Posts Tagged ‘golden books’

The Little Golden Book called The Poky Little Puppy, by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Gustaf Tenggren.

Golden Books were a big part of my childhood. What about yours?

My mother especially liked to read us The Poky Little Puppy, I guess because we were all inquisitive — and took too long with everything.

Recently, NPR offered a trip down that memory lane.

From Lynn Neary: “In the 1950s and ’60s, if there were any children’s books in a house, at least one of them was likely to be a Little Golden Book. … Those beloved books celebrate their 75th birthday this year.

“First introduced shortly after the start of World War II, many of them — such as The Tawny Scrawny Lion, The Saggy Baggy Elephant and The Poky Little Puppy — have become classics. …

” ‘Up until then, children’s books were found mostly in libraries or high-end book stores and were meant to be handled with care. They tended to be very expensive. So even if you could find one of these books in a store, only a certain percent of the population could afford to bring them home,’ explains author Leonard Marcus.

“Marcus wrote The Golden Legacy: The Story of the Golden Books. He says the printers, publishers, writers and artists who brought Golden Books to the market had a lofty goal — they wanted to “democratize children’s books,” making them both affordable and accessible. To that end, they were sold in department stores, train stations, drugstores and supermarkets. …

“Golden Books became a kind of totem of the times for baby boomers who grew up in the 1950s and ’60s. George Saunders, author of the bestselling Lincoln in the Bardo, says Golden Books were a highlight of his visits to his grandmother. …

“He says he remembers the pictures best: ‘In those editions there’s some magic between the words and the images. … I could feel in my mental and physical reaction to those books that something really incredible was going on.’ …

“The books are now published by Penguin Random House.” More.

I loved Golden Books. My father preferred to read us books he considered classics. He was certainly amusing when reading Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. But my brother and I found Hans Christian Andersen stories creepy (the children of Dickens found Andersen himself creepy when he visited). The one upbeat tale in our Andersen collection — “The Tinder Box” — we insisted our father read over and over no matter how often he urged us to pick a different one.

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