Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favourites

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s prompt is a cute one. I’m going to try to answer it without mentioning books I’ve talked about here many times before like Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, and the Little House on the Prairie novels. Not only will it make this post a bit more unique, it will show you parts of my personality that I don’t think most of you have seen before.

Β The Childcraft Series

Childcraft is a set of encyclopedias and anthologies meant for kids. Someone gave my mother a set of them in the 1960s or 1970s. After she and her siblings outgrew them, she saved them for her own children a few decades later. I believe that my nephews are now reading or have read these anthologies, too!

These books covered an incredibly wide range of subjects: history, science, technology, creative play/hobbies, animals, fairy tales, crafts, kid-friendly sociology, how things work, and much more. Just about anything a child might wonder about was covered by one of the volumes. Reading them was a fantastic way to learn a little bit about a wide range of topics.

I think this series had far more than 10 volumes, so technically they could be the basis for my entire post today. Let’s count them all as one answer and move on to other stuff, though.

Lois Gladys Leppard’s Mandie series

Once again, there were so many books in this series that I could have counted them as all of my answers today.

Mandie was a biracial orphan whose solved all sorts of mysteries in the late 1800s to early 1900s. I haven’t reread these books as a adult due to my loss of interest in the inspirational genre, but I do remember really liking her adventures when I was in elementary school because of how smart and headstrong the main character was.

The Dictionary

I loved reading the dictionary for fun when I was growing up. Sometimes I go to dictionary.com and look up new words for the sheer joy of it to this day.

The ThesaurusΒ 

I’ve also read thesaurus entries for fun both as a child and as an adult . Can you all tell I’m a writer?

Medical Textbooks

My mom went back to college to get her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing when I was about eight or nine years old. I remember being fascinated by all of the textbooks she bought for her courses. Sometimes I’d read them when she wasn’t studying.

While I didn’t necessarily understand everything they talked about, I loved the case studies in her textbooks and was proud of myself when I figured out how to pronounce the really long medical terms. These books also confirmed that I am in no way suited to be a doctor or nurse…although I have the utmost respect for people who can deliver babies, perform surgeries, place IVs, and stitch up wounds!

This might be the most unique Top Ten Tuesday post I’ve written so far. How many of you had similar reading habits as kids?

118 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favourites

  1. I mentioned a place called Greenfield Village in my TTT post. My very favorite thing about going there is Noah Webster’s house. It’s where I will often get separated from the people I’m with because I take too long looking at every little thing…although I’ve been there numerous times. So I totally get your dictionary thing. The Mandie series is not familiar to me though, I’ll have to keep it in mind for the young people in my life.

  2. I haven’t heard of a couple of these, but the anthologies look really interesting.
    It’s also pretty funny, my mother went to medical assisting school when I was seven.I loved looking at her textbooks even if I didn’t understand them.

  3. Childcraft! Many friends had these, but never read them. The fate of most encyclopedias in the 60s. We loved our Grandmother’s 1920s?? Britannica. I had a real “shut the front door!” moment when I was introduced to the Thesaurus by a fabulous teacher in the 3rd grade. Wow. It had a hold on me for quite a while–it’s refreshing to learn someone else enjoyed it! Even with Google, I still have my bound Dictionary and Thesaurus on my desk at all times and still use them! Great post!

  4. That’s so funny that you were reading medical textbooks! That would have scared me as a kid! I didn’t even like that big plastic dummy with the removable organs that we had in school.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today!

    • Heh, I was a unique kid. There were times I read stuff that scared me a little, though.

      What was it about those dummies that scared you? I was fascinated by them.

  5. Wow, these books definitely made a unique answer for this week’s prompt! I had a fascination with the dictionary growing up too. We had this really colorful Oxford one and I would love randomly opening up pages and choosing some random word on the page and trying to sound it out. This was such a fun prompt to do πŸ™‚

    My TTT post

  6. Neat list! I didn’t read the dictionary for fun (though we did play a dictionary game) but I remember pulling out random volumes of the family encyclopedia and reading entries from there.

  7. OMG, I’d forgotten all about the Mandy mysteries. I read ALL OF THEM. I was obsessed with those! There was another horse series that was in a very similar format to the Mandy books, but the heroine was named Crystal. (Which of course was very exciting to me!) Now I have to go look those up…

  8. Oh my gosh I remember the Childcraft books! We had some of them too, they were handed down to me by my mom and I LOVED reading them. There was a dinosaur one (I think), unless I’m confusing it with another series, but I do know we had at least several volumes of these. They were amazing- I wish I still had ’em!

  9. I’ve started to look up words I don’t know in books I come across in the dictionary and put them in my book journal. Don’t run into too much with contemporary books, but books set in other time periods and other cultures… I’m actually surprised!

