Odham's Encyclopedia for Children
At the weekend I rediscovered one of my favourite books lurking in the attic. It was a present from Santa Claus in 1958 and has rather a boring cover.
The writers of "Odham's Encyclopaedia for Children" are not credited but its three advisory editors included the Professor of Comparative Education at the University of London Institute of Education and the former Headmaster of Harrow School. The book is described as, "an Aladdin's cave stuffed not with jewels but with facts, more marvellous than jewels but no less precious."
Filled with pictures and diagrams it really was a delight in the black and white world of the late 1950s. These are the chapter headings:-
1. Our World and Its Peoples
2. Our Mind and Bodies
3. Man the Discoverer
4. Power and Energy
5. Our Story Through the Ages
6. How We Live Today
7. Getting What We Need
8. How We Enjoy Ourselves
Colourful maps display the world as it was seen from Britain at that time
Note the industries of Britain shown above:- coal, steel and ships!
Diagrams show how things work
How our mind and body works. This shows good and bad memories.
And the vehicles of the time have been drawn.
But the most beautiful illustrations were painted by John Rignall (1916- 2004) who also designed brightly coloured nature posters for schools and illustrated books about birds.
Little did I realise that my brand new encyclopaedia would be a source for social history 50 years later.