Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Golden Memories

Did you have Golden Books as a child? They were the beginning of a publishing revolution that made affordable, high quality books available to children so that they could build their very own libraries at home. 

They were sold for only 25 cents when I was a child, but were sturdy enough for little hands.

They were books that were well loved, as you can tell from the worn condition of these books from my collection. 

The Poky Little Puppy was one of the first Golden Books published in 1942, and has remained one of the best selling children's books of all time.

When I was little, I must have gazed at the pictures in my own Golden Books for a long time, because when I look at the books now every detail is familiar from my childhood.

The Saggy Baggy Elephant was illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren, a Swedish-born artist who moved to Cleveland, Ohio and who worked as a chief illustrator for the Walt Disney movie version of Snow White.

A great many well-known children's authors, like Margaret Wise Brown and Ludwig Bemelmans, contributed titles to Golden Books; as did children's book illustrators like Garth Williams and Leonard Weisgard.

For a fascinating history of the little Golden Books, read Golden Legacy; How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way, by Leonard S. Marcus (New York: Golden Books, 2007).


becky said...

I remember golden books, though Dr Suess was my favorite. How great that you held onto those books! I have a few comic books from when I was a kid, but most of my things must've been given away.

Miss Becky said...

Oh I love that you've posted about Golden Books! I still have my childhood copy of The Poky Little Puppy. It isn't in real good shape, but it's a keeper.

clairz said...

I should have mentioned that these are books that I have collected as an adult. I have no idea what happened to my own childhood copies. You can tell that the Poky Little Puppy is a much later edition, since its sticker indicates that it was part of a "Kid's Meal."

I actually picked up most of these at the Swap Shop at our dump in New Hampshire, if you can imagine. The Little Red Riding Hood came at a higher price and had to be found online as it is much rarer, I believe.

Sandy ~~~ said...

OMG! I saw the Pokey Little Puppy with the exact same cover at Walmart just before Christmas. Some things just don't change, huh?

matron said...

This post brought back so many memories of my childhood.I loved reading and kept most of my books.
Now my G children love reading them,the stories were so innocent and magical in those days.I loved them and now they are being passed down which is lovely.

Deb said...

Oh, how I loved those books. My mother tried to buy one for me every time she went to the market. Believe it or not, there wasn't always an extra 25 cents to spare, but when there was, I got a treasure. I hoarded those little books on a corner shelf next to the old encyclopedias; I don't know what ever became of them.

Martha Z said...

Oh yes, I do remember the Golden Books and some of them I still had to read to my childre. I still regret that they were lost in one of our moves.