    I did have some old textbooks I got from my parents or something. I know I have these history books from the 1800s that I read. They didn’t get on my list this week because I can’t remember the titles right off the bat, and they’re currently in a box in the garage.

    • Yes, reading old books or books from other cultures are great ways to improve your vocabulary.

      Those textbooks sound super interesting, too!

  10. Wow, I think this is one of the few TTTs I’ve seen that’s so nonfiction heavy–and in a childhood favorites post of all things! Not to mention most of the books aren’t even geared towards kids. Definitely a unique one, enjoyed seeing it.

  11. I loved the dictionary, too. One day at my last job, they announced they were getting rid of some books since we were moving offices. I have never hustled so fast to claim the Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, with its marbled end papers. And I’ve always said that if I win the lottery my first purchase will be a complete set of the OED and then the second will be a house with built-in bookshelves in which to display it. My non-lottery dream is probably a dictionary stand and a bigger apartment that has room for more book furniture.

  12. I completely forgot about the Mandie books! I read those YEARS ago over a short period of time, and quite enjoyed them. They were fun little mysteries. Never did finish the entire series though. Oh, well. Maybe someday I’ll revisit those I own… just for nostalgia’s sake. πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting Finding Wonderland, Lydia.

    • You’re welcome. Yeah, those books were a lot of fun. It was sort of like having the Internet long before such a thing existed for anyone outside of the military. πŸ™‚

  13. Oh gosh yes reading the dictionary! Also entertaining myself by staring at random maps and finding things of interest in them – the Ordnance Survey was a gift, honestly. There’s so much to find on every map πŸ™‚

  14. Nice! I never really read the Dictionary myself! Only used it to know what a word meant when it popped up in a book and I couldn’t figure it out! That’s cool though!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT post!

  15. Growing up, we had a deluxe dictionary in our house that was also kind of like an encyclopedia with reference sections on subjects like birds and insects, and I LOVED reading that dictionary/encyclopedia so much, lol!

  16. When I was five I was given an old set of Britannica type encylcopaedias and used to read those all the time and would get Dad to read them to me random parts as Bedtime stories LOL>

  17. I can definitely relate with the dictionary, I used to spend hours looking through it. Me and my brother used to play a game where our mother would give us a letter and we would see who could find the most interesting word!

  18. Really cool list! I can’t remember if I read Mandie; it sounds familiar though. Your inclusion of non-fiction reminds me I was really into biographies. I think kids have more intelligence than people give them credit for. πŸ™‚

  19. I loved Childcraft growing up and then actually read Worldbook Encyclopeadias. My kids also read them, but sadly I do not have them anymore for my grandkids. You were quite an avid learner as a youngster. That is awesome.

    • Thank you very much.

      The Worldbook Encyclopeadias were quite interesting, too! I’m glad you had that same sort of childhood experience.

  20. Haha, Lydia, I love that some of my adult reads mirror your childhood ones:) When I worked in circulation, I would continually read through the Reference Thesaurus and a personal favorite, The Idiom Thesaurus. I also love the Miriam Webster Dictionary site and try to quiz myself weekly, as a child I was more into the visual illustrated dictionaries.
    Funnily enough a few years back I acquired a set of Childcraft encyclopedias but realized I had no use or space for them and donated them to a children’s book drive, they were fun to browse through however.

  21. As a hyperlexic child (it wouldn’t surprise anyone to know that was me!) I had a troubled relationship with books as I read a book called Strange Stories, Amazing Facts so obsessively that my mum threw it away! (This is actually an excellent book if you look it up)

    Later I had a book about the interpretation of dreams that scared me so much I was afraid to sleep for fear of having a bad dream, and I eventually summoned up the courage to throw this away myself when I was about 11.

    My parents bought a book called Helping Your Anxious Child which was presumably about me as it can’t really have been about my brother! But while the advice therein was good, I know they never seriously tried to implement it as I read it from cover to cover obsessively, which I think is fairly ironic!?

    Sorry if the above seems bleak but I now think reading too much can be as bad as not reading enough. The first books I remember really enjoying were the Warlord Chronicles and the Sharpe books by Bernard Cornwell, which I started reading when I was 12 and also read too much, but which are still favourites now.

  22. Oh my gosh, my family won the Childcraft Series in a raffle and I loved reading them as a child too! They are amazing and I still have the volumes on my bookshelf now! Fab unique list!

  23. Ooh, I remember Childcraft! It’s actually kind of interesting how many classic/new classic children’s books they were excerpting that I didn’t know of at the time when I was a kid (e.g. Harriet the Spy, The Phantom Tollbooth, etc.)

    My favorite volume was the arts & crafts one … I loved it so much and made stuff with the instructions even though they were totally 1970s … =P

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