carpentry for children cover

Carpentry for Kids

Carpentry for Children
Walker
1982

My general rule of thumb for kids nonfiction is that it shouldn’t be older than the age of the kid. Please don’t write us about all your examples of the exceptions. I get it. There are probably thousands of exceptions. But I digress…

This book was brought to me by one of my co-workers. Topic is fine, but this particular book was old and tired looking. (As I am old and tired looking, I feel qualified to judge.)

In this example, the date published makes me question the following:

  • Is the instructional component and other content appropriate for the age group?
  • Are the tools/equipment/materials available and safe? (Beware of products/materials that are no longer available.)
  • Do any of the projects or commentary use outmoded or inappropriate language when describing people or things?
  • Are the projects something kids would be interested in now? (Not 40 years ago.)

Again, I am not saying that just because it’s old, doesn’t make it an automatic weed, however it does mean we need to check further.

Christmas Decorations cover

Ho Hum Decorations for Christmas

Christmas Decorations for you to make
Purdy
1965

For a book from 1965, surprisingly this edition was in remarkably good condition. That should be a red flag right away. Why isn’t in rougher condition? Did this book not get used enough? Was it a crappy choice in 1965?

The book does look old and the crafts aren’t that interesting. 5 minutes on Pinterest would yield better craft projects. Time to let this one go.

Christmas Tree Crafts cover

Christmas Tree Crap, I mean Crafts

Christmas Tree Crafts
Tichenor
1975

I was a year old when this book was published. That makes it 47 years old this year. I’m all for holiday craft books for kids, but this one is old and tired. There are giant chunks of pages falling out. Some kid, probably 47 years ago, colored on many of the templates in this copy. That kid probably has these hand-made ornaments on her tree to this very day, and her grandkids think they’re sooo old and weird, but dang it, she loves them. Especially the Christmas frog (see below).

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Holly

decorating with crochet

Retro Crochet

Decorating with Crochet
Halliday
1975

There are some lovely decorating tips in this book for all of you looking for a “retro” look for your home. Particularly fetching is the wall hanging of a grandfather clock and the homage to macrame wall hanging on the last picture below.

As a mediocre to poor knitter/crocheter, I can appreciate the skill set, but I just cringe at these projects. It is a waste of yarn. I am also old enough to remember 1970s decor, so I can also tell you that this would have been awful in the 1970s. (At least in my opinion.)

afghans cover image

Craft yourself an Afghan just like Grandma

Afghans
Traditional and Modern
Bray
1977

I was prepared for a very 1970s vibe for this relic of a craft book. I wasn’t disappointed with a few crafts that looked like it came from a grandma’s couch. However, I was surprised that a few were actually quite good. There were some very plain but nicely detailed afghans that would have made nice throws for a couch in this century. The bad news is that the projects were crowded out with the examples below. (Warning! A clown afghan is one of the examples!)

Free Stuff for Quilters cover

Free Stuff for Quilters

Free Stuff for Quilters on the Internet
Heim and Hansen
1998

Submitter: I found this book this morning while weeding our craft section. To be fair, in 1998 it was probably a boon to quilters looking to get free patterns and connect with other quilters across the country. But, it’s an  awful library book now because 1998 was the Stone Age equivalent of the Internet compared to today. Helpful tips in the book how to use one of the starter discs from AOL to get started with internet service, and how to set up Explorer on your computer. Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember all of this, so I got flash backs of trying to dial into the internet and the horrible screeching sounds accompanying the attempt. I didn’t try the links, but I’m guessing many or most of them do not work. About the only information relevant to today are the Internet safety tips, which still ring true today. I see that there was a 2nd edition published in 1999, but I doubt the information on the Internet had significantly improved in a year’s time. I honestly don’t have an explanation as to why this was on the shelf. I have weeded in that area before, but never ran across it before. It’s leaving our shelves today.

Holly: Isn’t it weird how things just pop up out of nowhere sometimes? It’s probably been checked out to someone for like ten years and they finally decided to return it. Gee, thanks, patron.

Illustrated Patchwork Crochet

Retro Granny Squares

Illustrated Patchwork Crochet
Contemporary Granny Squares for Clothing and Home Decorating
Scharf
1976

In the land of crochet styles, nothing says 1970s like a granny square. This had a lot of influence in many of the “fashion” of the time. (I personally sported a sweater vest of granny squares in junior high.) There have been some nice modern takes since this book was published. So we will use the word “contemporary” loosely in this instance.

Aside from the very obvious 1970s vibe, this particular book was in good shape (aside from some yellowing). I have seen better and more modern takes on the granny square, but if it is still getting checked out, doesn’t smell like feet, and works in your library, then by all means hang on to this one. Granny squares will always be part of the crochet universe since they are great for newbies. Stick to baby blankets, because babies don’t care.

101 costumes cover

Costumes Gone Wrong

101 Costumes for All Ages, All Occasions
Cummings
1970

This book sure looks old and the illustrations are awful. I just want to cringe at “instant Oriental” as well as some culturally insensitive assumptions. Yikes.  It certainly needs to move on from a public library collection.

This isn’t really for a serious costumer or theater person and it also seems a bit much for the basic Halloween costume or even school play. Is there a real need for an “Instant Napoleon”?