Friday, March 16, 2012

COLLECTION #187: Vintage Heath & Company Readers

As you might have gathered, many companies produced and published elementary readers during the 'golden years' of the 1940s and 1950s. One of these companies was Heath and Company. They produced a delightful series of readers called "Reading for Interest". I have quite a few of these readers, but not all. These readers were all published in the 1940s, some are the 1940 edition, others are 1947. One of the things that I love about them, is their sweet covers. Each one has a unique color combination and graphic elements, with a universal design, font, frame, and decorative pattern. I particularly love the cute scalloped edge and the silhouette illustrations.  You can see some of the covers close up in the following photos.

Two different editions of A Home for Sandy- the one on the left from 1940, the one on the right from 1947. 
I have one of the pre-reader "See and Do" books, it has the most delightful illustrations!

Each of the earlier readers' stories centered around a set of twins, one boy and one girl. But unlike other reader series, these twins were different children in each book. Also, each book was illustrated by a different artist. I'm sure the decision to use different children was based on the fact that it would be very difficult to keep the children looking consistent from book to book with different illustrators.  It's fun to see the different looking children in each book!

In this book, the twins are Molly and Jack. Note how much they look alike.

This book features two sets of twins: two little girls who look alike, and boy/girl twins Jean and Tony who have different hair color.

I'm totally in love with jaunty Father, who, unlike in other readers, is shown in jeans and shoes without socks, enjoying a life of leisure.

In this book (Bigger and Bigger) the twins are unnamed.

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