A Toddler’s Review of Vintage Children’s Books

My 2 1/2 year old daughter, Lillian, has an intense love for books. Even as an infant she adored being held and read to for long periods of time. When I was mulling over what to pull out and consider selling, photographing, and/or researching this morning a “ding ding ding” went off in my head! I realized Lily would enjoy helping me look through a pile of vintage children’s books I had tucked away after happening upon them in an attic last summer.


As you can see, her face immediately lit up when I placed the books on the rug. The two most visible books in the above photo are from the BibLearn Series, both copyrighted 1976. These books were published by Broadman Press and printed in the United States; however, a print date is not listed within either. The first book is Abraham: Man of Faith, written by Elsie Rives and illustrated by William N. McPheeters; and the second books is Joseph:  The Forgiver, written by Jester Summers and illustrated by Michael Sloan. This series includes 24 books, each with several stories that end with a question or challenge to get kids thinking about the religious story they just read.


Above, Lily is browsing a Rand McNally Junior Elf Book titled Little Duckling, written in 1956 by Helen Wing and illustrated by Lucy Ozone. Although I’m not certain which edition it is, this particular book was printed in 1960 and sold for only 15 cents (as is printed on the cover). Interestingly, the Rand McNally Junior Elf Books printed their dates in roman numerals… for instance, inside Little Duckling is written “Copyright MCMLVI” and “Edition MCMLX”.


What a little ham! Lily reclined back, put her hands behind her head and asked, “mama, can you take a picture of me laying on my back?” How could I resist?

Sitting next to Lily is A Children’s Hour with Puss In Boots and Other Stories, edited by Watty Piper. This book was copyrighted in 1922 and 1929 and published by The Platt & Munk Co., Inc. in New York. I believe this particular copy was printed in 1929. The old binding style combined with the thick pages allows it to lay flat when open. The book certainly has some wear to it; however, it will still make for a nice addition to someone’s collection. Lily obviously has superb taste in vintage books as this was her favorite!


Clearly pictured above is A Little Golden Book version of Jingle Bells, retold by Kathleen N. Daly and illustrated by J.P. Miller. This particular book is the ninth printing (1978) of the 1964 story and sold for 59 cents.

Also in the collection were two fun and adorable Whitman books including Clip Clop written by Nancy Hoag and illustrated by Florence Sarah Winship in 1958; and In, On, Under, and Through written by Joan Potter Elwart and illustrated by Stina Nagel in 1965.


I’m looking forward to Lily joining me on adventures looking through antique and vintage collectibles this summer as I think she’ll enjoy discovering books. Who knows… perhaps she’ll become a little expert on the subject someday. Either way, I’m going to cherish the moments I spend reading with her next to me on the floor or in my lap.



2 thoughts on “A Toddler’s Review of Vintage Children’s Books

  1. She is so cute, and yes! Great taste in books! Even though they were sold for 15 or 59 cents, how much do you think they are worth? It’s crazy that a book published 90+ years ago is laying right there on your living room floor. So cool.


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