Do you recognize this set of books?
April 26, 2020 11:13 AM   Subscribe

When I was a kid in the late 70's/early 80's, my mom had a set of books for kids that I believe she bought when she bought our set of encyclopedias. The set consisted of about 9 volumes. I don't remember all the volumes but hopefully describing what I do recall will help.

One volume had stories from Norse/Roman/Greek mythology. Another had fairy tales, including the usual Grimm stories, but others as well. I remember one story about someone swallowing the whole ocean, and another about princesses who had either jewels or frogs fall from their mouths when they spoke, depending on the kindness of their speech.

Another book was just short stories; I think it had a reprint of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, and a story about a girl who coveted the fanciest birthday cake in the bakery, only to find out it was made of cardboard once she got it.

Another volume was games that kids could play (I don't know if this "poor pussy" game is legit - I don't remember it - but the font and illustrations look JUST like these books I remember.) One of the games was Hucklebuckle Beanstalk (using hot and cold to find an object hidden in plain sight).

The last one that I remember was an American songbook for kids. Horrifyingly in retrospect, what I remember most is that it had songs like Dixie and Jimmie Crack Corn.

I am hoping that some of these details will jog someone's brain. I read these books voraciously as a kid and even though they're probably ALL totally problematic now, I would love to read more about them seeing what an impression they made on my childhood.
posted by Neely O'Hara to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It sounds like it might be Through Golden Windows, a 10-volume anthology edited by Jeanne Hale, though I'm not sure if all the details match up.
posted by trig at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2020

Response by poster: These don't look to be them, but you're right on track with the type of anthology it was.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 11:39 AM on April 26, 2020

Childcraft books? They came with the Worldbook encyclopedia and my family had the full set in the early to mid 80s, and much of what you describe (especially the story about the boy swallowing the whole ocean) sounds very familiar from my memories of them.
posted by Fuego at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

Childcraft came to my mind, also. I had the set when I was a kid (around the same time).
posted by escape from the potato planet at 11:57 AM on April 26, 2020

Response by poster: Oh that's so close but not it either!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 12:11 PM on April 26, 2020

Maybe the Young Children's Library edited by Augusta Baker? It's from the 60s rather than the 70s, but it's the same general idea.
posted by current resident at 12:36 PM on April 26, 2020

Best answer:

These? Sounds very similar to the 1955 set I had. I loved them.
posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 1:18 PM on April 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes! The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls! This is the set we had. Thank you so much, probably not that Karen Blair! (And to everyone who helped narrow it down.)
posted by Neely O'Hara at 1:34 PM on April 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

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