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.
Better Homes & Gardens
Treasury of Christmas Crafts & Foods
Submitter: This is one tacky Christmas book from 1980. Yes, it has the “Better Homes and Gardens” cred, but open it up….yikes. 382 pages of a whole lot of needlepoint, quilting, homemade crap (er, crafts) and the gaudiest tablescapes that would horrify even Sandra Lee. The “Beautiful Creche Figures” will give you nightmares. Check out the face of the little boy who is sitting among the plush dinosaurs- priceless!
Holly: Okay, I usually am the designated Scrooge, but I think even the most enthusiastic crafter would probably have issues living in this insane Christmas world. Check out the mother daughter tea party.
Mary: The needlepoint Holy Family is just plain scary. (At least I think that is the Holy Family…)