Something else I managed to accumulate was a fairly impressive stash of vintage Dick and Jane type readers. The accumulation started when I happened to find a Dick and Jane book for a quarter at a garage sale. How could I not buy it for that price? Then I found another one for cheap at a flea market, then another at a thrift shop, and over time I ended up with a small hoard of vintage children’s school books. I didn’t just limit myself to Dick and Jane books—pretty much any old school reader I stumbled on piqued my interest. If it was inexpensive, I took it home, regardless of the condition. A true book collector would have taken into consideration the condition of the books when purchasing them, which is one reason I don’t call my accumulation a real collection. I didn’t intentionally set out to collect these books--much like I didn’t intend to collect all those rejection slips, but…as you know…stuff happens.
Countless kids grew up reading Dick and Jane so it’s a given that there will be some serious reminiscing going on any time a person leafs through the pages of these books for the first time as an adult. The intrigue of the books isn’t because they are well written, that’s for sure. The text is so cheesy your cholesterol level goes up just reading them, but it’s the nostalgia of these books that is the big draw.
Like so many other “vintage” kids, I remember learning to read with repetitive sentences like, “See Spot run. Run, Spot. Run.” I adore the illustrations in the old readers, but again, it is the nostalgia of simpler times that especially draws me to them—Mom in the kitchen cooking dinner or dressed in her two-piece tailored suit, matching hat, and white gloves just to go visit the neighbor up the street. Then there’s Dad in his suit, tie, and of course, wearing his hat, driving the lone family car off to work. Dick, Jane and Sally all help do chores around the house, with the girls wearing aprons to help keep their pretty pastel-colored dresses clean as they help Mom.
There is no denying Dick and Jane helped millions of school children learn to read. Thanks in part to them, many of those readers grew up to become writers--including the person writing this.
Leave a comment if you grew up with Dick and Jane, and even if you didn't, leave a comment anyway.
GO COMMENT NOW!
GO! GO! GO!
If you’d like to learn a little about the history behind the Dick and Jane books, check out this site: http://www.tagnwag.com/dick_jane/
Awesome post, Cindy! My mother taught me to read before kindergarten with a set of Dick and Jane books she'd kept from her teaching years. My own school used a different (but similar) series, but Dick, Jane, and Baby Sally will always have a special place in my heart.
We had Dick and Jane books down in the basement along with many other treasures like The World Book Encyclopedia, Golden Book Encyclopedias, Golden Books, a world Globe and more! I think my brother got the Dick and Jane books as they were in his age bracket more than mine (he's 10 years older than me).
What's interesting is that Dick and Jane are still having fun, but now with Vampires! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dick-and-Jane-and-Vampires-Must-Have-First-Reader-HC-1-/250699757248?pt=US_Childrens_Books&hash=item3a5edeb6c0
My grandparents had some of those Dick and Jane books in their house. We used to read them growing up. I have no idea what happened to them, but I always get a kick out of how hilariously bad they were.
OMGOSH!! What memories you're bringing back to me! (Am I showing my age? )I used to love those silly Dick and Jane books!!
Yes, I grew up on those Dick and Jane books. Unfortunately, I got in trouble in school for reading ahead in my book during our Round Robin reading time. Then when it was my turn, I couldn't find the place quickly enough. Still, I remember these books fondly.
In Zambia and South Africa, our characters were Janet and John.
Janet and John? That's interesting.
The biggest word I learned in first grade was umbrella. The story was Sally and the Big Black Umbrella. Obviously made a big impression on me!
Another thing we have in common. I have "accumulated" a bunch of old children's books/readers. There are a few of Dick & Jane but many are pre-Dick & Jane.
Every time I see those books, my mind goes to a very dark, 13 year old boy place.
And I'm completely inspired to make some t-shirts out of them. I would wear them everywhere. :)
Best. Idea. Ever.
Mei @ Diary of a Fair Weather Diver
Cool collection. Yes, I was one who grew up reading D&J. Hilarious and sad selection you chose! But I have to say what really got me into the creative mind to want to right was Harold and the Purple Crayon. Writer’s Mark
Que bonito es encantador el cuento . Besossss
Post a Comment