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Childcraft Vol. 3: World and Space

I quite like designing things, but I am hamstrung by the fact that I can't draw.

Something I have turned to frequently for design inspiration of late is the 1970 edition of the Childcraft encyclopedia -- the edition with which I grew up. My set disappeared sometime after I moved out of home, but I recently found the same edition in pristine condition (N.B. correct usage of "pristine") on eBay and bought them for nostalgia's sake. I was not disappointed; I remember every page so well, especially the amazing illustrations and graphic design, that flipping through the volumes is an exercise in goosebumps.

How to use a road map

How to use a road map

Aside from the design of this blog, it's impossible to estimate how much of an effect these books had on my life. I read about Mozart and Gandhi and Benjamin Franklin for the first time in a Childcraft encyclopedia. I learned to recite nearly all of the first volume's poems in my early speech and drama lessons. I used to wish I lived in America because so much of the content was US-centric (mostly I wanted to track rabbit, deer, and foxes because Australian animals just seemed so boring).

I hope some of my friends with kids get sets of these for their own children. I know kids have the Internet et cetera now, but there is something wonderful about the permanence of these books. Maybe the best part about reading through them now as an adult is revisiting all the completely outdated information. Sounds syrupy, but it not only pushes all my nostalgia buttons, but makes me feel good about the world to see how far we've progressed.

Posted by mormolyke 16:54 Tagged blog

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Hi I have a question, I'm not crazy, trying to help out a friend. She remembers a story from the Childcraft books.... Volume one. About a troll and a mermaid... would you happen to know the name of the story? If possible and it isn't to long, could you email me the story. I hope I'm not intruding or asking to much. She used to read the story to her son when he was young. Thanks so much. my email is julie_diane2@yahoo.com

by julie_diane2

Hi Julie,
Thanks for dropping by! Hrmm, "a troll and a mermaid" isn't ringing any bells for me, and I just flicked through the first volume (Poems & Rhymes) and the second volume too (Stories and Fables) but didn't come up with anything. It could be that it was a different edition of the Childcraft - they changed a lot of edition to edition.
Good luck with your search!
Melissa

by mormolyke

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