Immediately familiar to virtually anyone who came of age in America during the 1960s-70s, these fascinating and instructive books were designed to acquaint young readers with all manner of science, natural history and special-interest subjects. The "How and Why Wonder Books" were published by Wonder Books, Inc. (Grosset & Dunlap). Each one was filled with detailed illustrations and informative text; they were worthy teaching aids, as well as entertaining reading in their own right.
The fragile, softcover books – measuring 8-1/2 x 11" and containing 48 pages – were perishable, and typically absorbed heavy wear. Today, the nostalgia-inspiring publications are seldom found in respectable condition, or in multiples of more than one or two pieces. This offering contains an amazing 60 different titles of the 74 U.S.-edition books issued over the series' decade-long run, plus two of the scarce "Deluxe Edition"-type hardcover examples.
This collection, with books identified by number and title, includes:
U.S.-Edition Softcover (60 Different) - 5001 Dinosaurs, 5002 Weather, 5003 Electricity, 5004 Rocks and Minerals, 5005 Rockets and Missiles, 5006 Stars, 5007 Insects, 5008 Reptiles and Amphibians, 5009 Birds, 5010 Our Earth, 5011 Beginning Science, 5012 Machines, 5013 The Human Body, 5014 Sea Shells, 5015 Atomic Energy, 5016 The Microscope, 5018 Mathematics, 5019 Flight, 5020 Ballet, 5021 Chemistry, 5022 Horses, 5023 Explorations and Discoveries, 5024 Primitive Man, 5025 North America, 5026 Planets and Interplanetary Travel, 5027 Wild Animals, 5028 Sound, 5030 Ants and Bees, 5031 Wild Flowers, 5033 Prehistoric Mammals, 5035 World War II, 5037 Butterflies and Moths, 5039 Robots and Electronic Brains, 5040 Light and Color, 5042 The American Revolution, 5043 Caves to Skyscrapers, 5044 Ships, 5045 Time, 5046 Magnets and Magnetism, 5047 Guns, 5048 The Moon, 5049 Famous Scientists, 5051 Building, 5052 Railroads, 5053 Trees, 5054 Oceanography, 5055 North American Indians, 5056 Mushrooms, Ferns and Mosses, 5057 The Polar Regions, 5058 Coins and Currency, 5059 Basic Inventions, 5061 Electronics, 5063 Air and Water, 5064 Stars, 5065 Airplanes and the Story of Flight, 5066 Fish, 5067 Boats and Ships, 5070 Ecology, 5071 The Environment and You, 5072 Extinct Animals;
U.S.-Edition Hardcover (2 Different) - 4020 Horses ("Deluxe Edition," 1961 Copyright), Mathematics (no number, "School Edition," shows library labels and stampings).
The books presented here, while showing evidence of reading and handling, are complete and intact. Overall condition is about VG-EX to EX (a few lesser, and a number with original store price labels attached) with generally strong spines and bright, colorful covers. The majority of the books display the series' older-style "Painted Cover" designs, with a few having the later-issue "Photo Cover" format.