Set of the landmark 1930 editions of the classic readers – the two first editions to include the characters of Dick and Jane.
Overall near fine.
"Sharp believed that children would read even better if they identified with the characters in the illustrations and read words that sounded familiar..." – Kismaric and Heiferman
The Elson readers were already an established series before Zerna Sharp conceived of the characters of Dick and Jane. In 1927, Elson revised its THE ELSON PUPIL'S HAND CHART (1921) and renamed it THE ELSON BASIC READERS PRE-PRIMER; similarly, the longer reader was a revision of the 1920 and 1927 ELSON READERS, PRIMER; which were themselves revisions of the 1914 ELSON-RUNKEL PRIMER. But none of these feature Dick and Jane. The iconic children's first appearance in this series is here in these 1930 editions. The PRE-PRIMER was the first to introduce Sharp's ideas and concepts, beginning with an introduction to Dick: "See Dick. See Dick run." In the PRIMER, Dick and Jane are found in four stories: "The Old, Old Doll"; "The Surprise Party"; "A Home in the Tree"; and "Red Hen and the Valentine." The popularity of the series steadily rose, perfectly timed with the post-war baby boom of the '40s and early '50s: by the mid-1950s, 80% of American first graders were being taught with the Dick and Jane curriculum (Kismaric and Heiferman). In dominating the reading education of an entire generation, Dick and Jane have become cultural icons and central figures in popular Americana.
Read more: Kismaric and Heiferman, Growing Up with Dick and Jane.
Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, (1930). 2 vols., 7.25'' x 5'' and 7.25'' x 5.25''. Primer: Original black pictorial cloth stamped in green and orange. Yellow and green pictorial endpapers. Illustrated by Miriam Story Hurford in color throughout. 144 pages. Rear board with perforated stamp reading "For Examination," else no ownership marks, only light signs of use. Pre-Primer: Original green pictorial wrappers with orange and black highlights and original black cloth-reinforced spine. Illustrated in color by Miriam Story Hurford on every page except final word list. 40 pages. 7.25'' x 5.25'' folded sheet with 3-page publisher's ad laid in. Ink owner name in orange field of front wrapper. Trace edgewear, interior unusually clean.
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