Books to give for Christmas, 1949

The Indiana State Library houses thousands of pamphlets, fliers, leaflets and other ephemeral publications in its Pamphlet Collection. Among these publications are fliers created by the Indiana State Library Extension Division. This division, which has largely been absorbed by the current Library Development Office, sought to provide assistance to public and school libraries throughout the state. Part of that assistance came in the form of producing lists of books to aid in library collection development.

Santa image from “A Holiday Dictionary” (ISLO 394.2 no. 1)

In November of 1949, a librarian from the Extension Division named Grace Beecher compiled a special list entitled “Books to give for Christmas” (ISLO 28 no. 9 [3]) in an effort to help librarians recommend books that would make ideal holiday gifts. While the vast majority of the books on the list are no longer in print, some have endured and can be purchased and given as gifts today.

Below is a transcription of selected titles from the original list with accompanying descriptions, publishing information and cost as written by Ms. Beecher in 1949. These titles are still in print:

For the Pre-School Child and Beginning Reader
The Emperors new clothes by Hans C. Andersen ; illustrated by Virginia Burton. 1949.  Houghton, $2.00.
One of Andersen’s droller fairy tales illustrated in water colors.

Cowboy small, by Lois Lenski. 1949.  Oxford, $1.00.
A day in the life of junior cowboy, full of activity, and simply presented with full page color pictures. The story can be followed without reading the text.

For the Teen-Age Crowd
Journey into Christmas, and other stories by Bess S. Aldrich. 1949. Appleton-Century-Crosts, $2.75.
Sentimental family stories of the Christmas season.

Red planet by Robert Heinlein. 1949. Scribner, $2.50.
One of the best in science fiction stories in which Mars is colonized.

For the Adult Reader
Cheaper by the dozen by Frank Gilbreth. 1949. Crowell, $3.00.
Amusing account of an unusual family.