoted to science, one to biography, one to stories, etc. That's were I first read about Madam Curie and Sacajawea.


  2. The spines of ours are beige with a different color stripe at the bottom of each one. “CHILDCRAFT” is gold on a brown background. Each volume is a different thing, just as you described.


  3. We have a set of Childcraft books from the 1970s. They are each a different color. We haven't used them nearly enough. This is a good reminder to me so that I can pull them out this summer with the kids 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s