Submitter: I can’t decide what I love most about this book — there is just too much awesome awfulness to choose from! From “Conny of Alcoa” (is that like Saul of Tarsus?) perched on the edge of the table in her smart 50’s shirt dress to the scarlet-haired beauty dipping her foiled toes in the water on page 90, this book is a gem. Glue together foil boots to hold lingerie at Christmas! (And don’t forget to invite your guests to “snip nuts to learn their fortunes.”) Hang foil donuts on your front door to impress the neighbors! Mound crushed foil up and stack fruit on it! Dress your son up as a mind control-foiling (yuk-yuk) Pippi Longstocking for Halloween! (Although the aliens may have already gotten him — notice the childish attempt at a Vulcan salute)
Holly: Wow. These are really…something. What possible excuse could a library make for keeping this in their collection? 1959??
Submitter: Here’s a groovy book about Thanksgiving. Miss Berry is a teacher, and she does groovy activities with her class such as pin the feathers on the turkey. The illustrations have some vintage charm, but are not that interesting. The text is kind of dry. Holiday collections are small, and should be filled with current books (or appropriate and interesting classics) that kids want to read.
Holly: “Vintage charm” is one way of putting it. Or, old, dirty, uninspired, irrelevant, lame… In the age of Pinterest, craft books like this are less useful. Yes, yes, we still buy craft books for children in public and school libraries. We’re not going to stop. In fact, it’s one of the biggest parts of the youth 700s in my library. Kids (and parents and teachers) love ’em! I guarantee they’re more interested in something from this decade than they are in “vintage charm.” That said, if you have the space, create a “vintage” collection or display. How cool would that be? Right? It’s all about context.
Submitter: Our Easter Book continues the groovy adventures of Miss Berry the teacher. The book is full of fun activities such as going to a petting zoo, making Easter kites, and playing with bird nests. There are some interesting activities, but the story is not so interesting. I’m thinking that most teachers are not pulling out guitars and asking the kids to do a flower dance. I work at a medium sized library. This groovy dated nonsense doesn’t circulate, and needs to go.
Holly: The cover has seen better days. It’s dirty and has remnants of old-stickers on the spine, and it’s really not worth going through the effort to clean it up. I have to give props to this kind of binding, though. They just don’t make books anymore that stand up over time like this. I’m sure some of the activities are ok, but if it doesn’t circulate then it’s just taking up space unnecessarily. I’d be surprised if someone hasn’t bought another Easter craft book for the collection at some point in the last 39 years. If not, it might be time to examine your collection development policy and your collection budget and re-prioritize some things. Also, this is cataloged as 372.1, not as a picture book. It wasn’t immediately clear to me if this was a story book or an instructional craft book.