Little Golden Books are turning 75 this year! Here are some memories of Little Golden Books from different library staff:
The Little Golden Book I remember best from my childhood is The Monster at the End of this Book (featuring Grover from Sesame Street). What I loved about this book:
- I loved Sesame Street
- It’s the first thing I remember that broke the fourth wall
- Like Mo Willem’s pigeon books, it puts the child in control
I remember getting The Poky Little Puppy for my birthday. We did not have many books or toys and I remember carrying this book everywhere. It is still my most treasured picture book from childhood.
I am not as old as the Little Golden Books, but when I was a girl I had a number of them on the bookshelf in my room, and I read them again and again.
We always had a garden in our backyard, so I treasured Two Little Gardeners by Margaret Wise Brown and Edith Thacher Hurd because it described the gardening year that I knew in loving detail. Gertrude Elliott’s illustrations provided even more detail, adding insects and birds, frogs, turtles, and little critters for the observant child to discover. One of my favorite pages was a cutaway view of the garden showing the baby beets, carrots, and potatoes growing underground surrounded by wormholes, rocks, and the roots of other plants.
The two gardening children watched the seedlings sprout. They watched the plants bloom and the bees pollinate. They hoed the weeds and watered “the rows…Till the dusty dirt was all dark and damp and wet.” When the plants were attacked by crows and animals, they added a scarecrow and a “raba-mole” to fend them off. And, oh, the results were splendid! “Day after day something was ripe and ready to pick.” Just like my family’s garden.
At the story’s end there was a great feast, a bountiful harvest of vegetables stored in bins and tubs of sand, and rows of jewel-like canned goods on the cellar shelves. A song on the last page summed it all up.
Hi Diddle diddle, We’re full as a fiddle
Of things that come out of the ground.
What we plant in the spring
We eat in the fall
And put up in jars
And eat it all
When the snow come falling down.
Time to buy some seed packets and go out to hoe!
Between the years 1990 and 1999 I worked at Western Publishing Company during which time it was sold and renamed Golden Books Publishing in Racine, WI. While I was there I worked in three different departments; Order Processing, the Wal-Mart Team and Special Markets. After Western Publishing was sold the new owners built a new facility a few miles away in Sturtevant, WI. It was beautiful, and printing and production was just a catwalk away from the business side of the company. One could walk over and look down through large windows onto the floor where the printing, production and packaging was going on. I have always loved reading and the opportunity to work for a company that published one of the most well-known children’s book brand, Little Golden Books, was a great privilege. Now as a cataloger I reminisce each time a Golden Book comes across my desk. It’s exciting to be on the other side of the process, bringing the items into the library where Patrons can come in and enjoy these wonderfully created books. Some of my favorite books are The Poky Little Puppy, Prayers for Children, The Sailor Dog, Where Do Kisses Come From, and all the ones that are illustrated by Eloise Wilkin.
-Ms. Penny S., who gets our new books ready for the shelves
For more on the history of Little Golden Books, check out this book in the adult collection:
Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon along the Way by Leonard S. Marcus