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Childcraft is a multi-volume illustrated anthology for children, which originated in the late 1930s.

File photo of Childcraft at a house in India

Origin and description[edit]

The Childcraft series was originally created in the 1930s by W. F. Quarrie & Company, then publishers of the World Book encyclopedia. The series' title was Childcraft – The How and Why Library.

Childcraft was created as a sort of encyclopedia for young children. With simple texts and illustrations, the volumes were designed to make learning fun. Each volume addressed different subjects, including literature — such as short stories and poetry, including fairy tales and nursery rhymes — as well as mathematics and the sciences.

Starting out as seven volumes in the late 1930s, the series was re-issued in a new edition every few years, sometimes incorporating new volumes and re-arranging existing ones. It grew to 15 volumes in the 1950s, and remained there, though further changes were made in later editions.

The Childcraft set also added a separate, optional, special annual volume each year, starting in 1965. Some of these were later incorporated as regular volumes.

In addition, by the 1980s the series had broadened its reach to a dozen foreign language editions, with editions shipped to over 50 countries around the world.[1]


The 15 volumes of Childcraft, published by World Book, Inc., currently consist of:

  • Once Upon a Time- short stories and folk tales.
  • Art Around Us
  • Poems and Rhymes - poetry
  • How Things Work
  • How Does it Happen?
  • Our Earth
  • Our Universe
  • Shapes and Numbers
  • The World of Animals
  • The World of Plants
  • About You
  • Celebrate!
  • See The World
  • Who We Are
  • Guide to Childcraft

The 1973 edition consisted of the following:

1. Poems and Rhymes
2. Stories and Fables
3. Children Everywhere
4. World and Space
5. About Animals
6. How Things Work
7. How We Get Things
8. What People Do
9. Holidays and Customs
10. Places to Know
11. Make and Do
12. Look and Learn
13. Look Again
14. About Me
15. Guide for Parents

The 1954 edition consisted of the following:

1. Poems of Early Childhood
2. Storytelling and Other Poems
3. Folk and Fairy Tales
4. Animal Friends and Adventures
5. Life in Many Lands
6. Great Men and Famous Deeds
7. Exploring the World Around Us
8. Creative Play and Hobbies
9. Science and Industry
10. Art for Children
11. Music for the Family
12. You and Your Family
13. Your Young Child
14. Your Child Goes to School
15. Your Child in Today's World

The following "Childcraft Annual" volumes were released.

1965. Places to Know
1966. Look and Learn
1967. Braving the Elements
1968. Look Again
1969. About Me
1970. Children Everywhere
1971. About Animals
1972. The Green Kingdom
1973. About Us
1974. Animals in Danger
1975. The Magic of Words
1976. Prehistoric Animals
1977. About Dogs
1978. Mathemagic
1979. Story of the Sea
1980. The Indian Book
1981. The Bug Book
1982. The Puzzle Book
1983. Feathered Friends
1984. Great Myths and Legends
1985. Conquest of the Sky
1986. Mysteries and Fantasies
1987. Dinosaurs
1988. Stories of Freedom
1989. World of Color/People to Know
1990. How We Get Things
1991. I Was Wondering
1992. Pets and Other Animals
1993. Inventors and Inventions
1994. A Look Into Space
1995. Our Amazing Bodies
1996. Exploring the Ocean
1997. Science, Science Everywhere
1998. Friends in the Wild
1999. The Fact Factory
2000. World Adventure
2001. Stories to Share
2002. Secrets of the Past
2003. Heroes and Helpers
2004. Native North Americans
2005. All About Birds
2006. Tales of Mystery and the Unknown
2007. Insects, Spiders, and Creepy Crawlers
2008. Dogs, from Woofs to Wags
2009. Tales Through Time
2010. Brain Games
2011. Code Red: Animals in Peril
2012. Letters to Words
2013. A Dream Takes Flight
2014. The Secret Files of Professor L. Otto Funn


  1. ^ World Book, Inc. International Directory of Company Histories, The Gale Group, Inc., 2006. accessed November 20, 2008

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