Vintage Children's Books, Flash Cards, and Collectible Pressed Steel Toys
Dick & Jane, The Boxcar Children, Little Black Sambo, and More!!

The original Dick and Jane series was created by William S. Gray, (known as the father of the
Dick and Jane Series), Zerna Addis Sharp, (known as the mother of the Dick and Jane Series),
and William H. Elson, of whom, was also a creator and co-author.  This series consisted of the
famous characters: Dick and Jane, Sally, Spot, Puff, Mother, Father, & more!

The original Dick and Jane series ran from 1930 to 1965. The VERY FIRST original,
Dick and Jane book, was published in the year
1930. It was the: Elson Basic Readers Pre-Primer
"Elson-Gray", Life Reading Service (eventually changed to "Curriculum Foundation Series")
Copyright ©1930 Scott Foresman and Company / Illustrated by: Miriam Story Hurford

This book is a small soft cover in the colors of: green, black, and orange. You could say it was the
"birth" of this series, as
it was the very first book, which began the original Dick and Jane series.
featured the original characters: Dick and Jane,  Baby (Dick and Jane's little sister, who was later
named Sally)
,  Spot (the dog),  Little Mew (the cat, who was later named Puff),  Mother  and  Father.


FYI - Some important information regarding the 1920’s Elson Basic Readers:

First, it is important to note that the 1920's Elson Readers were not part of the Dick and Jane
series. This has been something that has been misunderstood and has caused a lot of confusion. Another misconception is that many people think that the, 1927 Elson Pupil’s Hand Chart is a Dick and Jane book. However, it’s not! The reason behind this misconception is due to the fact that
the, 1930 Elson-Gray Basic Readers Pre-Primer states on the title/copyright page that this book is a, “Revision of the Elson Pupil’s Hand Chart, copyright 1921, 1927”. ~ However, the early Elson Reader, “The Elson Pupil’s Hand Chart”, did not include Dick and Jane, nor any of the same stories, or illustrations, found in the 1930 Elson-Gray Basic Readers Pre-Primer (Dick & Jane book). The Elson Pupil’s Hand Chart and all of the 1920’s Elson Readers were BEFORE the Dick and Jane characters were even created. All of the 1920’s Elson Readers are not part of the Dick and Jane Series.

It is worth noting that when William H. Elson, William S. Gray, and Zerna Sharp, all joined together to create a whole new series of school curriculum readers, they used the 1920’s Elson Readers as a basis for making their breakthrough transition of an entirely new series. The Elson Readers were changed to, “The Elson-Gray Basic Readers”. The covers, stories, characters, and even the series all had changed during this complete and drastic revision. However, some of the old classic “fairytale” type stories were used in many different eras and readers. The fairytale stories had nothing to do with the Dick and Jane stories.

The 1920's Elson Readers were transformed into newly revised versions for the upcoming new series that would begin with the 1930 copyright edition of, The Elson-Gray Basic Readers. This 1930 edition of The Elson-Gray Basic Readers Pre-Primer is the very book that began the whole Dick and Jane series.  Just for further clarity, the Dick and Jane characters (and family) were not created, or implemented, until the year of 1930. Thus, none of the 1920's books are part of the Dick and Jane series. And even though the, 1927 Elson Pupil's Hand Chart was considered to be a forerunner of the 1930 Elson-Gray Basic Readers Pre-Primer of the Dick and Jane Series... the 1927 Elson Pupil's Hand Chart is not a Dick & Jane book.

See pics below of the 1927 Elson Pupil's Hand Chart and the 1930 Elson Basic Readers Pre-Primer.

            1927 The Elson Readers Pupil's Hand Chart                                      1930 Elson Basic Reader Pre-Primer
            PRE-Dick and Jane (NOT part of the series)                                      Very First Dick and Jane Reader

The 1930 Elson-Gray Basic Reader Pre-Primer, was the very first book of the Elson reading series to ever include the actual characters named “Dick and Jane”. It even includes Dick and Jane’s Grandmother and Grandfather, as well as Spot, Puff, and Baby (later known as Sally). This Elson-Gray Pre-Primer was specifically designed with the Dick and Jane characters & family. It was the very first book to introduce the characters that started this beloved series. ~ It was the birth of Dick and Jane and their family.


