Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today's Trivia - Little Golden Books

Before this series, children’s books normally sold for $2 - $3; way beyond reach for many families. George Duplaix, president of the Artists and Writers Guild, Inc. (a joint interest of Simon & Schuster Publishing and Western Printing) came up with the concept of developing a colorful children's book that was durable and affordable for most American families. Little Golden Books initially sold for 25¢ (rising to 29¢ in 1962) - a much better deal!

The first 12 titles were published on October 1, 1942:

1. Three Little Kittens
2. Bedtime Stories
3. Mother Goose
4. Prayers for Children
5. The Little Red Hen
6. Nursery Songs
7. The Alphabet from A to Z
8. The Poky Little Puppy
9. The Golden Book of Fairy Tales
10. Baby's Book of Objects
11. The Animals of Farmer Jones
12. This Little Piggy and Other Counting Rhymes


Although the details have changed over the years, the Little Golden Books have maintained a distinctive appearance. A copy of The Poky Little Puppy bought today is essentially the same as one printed in 1942. Both are readily recognizable as Little Golden Books. At the time of the golden anniversary, Golden Books claimed that a billion and a half Little Golden Books had been sold.

The official Random House website contains an interesting timeline for Little Golden Books.

(Most of the info above is from
Wikipedia.)

I was a huge fan of Little Golden Books when I was a child, and so were my children when they were young.

What about you?

22 comments:

  1. I had something similar to this when I was a kid. I then used to buy them for my younger sister. The affordability of little books like this must have made for a lot of very happy kiddies (and parents!).

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    1. I loved these when I was a kid, and I still love them! They are cute stories to read to children.

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  2. Definitely much more affordable. In 1942, $.25 was the equivalent of $3.70 today.

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    1. It's nice that at some point books were easier for many people to buy.

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  3. We did not have many children's books in my home growing up, but we had a couple of Golden Books from gawd knows where -- I don't remember which ones now but I know they would have been read and reread countless times.

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    1. It was the same in our home. We just didn't have the money to spare. But there was a library just a block down, which I loved to visit!

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  4. I think my mom still has my Golden Books in her home somewhere. We bought them for our children too. In both generations (mine and my children), the books were read many times. The book covers are all well-worn and some of the corners chewed from when the kids were at the stage of putting everything in their mouths. Thanks for the memories, Martha.

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    1. This is one of those things in childhood that most of us have experienced. I hope these little books are around for a long time to come.

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  5. I am a big fan too. I still have my original books from the 1940's and treasure them.

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  6. I loved Three Little Kittens, The Little Red Hen and The Poky Little Puppy. You've inspired me to find these books for any future grandchildren I may have. Such a great collection and what a gift to families. I think anyone who wants to should have access to books.

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    1. I know all those titles! I have read so many as a kid, and then read them all over again with my own children. Such great memories!

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  7. Oh, I love Little Golden books! I have a bunch that I bought for my children...and have held onto them just in case there might someday be grandchildren. :-) I didn't have much in the way of books growing up, so it was a joy to discover the Little Golden Books as I read them for the first time to my own children.

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    1. I know what you mean, Beth. I've held onto some books in case grandchildren come along (which I hope they do!). And like you, I didn't have many books, so when I did, I treasured them!

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  8. Hi Martha! Thanks for bringing back many memories of Golden Books. I grew up in a house loaded with reading materials ~ everything from the Book of Knowledge to Playboy to Golden Books! My third graders were always lugging tattered Golden Books to school. Have a happy day!

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    1. I can't imagine a childhood without books. They are so precious! A lot of kids these days are hooked on electronics, which I think is rather sad. Reading is relaxing, and a wonderful way to build your imagination.

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  9. ha ha, Golden Books. You know some libraries find them a somewhat embarrassing example of North American culture and don't keep them, sort of like Nancy Drew. Churned out factory books. But the truth is most kids loe them! Thanks for the interesting info!

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    1. I know what you mean, Francie! But if kids love them, let them read. Better to read something than nothing. I can't tell you how many Archie Comic books I went through in my early years!

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  10. We had some of these too. I think most of ours came from garage sales. I enjoyed reading them.

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    1. Garage sales are always good for stuff like this!

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  11. You know I love them! Thanks for sharing the history on these treasures!

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    1. Yes, I know you love them! When I put this post together, you are the one blogger that came to my mind right away!

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