Friday, November 4, 2011

COLLECTION #91: Vintage Golden Rule Reader Series

 Today's collection are these adorable late 1950s readers from the American Book Company's "Golden Rule" series of readers. I have the complete set, and I just love each one. They are called Golden Rule because they have a strong, but not preachy moral lesson in each story. The stories emphasize problem solving, kindness, creativity, honesty and respect. The illustrations are charming. Each book has a variety of illustrators, and I love them all. My favorites are done by Beth and Joe Krush. (the first and third examples below). The Krushes illustrated the famous Borrower series of books, written in the 1950s and early '60s.



In the spirit of the first famous school readers, the McGuffy Readers, these books are subtitled: the Modern McGuffy Readers. This is because the authors felt strongly that the original McGuffy Readers were so effective and successful in not just teaching children to read, but in communicating and teaching strong moral principles, this spirit was infused into these new readers.

I had these books in elementary school. I can remember seeing them for the first time, and being impressed with the design of the covers. Soft pastel colors, with whimsical illustrations scattered about. I thought the illustrations and stories were wonderful. The center story above, with the little girl and her father building a bookshelf out of boards and bricks, stuck in my mind for many years. I wanted a bookshelf like that! Perhaps that's why when I was in college, I built my own brick & board bookshelves!

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