It is a Golden Year….
No, I am not talking about the Super Bowl, but I am talking about the Little Golden Books. I received some treasures for Christmas. From my daughter, Classic Characters of Little Golden Books which includes The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Tawny Scrawny Lion, and Scuffy The Tugboat. My stepdaughter gave me Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book and Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned from a Little Golden Book.I gleefully wrote my name where it says “This Little Golden Book Belongs to…” I read each gift with a smile on my face.
Little Golden Books were launched in 1945 at a cost of 25 cents. These books were a novelty for the era because they were high quality, had wonderful illustrations, and one could purchase a book at supermarkets and other venues and not just at bookstores. According to the current publisher, over 2 billion Little Golden Books have been bought and enjoyed. The Poky Little Puppy has sold 15 million copies worldwide. The Little Golden Books keep up with the trends of children’s pop culture, and current selections feature Frozen and Star Wars characters. Past books featured almost every pop culture character children would identify with and enjoy reading about. Various well known authors such as Margaret Wise Brown and Richard Scarry, and illustrators such as Garth Williams (of Charlotte’s Web and Little House books fame) have produced a Little Golden Book. Furthermore, the Little Golden Books are a part of the Artwork Division of Cultural History at the Smithsonian. (See randomhousekids.com for more information about books).
I remember my first Little Golden book I received from my cousins for my 6th birthday. It was Nurse Nancy. Nancy had brothers who did not have time to play with her until one of them had an injury while playing. Nancy comes to the rescue with her nursing kit and skills. The book came with Band-Aids® glued in the back, and I thought it was grand. Over the years, I read a lot of Little Golden books because true to their initial goal, the Little Golden books have kept prices low. Even the current price of 3.99 is low compared to the price of many books published for children. The shelves are full of many of the older titles in addition to new titles of characters that would interest current children.
I recently purchased a copy of a 1962 Hanna-Barbera’s Top Cat (original price of 29 cents) at an estate sale. I was so excited because Top Cat was one of my favorite cartoon characters when I was growing up. My husband just smiled at my joy.
So thank you, Little Golden Books, for bringing me and countless other children joy one page at a time.
(Editor’s note: If you, like YeVette, have fond memories of Golden Books, you might enjoy these links:
- “A Golden Era for Young Readers: The Story Behind Little Golden Books”
- “Cult Movies as Little Golden Books” (FAIR WARNING! This one is not suitable for children, or for adults not possessed of a twisted sense of humor.)
What is your favorite Little Golden Book Memory? “Just sniff, and sniff,” and add your comment to this post!