Digital Covers for Over 400 Children's Books
September 30, 2013 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Digital Covers for Over 400 Children's Books MeFi User Toekneesan has been digitizing covers from his children's book collection and posting them to his Flickr account. [via mefi projects]

Some real gems from childhood long ago, including Fun for Boys and Girls (gender bias, anyone?); an interesting perspective on road trips; fresh insights into foreign lands, and much, much more!

(Bonus: Early Readers and Primers ala Dick and Jane)
posted by jazon (22 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Holy crap! I had a ton of those when I was a kid! There goes my lunch hour...
posted by Thorzdad at 8:14 AM on September 30, 2013

These are great.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:17 AM on September 30, 2013

Wee Pals! Wee Pals is still running, but Morrie Turner is now really, really old and the art has slipped dramatically in the past couple of years. The humor ranges from surreal non-jokes to someone being racist and someone else getting in a sick burn at the racist kid that nobody likes.
I gather it was pretty revolutionary at the time. It was also a television series that was sufficiently controversial (for messages of racial harmony and tolerance, I guess) that it was cancelled after a season.

All of these are great, I just noticed that one. I should do a Wee Pals FPP one of these days.
posted by dismas at 8:20 AM on September 30, 2013

This is really great. The lead got buried, though. It's not that Toekneesan digitized his book covers, it's that he's got a really amazing collection of interesting children's books.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:22 AM on September 30, 2013

This is wonderful. We just picked up The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments at a thrift store the other day. It would amaze me if anyone worked through that book without losing a limb or two.
posted by mittens at 8:24 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

no no no why is there one called Cockroaches no nope nope, that one has an egg case on its ass, NOPE
posted by Coatlicue at 8:29 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, come now. The author of Cockroaches went on to write the Magic School Bus series, where children regularly get lodged in the bowel of some much larger, educational child! Learning is horrifying!
posted by mittens at 8:36 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

posted by Windigo at 8:38 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh this one informed a few career choices back in the day.
posted by lucien at 8:40 AM on September 30, 2013

Scary. Scarier. Tragic.

Well done, Toekneesan!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:49 AM on September 30, 2013

I have no idea why anyone would really need to have these on the interweb, but hot damn if it isn't the best idea ever!
posted by BlueHorse at 9:03 AM on September 30, 2013

So awesome! There goes my lunch hour. I had forgotten about The Five Chinese Brothers – must find a copy for my kids.

But I have to say that the Snorks seem somewhat out of place in there.
posted by Kabanos at 9:09 AM on September 30, 2013

This is great, I forgot all about Herbert S. Zim.

Folks who are enjoying this post might like the exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History featuring loads of original art from the Little Golden Books. I saw it a couple weeks ago and it's great. The exhibit is there through January 2014, of course whether or not the museum is open this week is a whole other deal...
posted by marxchivist at 9:12 AM on September 30, 2013

The Snorks is from my wife's collection, as is the Conan, Ewok, Masters of the Universe, and Princess of Power books. Need I point out my wife is a bit younger than I am.
posted by Toekneesan at 9:16 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here’s the backstory on the collection. It started with this book, which I had as a kid, natch. And it wasn’t that it was great literature, it was that it was a book about a TV show that I watched and I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. When I got older, I started collecting Whitman books (the publisher that makes up the majority of the collection, and published that first book I was fascinated by) whenever I was in a thrift store, which was often. But as I was in the book section anyway, I started also collecting pretty much anything that struck my fancy, and so the collection grew. It was super cheap to acquire these, since I was getting them at thrift stores, and before I knew it, a hundred grew to over five hundred.

But then The Ms. and I bought a house, and while our old home was smaller, it had lots of built-in shelving. And we bought the new house because we were having kids so about ten years ago I put the entire collection into storage and almost forgot about it. That is until earlier this year when The Ms. and I decided the house was cluttered with collectables so we opened a small booth at a local antique mall, figuring it was cheaper than a storage locker. The stuff we had there sold pretty well and pretty quickly and it got me thinking about these books. What the heck did I intend to do with them? So I dragged all the boxes out of storage and into my office and I figured I’d catalog them and assign prices. On a lark, I moved the scanner to my office and added one more step to that workflow, scanning them. So that’s why you’re seeing these today.

So I am still planning on selling some of them, but to be frank, the whole process kind of reminded me why I loved these books in the first place. I’m hoping to do a bit more research into Whitman and eventually blog about how that company really pioneered cross-media licensing (In the Fifties and Sixties they actually had Disney employees who worked in their offices to oversee Whitman's use of Disney's IP), but I don’t really need the books anymore to do that. That said, I’ll still keep some, just not most. I’ll keep most of the science and nature stuff, the Fred Gwynne, the books on race and culture, a majority of the readers, but I’ll probably sell most of the Whitmans.

It’s worth noting that in this process I kept coming across this name I didn’t recognize, Ivan Tors. His name was on the Flipper book, Gentle Ben, Ripcord, and a few others, but I had no idea who he was, so I started to research him and the result of that research was this post to Metafilter a couple of weeks ago. Meta Meta Meta, because Mo’ Meta makes it Betta’
posted by Toekneesan at 10:07 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

"Demon Clown and His Hellgoat" on page 2 looks like a world-class child-pleaser.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:01 AM on September 30, 2013

Oh, I'd like to have those All About books back again.
posted by pracowity at 12:07 PM on September 30, 2013

Bookmarked for much later perusal and mashing up.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:58 PM on September 30, 2013

Wow, some real blasts from my past here! I have no memory at all of what When Debbie Dared or "Minnow" Vail were about, but those covers are burned in my mind.

And Spin and Marty!

Nurses who Led the Way used to make me lie awake and worry about all the horrible diseases I was going to get.

It was around the house for years, but I bever read More than Courage, because I knew it was going to be about animals getting hurt.

And of course, we had all of the Cherry Ames and Trixie Belden books. I still get the urge to throw my black stockings into the river on the first day of spring.

Our editions of titles like The Bobbsey Twins and The Five Little Peppers were older, but I would have loved to have had these more colorful covers.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:35 PM on September 30, 2013

Wow, that book cover labeled by Foci for Analysis as "Scarier", was illustrated by Howard Finster. Neeeeat.
posted by Coatlicue at 5:48 AM on October 1, 2013

The Finster book isn't the actual book, btw. I used to have a bookstore and all the publisher's sales reps knew I loved Outsider Art so that's actually a pre-publication, color, hand-bound proof, a gift of one such sales rep. There are probably less than ten in existence. I feel very fortunate to own one.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:13 AM on October 1, 2013

My favorite so far is "A Trip to the Moon" by Tom Corbett, because it reads like wishful thinking for my current day and age.

Can I please send my stupid governor to the moon and keep him there? Please?
posted by ActionPopulated at 6:59 AM on October 5, 2013

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