Crafts for Retarded

Posted by Meghan in Book Report | 10 Comments

Regular readers might remember us hitting a mid-summer crafters sale, along with me wandering around in shoes from the sale (something I would never do without meeting the person first — it’s a kooky rule, but it works for me. Like if I did get some foot cooties I could go back to the person’s house and confront them or something …)

Anyway, at that sale Jenny found a copy of Crafts for Retarded. No, really.

"Crafts for Retarded"

We had a discussion about who would buy it, which we seem to do on a regular basis. In the “one of us needs to buy that” sort of vein … and let’s get real, it’s usually me that takes the bait, since I have no will power.

What exactly is this book? Well, let me start by saying that some of the crafts look downright difficult. Many of them I probably couldn’t do now (and maybe that is saying more about me). Far as I can tell it’s a school aid or parent aid for teaching crafts to the mentally retarded.

Through Their Hands They Shall Learn

This is the first edition from 1964 and lord knows how many printings they could have had. Hell, even growing up in the ’70s saying retarded was a NO-NO. Not that it’s stopped me from calling all of my friends retarded many, many times.

Shocking that even in 1964 they would use a swastika in this drum project.

Swastika Tom-Tom

Yes, I know that it’s a Native American symbol and you can tell me all day that it’s a symbol used for 100s of years, blah. There is no friggin’ way that it’s ever going to be okay to use in a children’s book.

Not only is the drum odd, but there’s a full-on product advertisement on page 53 for textile paint. This is in the table of contents.

Product Placement

I did think these “Phonograph Record Bowls” were pretty cool.

Phonograph Record Bowls

Wanna see a better cover? Awful Library Books uncovered a less scraped-up copy.

10 Responses to Crafts for Retarded

  1. Karen in Tacoma says:

    I think obscure items like this are what makes yard sales so much fun. Or shall I say – yard sales are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get 🙂

  2. mike says:

    So I see that it’s okay for you to mock the retarded but you can’t take anyone criticizing you for being a bully. What a loser you are.

  3. Meghan says:

    Did you read the post? I mean *really* read it?
    I never once criticized anyone in the post, but the person that wrote the book, the crafts selected and myself.
    Your knee jerk bullshit is fucking lame.
    I was poking fun at how insane the whole of idea of this book was, even in the mid-60s.
    Honestly, go fuck yourself.

  4. Jenny says:

    Dude. This is OUR BLOG. You don’t have some god-given right to call us names on it. Now, if you had had some kind of actual point to your nasty comment, we might not have been so quick to delete. But all you did was accuse us of things we have not done and are not trying to do, in a rather offensive manner.

    The only thing we are mocking here is this book. Not sure how you are interpreting this post otherwise.

  5. Yep, someone is ki-i-i-i-nda missing the point of this here post. Which totally made my day yesterday. Thank you.

  6. Holly says:

    This post (and the related comments) made my day. Thank you for that. I like your style, girls.

  7. Mattie says:

    Just so you know, the term “mentally retarded” is still a legitimate diagnosis. It’s in the DSM-IV, and the Welfare and Institutions Code of the State of California lists it as a developmental disability. Swastikas, however…bad, very bad.

    I would’ve definitely bought that book. You two always find the most amazing stuff!

  8. cindy says:

    woah.. man you find such great stuff!!! I think AZ Is lacking, at least the PHX area..

  9. E says:

    I’ve been trying to find a copy of that book. Let me know if you want to sell it.

  10. Meghan says:

    Keeping it for now… 😉