“Best in Children’s” Doubleday series

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  • Jennymalone

    Does anyone have a familiarity with the vintage Doubleday series “Best in Children’s Books?” They seem to have a lot of classics put together in multiple books/parts of books per volume, so it would be a huge space saver in our small house if I could get some of these multi-book books instead of many smaller individual books. Are they worth it? Any recommendations? Anyone know of any other good combo books/series? I think the Doubleday books have anything from American history by the D’aulaires to excerpts from Kipling’s Just So stories.

    (Obviously I can borrow from the library if we are only going to use something once, but if it is going to be used often I like to own it as our library is small and inter library loans are inconsistent and verrrry slow. Lol. Also we have four children (and will most likely have more,) so any book we love will be well used. 🙂


    I much prefer the entire book vs just excerpts from a book or a retelling of a book. I would rather wait for my child to be ready to hear the entire book vs reading a paraphrased version when young. I thought it was in one of CM writings where she spoke about reading the unabridged version instead of a children’s or shortened version, but that might be wrong, and I might be thinking of something else I read.

    I have realized over the years that we have favorite authors in our house and those books become like friends, and we have read them over and over. Spreading a feast is great, but as time has gone on quality over quantity has become my focus when it comes to books and just because something is said to be a classic does not mean the kids and I will always enjoy it and that is ok, and it is also ok to not hold onto the book. 🙂

    So I would invest in books that will be enjoyed over and over vs a collection where you might only enjoy one or 2 of the stories from the entire collection.

    We live in a small home and our living room, the room you enter off the front door, has one wall with dedicated bookshelves. They have become part of the decor, but I have to say having them in view causes us all, even from really young, to reach for books often.


    Thank you, Sarah, for your reply! I absolutely agree about the unabridged/unshortened versions. I’m quite particular on that. 🙂 I believe you’re right in your remembrance of what Mason said on the subject.

    I guess that was confusing, the way I described it. When I said “excerpts” from the Just so stories, I meant that only certain stories were in there, albeit each one in a complete form. I don’t really know about the longer books included, if they are partial or whole. I was hoping someone would be able to elucidate on that. I do have a few “multibook” volumes from another set, and they do have complete books inside, such as the whole Black beauty within!the animal book.

    That’s a wonderful point, about favorite books becoming like old friends. 🙂 I know that was certainly the case for me growing up!

    I think I had more in view the books that would likely be read in a school way, such as the history stories. There were some volumes included that had stories/books on Lincoln, Pocahontas, etc. I was hoping the set might be worth having for the wide variety of shorter elementary type stories that would be included, rather than trying to purchase each in its own smaller book.

    and children’s collections of Arabian Knights and other classics where I would never dare hand over the complete unabridged version! Lol


    Sorry  I didn’t explain myself very well in the first post!

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