Baby Names cover

What’s in a Name?

The New Baby Name Survey
Lansky
2007

Picture it: there I was, moving out the oldest baby name books from the non-fiction 900s, fairly impressed that they are mostly from the last five years and circulating at a reasonable rate.
Suddenly, I came upon this one, much older than the rest with pages starting to yellow and a paperback cover starting to do that thing where it separates into two distinct pieces of paper, sort of curling up at one edge.

What do I do? Look up my name, obvi. Then I looked up Mary, as one does.

Wow, every name seems to have a really depressing, negative description! Holly is “overly sweet…despite her poor upbringing.” Mary has “a conservative, mousy appearance.” Even biblical names! “Ham” says “what else can you expect when you hear the name Ham? It’s not surprising that people describe Ham as a piggish, rude, and dorky man. They also claim he’s sloppy, ignorant, and totally unappealing to women.” Tough break, dude.

I’m sure there are some nice descriptions that would make you look at your sweet baby and say, “Yes! Sarina¬†is¬†determined and goal oriented with lots of confidence and a sharp mind!” Just ignore the part where she’s also apparently a potential “conniving and snobby backstabber.” Focus on the good part.

Parenting the Millennial Generation Cover

Alien Baby Millennials

Parenting the Millennial Generation
Guiding Our Children Born between 1982 and 2000
Verhaagen
2005

This one caught my attention in my sweep through the catalog. Since it is a parenting book, I wondered if there was something still relevant to today’s parents. I figure since the kids in question are in their 20s and 30s is it worth hanging on to in a public library collection? In everyday practice I wouldn’t necessarily weed a parenting book just for “age” unless it was woefully out of date. (Check out our Parent/Teacher category for real offenders)

I only skimmed this book, but the majority is standard parenting advice found in a variety of books. I am not quite sure it brings anything new to the table in 2022. In real life, I would weed if the circulation was still decent or if I need the space.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed this book except for the Alien Baby on the cover.

creative recreation for the mentally retarded

Creative Recreation for Everyone

Creative Recreation for the Mentally Retarded
Amary
1975

I pulled this book from an academic library. The library in question had a large education program and this type of material would be appropriate from an academic perspective. Obviously, the use of “retarded” is inappropriate for a modern publication. Academic collections have different criteria since the use is primarily for scholarship and not for actual consumption. Different use requires different standards for weeding.

Special education students were largely ignored by most public schools until 1975 with the passage of Education for All Handicapped Children Act. The 1970s and 1980s saw huge changes in the laws and education of special needs children. In a public library setting in 2022, the title is disrespectful and smacks of “otherness.”

Dinosaurs

Evil Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs
The Bible, Barney, and Beyond
Phillips
1994

Phillips is an author of another book on this site, Saturday Morning Mind Control, in which the author asserts that Saturday morning cartoons are the gateway to evil. This book is more of the same. Dinosaurs, in particular Barney and Jurassic Park, are dissected for the apparent evil that lurks within these shows. He seems to have gathered that a big purple dinosaur with an annoying song about love is anti-Christian. As a mother of kids in the early 1990s, Barney wasn’t my favorite either, but I hardly would call him evil.

Based on the themes of his books, this guy is a giant killjoy. As one 7 year-old told me, “the library always needs more dinosaur books.” Amen, kid.

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.

finger plays

Old School Finger Plays

Let’s Do Finger Plays
Grayson
1962

A colleague was cleaning out the youth storytime collection when she ran across this little blast from the past. Of course we both knew immediately that we were looking at an antique given the “attractive” library binding. I recognized quite a few rhymes that are still going strong at storytimes. It’s a weeder since the librarian who found it buried in the collection had been here 12 years and was sure no one had needed it (or even knew it existed). Despite having a few redeeming qualities, it just needed to go for the casual racism and rather crunchy pages.