100 Best Books for Children ~ Beard

Next up on our Hundred Best Books for Children found in The Book-Lover by Baldwin are Beard’s American Boy’s Handy Book and Beard’s American Girl’s Handy Book.

Daniel Carter Beard was a civil engineer and surveyor and avid outdoorsman who founded the Sons of Daniel Boone organization in the early 1900s. The idea was to teach the skills of the frontiersman. In 1910 Beard joined the Boy Scouts of America as their National Commissioner at which time he merged his organization with the Boy Scouts.

Beard wrote American Boy’s Handy Book in 1888, “a manual of pastimes”:

The sports, amusements, and games embraced in this book are intended to reach the average American boy of any age, not too young to fly a kite or too old to enjoy a day’s good fishing.

The book is arranged by activities per season: kites and fishing in spring, knots and hitches in summer, traps and art in autumn, and snow sports in winter. You’ll also find an array of indoor pastimes.

A handy book needs be handy. So this is a how-to manual for many skills and crafts we no longer really know how to do. Think of it as the precursor to the Boy Scout manual.

The American Girl’s Handy Book was written by Beard’s sisters:

“I DO wish some one would write a book like that for girls,” is the remark we have frequently heard when a new book of sports for boys has made its appearance; but it was not until the publication of the American Boy’s Handy Book that it occurred to us to write a book for the American boy’s neglected sisters, which should be equally original and practical.

The activities in this book are also more practical in nature: flowers in spring, botany in summer, drawing in autumn, and decorating in winter. There is also a focus on seasonal holiday celebrations.

These books can be worked through to keep ’em learning and spark interests. To get started, help your child find an activity that he or she is interested in, provide any items necessary. Then refer back to the books again and again.

Free eBooks

American Boy’s Handy Book

American Girl’s Handy Book

Additional Resources
100 Best Books for Children ~ Beard

American Boy’s Handy Book
These books were reprinted in the late 90s. This is the paperback version for those interested.

American Girl’s Handy Book
Paperback reprint version.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

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