Friday, October 27, 2017

1975 children's toys book cover that would have to be rethought today

Times and popular culture change, so this 1970s book cover is now a bit on the creepy side. OK, maybe a lot on the creepy side.

These are tough times, indeed, for ginger clowns.

This softcover book is Things to Make for Children, and it was a Sunset Book, published by Lane Books of Menlo Park, California. The second edition was copyrighted in 1973, and this is the January 1975 fourth printing.

The original cover of the 1961 first edition, pictured at right, is perhaps one they should have stuck with. But nobody could have known what havoc Stephen King would wreak upon the nation's psyche.

Cover aside, the book is filled with imaginative ideas for toys and crafts for the little ones.

Some of the projects are a little on the elaborate side, such a wooden catapult, a wobble toy, a triangular abacus, a four-story dollhouse (!!), a hillside dollhouse (!!!), a revolving dollhouse (!!!!) and an all-wood backyard play structure with an eight-foot central tower that would put most children's playgrounds to shame (and there's a seven-foot rocking giraffe to accompany it).

But then there are simpler items — rag dolls, sock monkeys, hand puppets, paper-bag costumes, kites and piñatas. So the book has a nice mix of items and would be certain to spur additional ideas.

But, alas, that's all if you can get past the clown on the cover...

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