How Many Little Golden Books Are There – You know them by the shiny leaf back. The yellow foil border on children’s books is a signature feature of Little Golden Books, the children’s light franchise that has been a part of childhood for generations. The pocket-sized books and charming illustrations have entertained young readers since their introduction during World War II. While readers may recognize covers and manuscripts from publishing titles, few know that Little Golden Books helps make book ownership more accessible to children and their families.
For anyone with a sticky toddler who likes to scribble on pages, it’s hard to believe that children’s books used to carry big price tags. However, in the early 1940s, children’s books averaged between $2 and $3, which is equivalent to about $38 to $50 today. At that price point, children’s books were a luxury for many families. Georges Duplaix, president of the Artists and Writers Guild Inc. (a division of publishers Western Publishing), sensing an untapped market, approached publishers Simon and Schuster with an idea: to publish a cheaper, colorful and simple, one-volume children’s book. Simon and Schuster were natural partners, as the two publishing companies shared a printing press.
How Many Little Golden Books Are There
The wonderful and whimsically illustrated stories we know today as the ancient Golden Book sold for what was, at the time, cheaper than any children’s book on the market: 25¢. In today’s dollars, that would be $4.20. At that price, more parents are comfortable letting their kids make their own books. Young readers can write their names on the front or leave peanut butter smudges on the page. For a quarter of the price, it’s their book.
Inside Out Little Golden Book
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The Western/Simon partnership and Schuster decided to release a dozen titles at the same time as the “Little Gold Book Series” in the fall of 1942. Each book had to be slim, only 42 pages long, printed in color, and sturdy. Designed for children ages 3-8, Little Golden Books represent “a remarkable shift in thinking about how, where, and what children should read,” according to the Smithsonian’s exhibit of the books. The first Little Golden Books series included the following titles:
Setting a lower price for each book turned out to be a smart investment. Penguin Random House said three printings of the series of a dozen titles sold 1.5 million copies within five months of publication.
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Leading the way is The Poky Puppy, the story of a dessert-loving pup who prefers to explore at his own pace.
Would become the best-selling children’s book of the 20th century, selling nearly 15 million copies in 2001. The Golden Four Books ended up in the top ten best-selling children’s books of the 20th century. (A boy wizard only took two places, out of three books published in that century).
Even with such an affordable price, Little Golden Books still attracts great talent. The Little Golden Books have been written and illustrated by beloved authors and illustrators for years, including Margaret Wise Brown of
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Fame, as well as Clement Hurd, Edith Thacher Hurd, Garth Williams and Richard Scarry. Ironically, a best-selling author
Maybe not a name you know. A short Wikipedia entry by Janette Sebring Lowrey says “Despite his success as a writer, Lowrey himself remains relatively unknown.” Poky’s illustrator, Gustaf Tenggren, also remains unknown, even after illustrating another popular golden book. You might recognize his other work: he was the main illustrator for Disney
Little Golden Books previously focused on classic children’s book themes: cute and scary animals, as well as the “something with a motor” train, fire engine and tugboat categories. Classic themes have a timeless appeal. Tootle, about the adventures of an experienced mechanic at a railroad school, would sell 8.5 million copies in 2001. Following closely,
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Sold 7.5 million. The first editor of the franchise, Dorothy Bennett, also pushed for the books to be released in audio. Many Little Golden Books became audiobooks through the record company Little Golden Records, an audio/print collaboration that lasted from 1948 to 1962.
With millions of copies sold, The Little Golden Books are a guaranteed way to reach young readers. Approaching the tenth anniversary of the franchise, the little books had a huge audience with more than 184 million copies sold. Franchise success depends on a combination of affordable prices and easy accessibility. The main strategy is to put books where children buy. The Little Golden Book was sold in supermarkets in 1949, as well as department stores and pharmacies. Other corporate media brands have noted the franchise’s mass appeal. Disney was the first brand to partner with Little Golden Books, licensing
In 1944. In the 1960s, Little Golden Book produced a series of books relating to modern cartoons which
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. By 1967, more than 200 Little Gold Book titles had sold at least a million copies each. The partnership with Sesame Street followed in the early 1970s, launched by our dear furry friend Grover in The Monster at the End of This Book.
Sometimes brand partnerships go beyond character and story. The thriving Little Gold Book Empire first put a literal spin on “product placement.”
Including the Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids that was attached to the title page in 1954. Other product packages would later include wipes, diapers, rolls of ribbon and Happy Meals.
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In 1986, 44 years after its first edition, Little Golden Books printed its billionth (yes, that’s a “b”) book after copy.
By 2002, hard copies had more than doubled to a staggering two billion in sales. As of 2007, more than 1,200 different titles have been printed. Paperbacks remained affordable with high sales numbers, averaging 9¢ in 1962 to 59¢ in 1977. In 1997, the average price was $1.99. In 2001, Random House bought Little Golden Books for about $85 million, but the price of the books remained the same. As of 2017, the average price is $4.99 – a figure fairly close to the original 1942 price, adjusted for inflation. This vintage example from 1942 is still sold today, with first editions typically selling for between $50 and $200, according to Antique Trader.
Seventy-nine years after the franchise first debuted, Little Golden Books has become an American cultural icon. The franchise had an exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in 2013. Little Golden Book as one of their first books is part of today’s adult childhood readers who can have something in common with their grandparents. With new brand partnerships and a rapidly growing readership, the little golden books will likely be around for generations to come. The products and services mentioned below are selected separately from sales and promotions. However, a small commission may be received from purchasing products or services through affiliate links on the retailer’s website.
My Little Golden Book About Airplanes
If you were a fan of “The Poky Little Puppy” and “Mother Goose” growing up, you might be curious about the story behind this adorable children’s book.
The favored titles are part of a line called Little Golden Books that was created in 1942 through a partnership between the New York publishing company Simon & Schuster, the Artists and Writers Guild and the Western Printing and Lithographing Company, according to Penguin Random House, which currently publishes the book. a book
In the early 1940s, children’s books typically sold for between $2 and $3, a price that was too high for many families with young children.
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But George Duplaix, who then headed the Guild of Artists and Writers, wanted to make reading more accessible to children. He set out to develop luxury hardback and illustrated children’s books that would be affordable for most families.
At first, Little Golden Books cost only $0.25. The first golden books were published in September 1942 with memorable titles such as “Three Kittens”, “The Red Hen” and “The Alphabet from A to Z”.
Like Duplaix, the Scripps Howard Foundation believes that all children deserve the opportunity to learn to love reading. it launched a literacy campaign called “If You Give a Child a Book.” The foundation raises money and, in partnership with Scholastic Books, buys and gives books to children in need through local nonprofit organizations. To date, the Scripps Howard Foundation has donated more than 500,000 books to children in need. You can help by donating online or by texting “BOOK” to 345345.
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The new series reflects a shift in thinking about how, where and what children should read, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, which hosted the Little Golden Books exhibit in 2013 and 2014.
“When Little Golden Books launched in 1942 at 25 cents each, they changed publishing history,” according to Penguin Random House. “For the first time, high quality children’s books at low prices. They are available to almost all children, not just the privileged few.
The books are designed to be sold in places that children and families already visit, such as department stores and pharmacies, not just bookstores. Five months later
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