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Dick and Jane History of Sally Dick and Jane

History on the Dick and Jane Books
For information and history on the "creators and authors"
of Sally, Dick, and Jane visit our "Authors" page.

Dick and Jane
Click here to view our Dick and Jane original Vintage pages ready for matting and framing. Charming wall Decor.  Perfect for baby's nursery, your office, or your home, and they make charming gifts.
All pages are from original vintage Dick and Jane books.

Vintage Original Children's Books ~ Dick and Jane Book Pages

Dick and Jane

Remember Gardner Zeke?
  Read a wonderful story about how
Zeke influenced one family's life, click here!

Zeke was the neighborhood handyman who helped with gardening and yardwork


Who is J. Sparks?

I have received many inquiries over the years about supposed "Dick and Jane" artwork sold years ago from various art studios, mainly out of Laguna Beach CA,
signed by J. Sparks (Jim Sparks).

I have created a new page to help answer that question, Who is J. Sparks?  Click here!


To view our vintage Dick and Jane book 'title' list ~ listed by decade click here

Read about the integrated 1965 Dick and Jane books, adding the
African-American children, Mike, Pam, and Penny - Mike's twin sisters - click here


Many do not know that "Dick and Jane®" is a registered trademark, and all images and text are under active copyright protection. Dick and Jane trademarks and copyrights are active and owned by Addison-Wesley, Pearson Educational Publishers, Inc.

Any questions regarding Dick and Jane® trademarks and copyrights should be directed to; Addison-Wesley Publishers, they can be reached by clicking here or going to: http://www.aw.com/contact us

Dick and Jane

The Dick and Jane "See Spot Run" phrase is a very well-remembered "sentence".
See the sample page below.

While there are no books or stories within the Dick and Jane books series titled, "See Spot Run," it is a sentence used in several early Pre-Primers and Primers from the Dick and Jane series.

Sally, Dick and Jane, were and still are real youngsters to many of us, they played amusing pranks, dressed up in father's and mother's clothes, played with their toys, visited grandmother and grandfather on the farm, romped with their pets, made fascinating discoveries during a spring walk in the woods, and they did many of the other things that us healthy, wide-awake youngsters delighted in doing, and children today still love doing. More importantly, they taught us to read, and they made us want more stories - furthering our interest in reading.

Dick and Jane

The Sally, Dick and Jane "Curriculum Foundation Series," designed primarily by Dr. William S. Gray and William H. Elson, began in 1930 and were used in schools until the early 70's. They offered a balanced, integrated program of learning activities and learning materials which enriched the experience of the child while it built a foundation for the whole curriculum.

The series changed its style of instruction starting with Book Four. The Primer and books One through Three emphasized "learning to read" - the essential skills required for reading - where books Four through Eight emphasized "reading to learn" - reading for content. The Primer through Book Two had "Vocabulary Lists" while books Three through Eight had glossaries in the back, with pronunciation guides

Dick and Jane See Spot Run
"See Spot Run"
Page 'sample' from a 1951 copy of "The New Our New Friends"
a first grade Dick and Jane book. Dick and Jane® is a registered trademark
of Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, Inc.

The Dick and Jane Series are books with stories that are endlessly interesting to children, because they are lifelike -- understandable -- and full of the happy surprises that children love. Dick, Jane, and Sally are real youngsters who play amusing pranks, dress up in father's and mother's clothes, visit grandmother and grandfather on the farm, romp with their pets, make fascinating discoveries during a spring walk in the woods, and do many of the other things that healthy, wide-awake youngsters delight in doing.

Well-known Dick and Jane book illustrator Eleanor Campbell used actual photographs of children at play to develop her beautiful and vivid colorful illustrations. During the Periodically the character's clothing changed to correspond with the current styles of their time, clothing styles that portrayed in mail order catalogs. At the time, Sears Roebucks catalogs were the choice.

During the 1960's, Dick and Jane illustrator Richard Childress used his two young daughters as models for Jane and Sally. In the 1960's books, one notices a striking resemblance of his daughters to Sally and Jane.

Who is J. Sparks?

I have received many inquiries over the years about Dick and Jane artwork that was sold years ago from various art studios, signed by J. Sparks (Jim Sparks).

I have created a new page just for this question, Who is J. Sparks?  Click here!

For information and history on the creators and authors of
Sally, Dick, and Jane visit our "Authors" page.

Dick and Jane Our Big Book

Above: Children in class during the 1950's learning from the Dick and Jane "Our Big Book"

Boys and girls who learn with these books find they [even during the first grade] are developing reading skills they can use in many practical ways. Not only can they read stories, they can read how to do things, they can acquire all kinds of interesting information through learning to read, and much quicker than more modern ways of learning today.

