Encyclopedia Art

Submitted by Markydoodle October 9th, 2011
Certifikitsch Winner

I am calling this post “Encyclopedia Art.”   Dated 1961, these books were sold on a serial basis in our local grocery store when I was a kid.  I loved them then, and love them now.  Back then, I read through each one, over and over, when I couldn’t find anything else to read.  As I look at them now, it’s the art work to which I’m drawn.

The layout of the book is straight forward:  the entry, with it’s description, and one or more pictures to illustrate the word.

This is a picture illustrating the word “accident.”

5 Responses to “Encyclopedia Art”

  1. Allee Willis

    I definitely have a few of these in my stash from over the years, though I’m not sure which volume. I forgot whether each book when all the way through the alphabet or whether only certain letters were contained in each book. I’m going to guess that the alphabet went all the way through and then they just choosing different words to illustrate.

    I always loved how brief the explanations were and how colorful the illustrations were. I probably would have absorbed more if these were the encyclopedias I was forced to look through when I was young.

  2. k2dtw

    Great Post!!!… Great books for kids.. I was hoping they would show up.. I remember you saying they were your favorite books to take along when you accompanied your Mom to play Canasta? How involved was Art Linkletter, did he publish or just add his name???

  3. Mark Milligan

    There are 18 volumes, and the progression is alphabetical. For example, volume 6 is “Great Circle Route to Idaho,” and they’re not giving directions from the Great Circle Route to Idaho, so I guess that’s not the best example.

    Art Linkletter wrote a forward, and they imprinted his signature on the volumes, but from little info I can find, it looks like they were originally published a few years earlier by Harwyn Publishing without a celebrity endorsement.

    The entries give one an idea of what the publisher’s thought was important for children to know in the late 50’s-early 60’s. Some of the illustrations are entertaining to me, especially the way they depict the persons they’ve included. The description of the item in some cases look to me now to be subtle attempts at covert humor.

  4. Nessa

    I think letting your kid play with nails, a toaster, a hot pan and a knife goes beyond “accident” and into “child protective services” territory… haha.

    These are so cute, I’d totally buy them if I saw them out in the wild.