Children in Distress cover

Children in Distress

Children in Distress
Clegg and Megson
1979

Submitter: This book may have been a good choice back in 1979- maybe in England – but today the information is totally out of date. The financial information is in British Pounds and not very helpful to the American library where this book was found.
What really makes this awful is this yellowed, brittle, and out of date book was sent to the bindery recently instead of getting weeded!

Holly: I’m sure it was fine…in England…in 1979…but it’s weed-worthy now for sure! Not just weed-worthy, actually, but never really suited to an American public library in the first place. This item was selected, acquired, cataloged, processed, shelved, and possibly even checked out by patrons expecting something more relevant before it was weeded OVER 40 YEARS LATER! Remember, collection management isn’t just selection and weeding. Every stage I just mentioned was an opportunity for someone – anyone, in possibly multiple departments – to question its validity.

Parent Alone cover

A Parent Alone

A Parent Alone
Bosco
1978

Submitter: This was an excellent choice for this public library, which is settled in a very Catholic neighborhood. But that was 40+ years ago and its days are over. Most of the financial advice and information is way out of date. Some of the terminology is no longer accurate. It may not be awful, but the subject is topical, and we need to keep these sections of our library up to date, something this book can no longer do.

Holly: Nice cover. Single parenting is a walk in the park! Or, apparently it was 40+ years ago.

growing up cover

Growing Up

Growing Up
de Schweinitz
1956 3rd Edition (Original Copyright: 1928)

This is another find in my Swedish Death Cleaning Project

Yes, it has been a while since I posted a selection from my Swedish death cleaning project. I did manage to clear out a bunch of stuff and recycled or donated a good chunk of the personal library. However, since we are getting carpet installed in this room and need to move the furniture around, this little gem was parked behind some stuff and fell out when we were packing stuff up.

This book is geared to children. From the text and illustrations it seems a bit much for the younger crowd, so maybe they are thinking upper elementary. It’s basic sperm meets egg. The author has some animal metaphors for how this sperm and egg thing work. We have some cameos by cows, horses, sheep, and trout. There is also an illustration of birth.

Finger Frolics cover

Finger Frolics

Finger Frolics: Fingerplays for Young Children
Cromwell
1983

Submitter: [This] title caught my eye on a list of books that have not circulated in 10+ years. Funny title aside, if there is one thing I know about children’s books, it’s that young’uns don’t take kindly to incorrect depictions of dinosaurs. Trust me!

Holly: Points for diverse characters on the cover. Otherwise, this is full of words and phrases kids don’t generally understand or use (what does “nick, nick, nick new” even mean?? See last image below.) The images are boring too. The fingerplays themselves might not be too bad for seasoned performers, but I’m not sure they’re great choices for “young children” as the title implies.

baby and child care

Alphabetical Baby Care

The Modern Encyclopedia of Baby and Child Care
From Prenatal Care to Adolescence
Vol. 6
Le-Nu
1966

Another find from my Swedish Death Cleaning project

I was in first grade or kindergarten when this was published, so I am pretty sure this wasn’t a book I picked up. I am guessing it was from my mother’s death cleaning and since she can’t abide waste, it probably ended up in a pile of stuff she gave me. For clarity, during my mother’s death cleaning she would shove random boxes of stuff into our hands any time she saw us in person. It was always a surprise.

homeschool for excellence

Homeschooling

Homeschooling for Excellence
Colfax and Colfax
1988

Today we have a book about homeschooling from the late 1980s. COVID-19 has changed the landscape of instruction for kids across the country. I can imagine that books on homeschooling, teaching, and the companion technologies might be more popular right now.

This book, which was probably fine for the late 1980s and early 90s, probably isn’t going to be helpful for our 2020 connected kids.

Other information might be outdated as well. There are some discussions of legal issues surrounding homeschooling, so that information could be suspect as well.

Parenting for the 90s cover

Parenting in the 1990s

Parenting for the 1990s
Osborne
1989

This book is all about combining those past theories of parenting into a new model. It seems as if there is always a “breakthrough” in how we parent. This is more an academic discussion. There is a grid outlining various parenting philosophies that I doubt non academics would find helpful. (I would be lying if I hadn’t thought about putting my kids in a Skinner box, just so everyone would be quiet.)

Parenting is just difficult no matter what. I read parenting books all through the 1990s when my kids were little. I am not sure that I had any particular moments of clarity or insight reading any of these books. The best advice is to keep trying and to keep reading, hoping one of these ideas or books will speak to your family.

Mary

how can I understand my kids? book cover

I don’t understand my kids

How can I understand my kids?
Bridging the generation gap
Wagemaker
1978

Short answer: you can’t.

I have decided that one of the most popular subsets of parenting books is the understanding/I want to kill my teenager books. Parenting books are kind of a Hail Mary for surviving the drama of teens. Every generation goes through this. The themes are similar, kids don’t listen to parents and all their abundant advice/demands/standards. Kids complain that parents are basically clueless. Both sides are correct. Can this be solved with some scripture and this book? I doubt it.

Although a Christian themed book,  it wasn’t overly judgmental and it did put much of the burden of communication on the parents. The examples are interesting, but again assume white, upwardly mobile families with lots of resources and choices. How can they be real problems if you have resources and choices?