Although the original series are long out-of-print, since the mid 1970's, the last copyright of the series was in 1965. Several new Dick and Jane books have been reprinted and even new books written. Sally, Dick, and Jane continue with new publications in the making. Once again, they capture the hearts of today's children.

Many of us want a Dick and Jane book because it is a part of our past,
while many others want their children to learn to read from them.

The Dick and Jane books and the series are still today very effective learning to read books.
Dick and Jane

Dick and Jane Pre-Primers

Scott, Foresman and Company first published the Primers and Pre-Primers with Dick and Jane in 1930. From about 1914 to the 1940's, the evolution of readers was seen best in the basal series published by Scott, Foresman. This series became the most widely used reading series for another three decades. One feature of this series was the reduction of the number of words children learned at each grade level and the profuse use of beautiful illustrations so they could easily relate.

With the first Dick and Jane book being a 1930's "Pre-Reader", a wordless picture book, the company introduced new titles in 1940, 1946, 1951, 1962, and lastly in 1965. Many changes occurred over the years; Mew the kitten had a name change, from Mew to Puff (he was even named Spot in the very beginning); Spot changed from a Terrier named Happy, to Spot, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel.

Seven editions of the "Dick and Jane" textbooks ran from 1930 to 1965. They featured stories about a family and home life. Up until 1965, these schoolbooks included the well-known characters of Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot, Puff and Tim - Sally's stuffed bear. In 1965 the African-American family was added and included, Mike and his twin sisters, Pam and Penny, and of course... their parents. This reading program used the "whole word reading system" for teaching children to read. The program included Big Books, Pre-Primers, Primers, Workbooks, Word Cards, Charts, Tests, and Records. Millions of children learned to read with Dick and Jane textbooks. Even today, children still are learning to read from these textbooks.

The Curriculum Foundation Series is a group of specialized books, all related in vocabulary, which provide not only for learning to read in the most pleasant and successful manner, but also for reading to learn. They acquaint the child with basic concepts in the important learning fields -- reading, numbers, health, art, science, and social studies. In addition, they oriented the child in reading and study skills and vocabulary in these fields.

The widespread use of the Curriculum Foundation Series marked a new era in the primary curriculum. Reading activities, instead of being aimless, produced a balanced program of learning. They contributed to the development of reading skills and at the same time to the balanced development of the child.

Dick and Jane
A page as an example from the 1960's edition, "Fun with Our Friends", the 1st Grade Primer.
Dick and Jane
First publications of the 1960's soft covered Pre-Primers did not have the reinforced taped spine that was added to help prevent covers from splitting and coming off.
Dick and Jane
Dick and Jane

1965 marked the year of integration into public schools throughout our nation, introducing the black children, Mike Pam and Penny. This is when Scott, Foresman & Company introduced the African-American family (the twins) Pam and Penny, their brother Mike, and the rest of their family to the "public school" system. It should be noted that in 1963 Ecclesiastical Approval had been given for integrating the readers, and in 1964 Catholic Schools were using the integrated editions, one year before our public schools.

Dick and Jane
1960's Popular Primer "Fun with Our Friends"
1965 - the year of integration for the Dick and Jane books in public schools. Mike and his twin sisters, Pam and Penny are introduced.

Despite progress and Scott, Foresman & Company's important attempt to include "all" children in the stories controversy continued to grow, about the characters and their perfect family life, and the addition of the black family. To lessen conflict, Scott, Foresman & Company chose to hide the characters on the covers of books that were copyright in 1965, replacing them with the rare finger-paint art designs (shown right below). Many believing that the stories were misleading by portraying the "perfect family" caused much of the controversy, which increased with the addition of the African American children, Mike, Pam, and Penny.


Due to continued controversy, the last year of copyright for Dick and Jane was 1965. By the early to mid 1970's these wonderful teaching methods and tools, the loved characters and adorable illustrations, and the fabulous stories came to their end. Most schools last used these fabulous books in the early to mid 1970's. Many ordered the disposal of all remaining books. Teachers, staff, and some students, kept some of the "discarded" books.

A few Dick and Jane books were found in school trash containers. Many rescued books were hidden by those saving them, some hidden for years. Sadly, a few teachers have said that their schools went so far as to burn their remaining books in the schools incinerator. Seems almost like a ritual, to ensure their end.

Many teachers and parents still believe the Dick and Jane "See Spot Run" books are very effective learning tools for children today. Many baby-boomers remember them well, they taught us to read, and they kept our interest.

The theory created long ago worked then and continues to work today teaching children. It is a wonderful teaching method for many children with learning disabilities, still recognized as such by today's teachers. Sally, Dick and Jane live on, and continue to deserve merit.

Portions of information above is authored by
myself and courtesy of, Curriculum Materials Center

The Ultimate Dick and Jane Storybook

To view my Dick and Jane books for sale,
click here.

To view my comprehensive list of Dick and Jane books published, click here

The Ultimate Dick and Jane Storybook


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