Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Collier's Junior Classics

I happened upon the first volume ABC, GO! while in an antique shop during our Wyoming trip.  Besides nursery rhymes and poems, it has a great selection of folk tales and stories, and the illustrations are awesome.  While reading the introduction, I found myself salivating and knew I had to have the whole collection.

Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar

"I found my poor little doll, dears,
As I played on the heath one day;
Folks say she is terribly changed, dears,
For her paint is all washed away,
And her arms trodden off by the cows, dears,
And her hair not the least bit curled;
Yet for old sakes' sake, she is still, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world."

The librarian-editors of Collier's Junior Classics have combed the best children's books of the past and present to assemble in a single series a sampling of the finest literature for boys and girls.  High standards have been maintained for the art work also, which in most instances has been taken from the original book.  No attempt has been made to cover all fields of knowledge or to include factual material for its own sake.  The emphasis here is on good literature, chiefly fiction and biography, folk lore and legend, and some poetry.  Special attention is given to the American scene and American democratic ideals, but many selections cover other cultures, geographical areas, and historical periods.

Billy and Blaze

The Box with Red Wheels

The particular copy of the first volume I found (which has been "lovingly compiled for the youngest") was printed in 1962.  But from what I can gather, there was an earlier publishing sometime in the 30s.

Scaredy Cat

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe--
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
Anyway, I happened to get a little inspiration today after storytime, and looked them up on paperbackswap.  Sure enough!  I found and ordered seven more volumes, which means I only need two more to complete the set (and those two look amazing, Roads to Greatness and Call of Adventure).

The Three Bears

Little Red Riding Hood

Henny Penny

So far I have loved every minute of reading from this book aloud, and my audience members seem to agree.  It's become a big deal when I pull this book from the shelf.  The other books seem to be geared to a slightly older audience, but my little seedlings will grow.  Until then, I think I will be enjoying them myself.
Wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the king?

Doesn't that look like such a fun place to live?  I would love to ride on the back of a bird or sway with the wind on the stalk of a dandelion.


Kate said...

What a treasure! I am always on the look out for old books like this, especially when I am garage sale-ing or thrift shopping. And I think I enjoy them every bit as much as the children too!


Mary H said...

I think my parents have this set, or one like it, which Robby absolutely loved when we opened one volume up at their house over the summer. I will have to check as see if it is the same thing! Funny though, I don't remember reading them when I was little, though I know my parents always had those books.