This beloved set is complete but not without markings by an "artistic" child in volumes 2,3,6,&12 and by an adult owner signature in volumes 1, 3, & 6. Please see photos. There isn't a baby boomer around that didn't love the illustrations and stories in these books. Truely a nostalgic treasure set and one that should be handed down generation after genration.Most homeschooling parents are already long familiar with the Childcraft sets published by World Book. This encyclopedic anthology for young children has been published for many years; many of us grew up with a set in our homes. Before World Book owned the name, Childcraft was published first by The Quarrie Corporation and then by Field Enterprises. I also recommend the Field Enterprises Childcraft sets, published between 1949 and 1961. Because of the superb illustrations in volumes 1 and 2, these are my hands down favorites among the series. Due to the quality of paper used, sets between 1949 and 1961 have somewhat brighter illustrations. Each set year--1947, 1949, 1954, and 1961 has its unique characteristics: The 1949 set is the earliest to offer the stunning artwork for which collectible Childcraft books are most recognized. With the use of four color printing and the work of such illustrators as Tasha Tudor, Eloise Wilkin, Walt Disney, and Janice Holland, the 1949 set inaugurated over a decade of stunning illustration in Childcraft! The 1949 set also offers an Art/Music volume that is unparalleled in any earlier or later set! This volume measures 10x14" and includes large, clear black-and-white reproductions of wonderful classic paintings, with wonderful discussion questions. I love to open this volume across my lap, with children on either side of me and read from it and examine the paintings together. After reading about a painting, we can easily find it in color in other books in our library, which is certainly an advantage, but I wouldn't like to miss the charming descriptions in this volume. The literature content itself changes very little, almost insignificantly, between 1949 and 1961. The only major difference is that the 1949 and 1954 history volumes contain several retold Bible accounts while the 1961 volume replaces these with later history, mostly American history. (In my opinion, being one who has a special love for Scripture itself, even for children, I would rather have the later history stories in the 1961 volume than the retold Bible stories in the earlier volumes.) The only other major change between 1949 and 1954/1961 are in the Art/Music volumes and Science/Industry volumes. In both cases, we prefer the 1949 editions overall. The 1949 editions seem to invite children into the adult world (which is something my children treasure) by introducing them to classic paintings by adults and industry and invention (including pictorial factory tours). The 1954/1961 volumes concentrate on more children's art, more modern art, and children's experimentation and an introduction to simple machines and other beginning science concepts. We found that both the content and illustration were somewhat less pleasing in the later volumes when compared to the 1949 set. The one advantage the 1949/1961 Art & Music volumes have is that they include much more music, including more hymns. NOTE WELL: Childcraft sets were published in a variety of covers, even during a single publishing year. 1954 was published in cream and burgundy leatherette, in plain, dull gray cloth, and in an orange pebbled paper hardback. Orange sets were published AT LEAST from 1947-1957 and the contents vary significantly from the first to the last of those years. Externally, the 1947 and 1949 sets are almost identical, but inside there is little similarity. Sold as is, no pages are missing, but there are definitely some "scribbles" on the front pages of 4 of the volumes. Weight is 28 lbs and may be shipped in multiple boxes.
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