Once a beloved teaching tool, Dick and Jane was later denounced as dull, counterproductive, and even misogynistic. A former teacher from Laporte, Ind. Gray with an idea that would change the face of American literacy. So Sharp proposed a collection of short stories that would each introduce a handful of new words.
Origins[ edit ] The predecessors to the Dick and Jane primers were the phonics -based McGuffey Readers , which were popular from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, and the Elson Basic Readers. In addition, Sharp developed the main characters of "Dick" and "Jane," the older brother and sister in a fictional family that included "Mother," "Father," and a younger sister named "Sally," their pets, "Spot" originally a cat in the s, but a dog in later editions , and "Puff," their cat; and a toy teddy bear named "Tim. Gray and others wrote the Dick and Jane stories; illustrator Eleanor B. Campbell did most of the early illustrations. By the s, however, the Dick and Jane stories had been replaced with other reading texts and gradually disappeared from schools curriculum.