Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Horn Book Magazine, 1959

I'm in Santa Fe at the state library doing homework for one of my MLIS courses. Setting that work aside for a few minutes to peruse the shelves, I've come across The Horn Book Magazine. On the open shelves, they've got issues going waaaaaaay back, so, I pulled out the issue for the month and year of my birth. A bit egocentric, I admit....  Here's what I see:

To the right is the cover for the April issue. The illustration is used on all covers (1959 and 1960) in the box I pulled. And here's the short list of articles in the February issue:

A New Look at Heroes of the Southwest, by Camilla Campbell
Theodore Roosevelt and Children's Books, by Peggy Sullivan
A Children's Literary Tour of Great Britain, by Joan H. Bodger

Course, given the topic of AICL, I'm intrigued by the first article. Heroes of the Southwest? Heroes for who, I wonder?  Turning the page, I see an illustration at the of the title page. It shows three men on horses. The horses are drinking from a river. The men are wearing uniforms. The table of contents tells me that it is a drawing by Harve Stein for Coronado and His Captains. That book was written by Camilla Campbell, the author of the article, A New Look at Heroes of the Southwest. I'll get to the article in a minute, but for now, I'll keep on with my page-by-page study of the issue.

The Hunt Breakfast on page 2 tells me that Campbell was born and raised in Texas. Her article is an edited version of a talk she gave at the Texas Library Association on March 29th, 1958. Coronado and His Captains is reviewed in this issue.

Page 6 is an ad for the World Book Encyclopedia. At the top of the page is an illustration that includes a totem pole, a newspaper, an airplane, an oil derrick, a lake...  I wonder what the encyclopedia entry for totem pole says?

Page 7 has an ad for Thomas Nelson & Sons. It includes:
  • Painted Pony Runs Away written and illustrated by Jessie Brewer McGaw. It is "an exciting story about a runaway pony told in authentic Indian pictographs."  
  • Protector of the Indians by Evan Jones. Illustrated by George Fulton, it is an "absorbing biography of the Indian's first friend, Bartolome de Las Casas. 
Authentic Indian pictographs? Hmmm...  I wonder how "authentic" was being used then? de Las Casas did document a lot of atrocities that don't get much ink in children's books about contact between indigenous peoples and the Spanish.

Page 8 is about Macmillan Books for Boys and Girls, Spring, 1959. It includes:
  • Xingu by Violette and John Viertel. Illustrated by Karla Kuskin, "this touching story of a little Indian boy and his animal friends has the universal appeal of a children's classic." 
  • The Mystery of the Aztec Idol by Harriett H. Carr is about an American boy who visits Mexico and "discovers a valuable relic eagerly sought by many people."
"Universal" is a tricky word...  I'd like to see that book. What universal value does it appeal to? Is there such a thing? And that Aztec idol...  I'd like to see that book, too. It makes me think of an episode of the Brady Bunch!

Page 13 is the ad page for The World Publishing Company. They feature Indians written and illlustrated by Edwin Tunis. In it, he "re-creates the everyday life of the American Indian before the arrival of the white man. A treasure house of a book which presents every aspect of Indian life in lively text and more than 230 drawings." Wow! Sounds comprehensive. I wonder if Tunis distinguishes one tribal nation from another?

On page 16 is another illustration by Stein for Coronado and his Captains. It shows Coronado's route from Mexico city and up into Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Campbell's article starts on page 17. I'll study and write about it later.

The "Late Winter Booklist" of recommended (and reviewed) books starts on page 31. "Spanish Heroes in the New World" starts on page 38. That is where Coronado and his Captains and Protector of the Indians are reviewed. So is Maud Hart Lovelace's What Cabrillo Found (he "found" California).

On page 74 is information about the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, a new award given by the University of Wisconsin School of Education and state organizations in Wisconsin. Publishers submit titles and a committee of librarians, teachers, parents, and writers selected 16 books. Among them is Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. I've written about that book before... it is the one in which Pa, as a child, played at hunting Indians. On page 53, Wilder wrote:
I began to play I was a mighty hunter, stalking the wild animals and the Indians. 
I don't think K.T. Horning at CCBC would select that book today.

Finishing my page-by-page study of the February issue, I see more ads on the closing pages. Julian Messner's list includes a book by David C. Cooke, called Tecumseh: Destiny's Warrior, and Robin McKown's Painter of the Wild West: Frederick Remington.  Hastings House offered Red Eagle by Shannon Garst, illustrated by Hubert Buel. The ad says it is a "true-to-life story of how a Plains Indian boy overcomes his handicaps and becomes a brave. Based on actual facts about the Sioux." Farrar, Straus & Cudahy were pushing Kit Carson of the Old West by Mark Boesch, illustrated by Joshua Tolford. It is a "sparkling" biography about Kit Carson's career, which included "Indian scout."

That's it for now... I've gotta run to the copy machine to copy Campbell's article. The library closes in 25 minutes. Sorry for typos, lack of clarity, etc. in my rush to load this post.


2 comments:

Jean Mendoza said...

Actually, that might make an interesting starting point for a study of changing and unchanging images of Native people in books for children -- choosing several birth months/years and seeing what was (or wasn't) covered and/or advertised in a publication like Horn Book! Wonder what December 1950 was like in that regard? ;-) I would have been 8-ish when the issue you looked at came out, and I don't recall any of the books you mentioned being discussed or sold except for Little House. Though there were several I remember from that time period that dealt with the heroism of the conquistadores -- not very honestly.... It surprises me that de las Casas (whom the advertisement called “first friend” of the Indians – because they were not friends to each other??) got any attention at all in 1959; I was in my 30s before hearing about him, and that was in adult material. Where did his letters and narratives “go” during that time?

Storykeeper said...

You have provided many thought provoking posts. Thank you for your insights.

I have nominated you for the versatile Blogger Award.