Dick and Jane Reading Primers

We make great money off the old Dick and Jane books. Here is another sleeper series of books which most sellers will pass by.

New Basic 1-6






. Dick and Jane readers continue to be great sellers. However, the Fun with Dick and Jane (mid 1940s) and the New Fun with Dick and Jane (1950s) are the best sellers out of the series.

A list of the books by grade level.  This gives you information for your listing. I get periodic emails about which books correspond with certain grade levels.

Knowing history sells vintage books. First the Elson Gray readers were published by the men who wrote the Dick and Jane stories. They were the 1930 books with very drab three color covers.New Basic Reader

Elson Hand chartPupil’s Hand Chart

The 1921 booklet was before the primers. The family name was Elson and the children were Dick and Jane. This makes this booklet a collector’s item for the Dick and Jane nostalgia fan. Sold on best offer for $30.

In the sixties, the New Basic Readers underwent heavy revision. The books had a larger page size, new updated artwork and a very large portion of new stories. Dick, Jane, and Sally also were a bit older and a bit more sophisticated. Teaching procedures also were slightly different- the vocabulary control was looser and more phonics was added. Helen M. Robinson became the head author. The earliest materials were released in 1962. The 1962 Established edition titles were: We Read Pictures, We Read More Pictures, Before We Read, Sally Dick and Jane, Fun With Our Family, Fun Wherever We Are, Guess Who, Fun With Our Friends, More Fun With Our Friends (All Grade 1), Friends Old and New, More Friends Old and New (grade 2), Roads to Follow, More Roads to Follow (grade 3), Ventures (4), Vistas (5), Cavalcades (6), Dimensions (7), Challenges (8). In 1965, an integrated edition was added. This Multi-Ethnic edition changed the title of the 1st and 2nd pre-primers to Now We Read and Fun With the Family to reflect the addition of an African-American family. These three children were Mike, Pam, and Penny. The content of the 1962 edition was somewhat altered to include this new family in the first grade. The other books retained the 1962 titles, yet reflected numerous multi-ethnic groups. The 1965 edition books were available in two covers- one featuring characters as in previous books and the other a child-art edition which did not feature any characters. Many people refer to this second cover as a “fingerpaint” cover, but the Scott, Foresman catalog listed it as “child-art”. The Think-and-Do Book workbooks were still very much a part of both editions of the 1960s books.

An experimental ITA (phonetic alphabet) version was launched of the multi-ethnic series in the 60’s as well.

In 1966 two companion series were launched to provide for individual differences – Wide Horizons for advanced readers and Open Highways for below-average readers.

There were also Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist editions of the 1960s series. Sally, Dick, and Jane was retitled Judy, John, and Jean to reflect the characters who were renamed after Catholic Saints. The Seventh Day Adventist versions used the 1965 multi-ethnic characters, but retitled the books. For example, Now We Read became Friends to Know.

— Wikipedia

Other Reader Series that we do well with include:

There are the British early readers to in which to watch for called the Ladybird series. I’ve written about them here.

Catholic version of the Ginn Basic Readers books are the Faith and Freedom series

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About Julie Schultz

My name is Julie Anna Schultz. I live in rural upstate NY. I have eleven children, one husband, three chickens, a bunny and a dog. Not acquired in that order. :) Since 2002, I’ve been teaching people how to buy and sell children’s collectible books online. Learn More

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