Zerna A. Sharp, who worked alongside William S. Gray, thought up the idea of having a family of
characters in which the children could relate to when they read the stories in the books. This
idea was sparked by her teaching heart. She had been a teacher for over ten years in Indiana.
She wanted to find a way that would encourage the children to read, and bring the stories
to life for them by getting them to connect to the characters within the stories.
                                                            Zerna Addis Sharp ~ Photo credits: Clinton County Historical Museum                                                         

While she was walking on the beach of Lake Michigan, she noticed how the children played,
communicated, and interacted. This is what inspired her ideas
for the stories. She knew exactly
how she wanted the words and style to be for these readers. She wanted the stories to reflect
exactly how the children were interacting and communicating in real life. This would help the
children who read these stories feel connected at a deeper level, and make reading fun! This
would allow the children to identify with the characters. They could relate to the way they
played, their lifestyle, and situations that may be similar to their own family unit. In a way,
the characters (Sally, Dick and Jane) became the children's textbook friends.

In 1965, The Basic Readers and some of the other books in this series,
ceased.  Although, in 1965 and 1966 Scott Foresman and Company went on to
copyright two other extension readers to this series. They were: Wide Horizons,
(for slow readers), and Open Highways, (for advanced readers).

The Dick and Jane Series came to a production halt in the mid to late
1960's, however many schools continued using the books through
the late 1970's. It was then, in the late 1970's, when the Dick and Jane
Series came to it's official end. The schools were ordered to stop using
 the books and to dispose of them. Although some teachers, students
and parents had saved their books!  Thus, what we collect today!

The Dick and Jane Series not only had the Elson-Gray readers,
basic readers, and The New Basic Readers... but they also had
several other subjects and special printings as well. Some of
which were: Social Studies,  Art,  Science,  Health,  Math, and
many others! Plus there were many supplementary materials
and manipulatives that were used in conjunction with, and part
of this series, such as: reading blocks, games, flash cards
(words, math, speech, and pictures), calendars, paper dolls,
cut-outs, math cubes, math windows, record albums, film strips,
and much more!  Of which I also sell, when available! 

Many people are unaware that there are several other versions of
this series, such as:  Cathedral (Catholic) editions, French Editions,
Christian (Seventh Day Adventist) editions, England/UK editions,
braille editions, and more!  There were only a limited amount of
publishing companies, of whom were given special permission
to make those special rare editions listed above. Please do not be
fooled by those who advertise other vintage children readers as
being Dick and Jane, just because a vintage book may have
characters similar to Dick and Jane! Because it does NOT make
it a true Dick and Jane book or item.  There are many people
advertising books, as being "Dick and Jane",  when in fact
they are NOT in any way, part of the Dick and Jane series at all.
Therefore, please... be an informed buyer... do your research,
and ask questions!!!  I am more than happy to help!

Please note: in the older grade levels (3rd grade and higher), as
well as some of the other subjects the actual characters of Dick
and Jane were excluded as characters from them! Yet they are still
very much part of this series, as the books are leveled by grade and
coded with numbers accordingly in each set, and for each era. Thus,
NO collection would be complete without all of the levels and subjects!
The Dick and Jane items that I list and sell,  give full respect to the
original series and the copyright holders of the Dick and Jane® name,
in order to preserve the authenticity of the original  Dick and Jane
series! Scott Foresman and Company was the original publishing
company of the original Dick and Jane series, of which the
Addison-Wesley, Pearson Educational Publishers, Inc.
now own all trademark rights to the name Dick and Jane®

Dick and Jane® Is a Registered Trademark of the Addison Wesley, Pearson Educational Publishers, Inc.
This is an active trademark, thus Addison Wesley, Pearson Educational Publishers, Inc. hold all copyrights.
We are in no way affliated with or endorsed by Addison Wesley, Pearson Educational Publishers, Inc.

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