Looking for childhood Encyclopedia set.
March 9, 2009 12:46 PM   Subscribe

I’m trying to remember the name of a set of themed encyclopedias for children from my childhood.

Each book focused on a particular theme and had amazing illustrations and images that blew my little mind. The themes I can remember were dinosaurs, the ocean, plants, mammals, reptiles and I believe there was one focused on Native Americans and another on space exploration. I think I had around fifteen to twenty of the books. Each book was a different color. I think a new one came every year or six months, or maybe as my parents could afford them. This was in the late 70's, early 80's.

My mom gave them to a coworker for his children when I was in high school. I recently asked her about the books and she barely remembers books them, let alone the name. I would love to track down and purchase a set.
posted by studentbaker to Science & Nature (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Definitely Childfraft, I loved those books too.
posted by sanka at 12:53 PM on March 9, 2009

Best answer: Possibly the Childcraft Encyclopedias? They were published by Worldbook. Here's the set I remember for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Childcraft-How-Why-Library-Set/dp/B000GHMVUO/ref=pd_sim_dbs_b_1.
posted by wsquared at 12:56 PM on March 9, 2009

This sounds like the old Time/Life series. The ones I can remember off the top of my head are:
The Universe
The Earth
posted by notbuddha at 12:59 PM on March 9, 2009

Response by poster: Yes! Thank you. I was immediately able to find the set I had on ebay. Thanks again!
posted by studentbaker at 12:59 PM on March 9, 2009

Agreed - Childcraft, and I loved them very much. Thanks for reminding me of them. I look for them from time to time as I remember (like now!), and every time I see vintage ones on Etsy or Ebay, and think to look on Bookfinder, or when I see someone mention them on a blog makes me wish I'd kept my old set. I used it into my teens, especially the ones that had science projects and arts and crafts; and now I know that my preferences for children's book illustrations stem from all the great artists that were represented there. Whatever their price, it's worth it in terms of cost-per-use. I wonder though, if the current editions have the charm of the ones we remember (ahem, yes, - late 70's, early 80's, as you said)...

And, we have a whole lot of Britannica's Pre-School Library books as mentioned here - and that is a great blog for finding out about vintage children's books too. I think I love them more than our daughter does. I hope you find them!
posted by peagood at 1:17 PM on March 9, 2009

I loved them too. I have an ancient set -- they are beautifully bound, with gorgeous illustrations. Thank you for reminding me of them, I'm going to browse them tonight.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:41 PM on March 9, 2009

My parents still have the old set (like from the mid 60s) I grew up with.

Looks like Childcraft dropped the volume "Things to Make and Do." A real shame since that was by far my favorite one (build a submarine, a working periscope, paper airplane, popcorn balls, magic tricks etc.)
posted by Lord Fancy Pants at 1:46 PM on March 9, 2009

We've still hung on to our set, it must be from the early 90's-- along with Sesame Street, damn things taught me how to read. The (generally) very short pieces and plethora of pictures might have contributed to my terrible attention span as well.

What I mean is, I love those books.
posted by demagogue at 2:11 PM on March 9, 2009

Yeah -- I'm pretty sure I learned to read from these as well. Or, at least, I memorized one of the "how the world began" stories word for word and pretended I could read it...

The feathers that fell from his cape became bananas. :)
posted by natabat at 10:11 AM on March 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks! I was able to pull together a full set from two different ebay auctions for under $60 total.
posted by studentbaker at 12:43 PM on April 9, 2009

« Older Insert something clever about jewelry-making...   |   I think I'm getting a RAW deal Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.