Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kids' books: Grosset & Dunlap

If you drink your Dmitri Orlov straight-up, and also happen to have young children, you need to give some thought to the idea that you may have to take control of the means of production for educating them yourself.  As we cycle through the stages of financial, commercial, economic, and political collapse, well, you can't expect that the free public government school system will remain intact, can you?

If you're not already home-schooling your children, an important part of your preps is books and other educational materials for the future.  We are happy so far with our local soviet in the Seattle Public Schools, and are looking forward to see how our first child does in their accelerated program.  So far, so good, but I can't assume that things will continue as they are through catabolic collapse, now, can I?

While everyone is distracted with iPads and game consoles and a million flattering distractions for their vacant kids, the smart money is in analog books, the classics.  These are ignored for now, but will be in serious short supply when things fall apart and the centre cannot hold.  Even if you aren't a pessimist perma-doomer like myself, you should still have many of these books in your library as part of your status as a civilized man, one who would raise civilized children and offer them to the world.

This is the first in a series of posts about the childrens' library I have managed to cobble together, from used bookstores, Goodwill, and Value Village thrift stores.  If you know books, and are persistent, it is truly amazing what you can accomplish.  I still prefer the thrill of the chase, the lifelong habit and effort of combing through old bookshops and other outlets.  You probably could assemble a set like this with a debit card and a long night on, but it just wouldn't be the same now, would it?  AbeBooks is a great resource, but it should be used for filling in critical gaps in a collection; it is simply not sporting to dial it up and order your entire library.

So let's start with one of my favorites, Grosset & Dunlap.  These guys did some fantastic work in the mid-20th Century with the Illustrated Junior Library, quality hardcover editions, well-edited, graced by fine illustrations.  You Boomers cut your teeth on this and you were lucky for it.  

Less known are the How And Why Wonder Books, which I've been snatching up in the thrift stores, and the We Were There series that I've just started collecting.  We have a stack of Nancy Drew books as well, but they're really not worth blogging about.

Grosset & Dunlap published serious, well-made books for young adults.  They are a staple of any Kids' Library.  Hoard them!  Hoard them now!

Some core classics
More classics
Horse stories!  Dog stories!
We Were There ... series
How And Why Wonder Books
More How And Why Wonder books, great stuff
Fun fun fun, kids love these

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