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March 19, 2015

@VickiBatman - The artwork of #LittleGoldenBooks , an exhibit #MFRWorg #RLFblog #childrensbooks

As the self-appointed cultural guide in my family, I’m always looking for something for us to do. An ad in my local paper’s weekend section featured an exhibit coming to town entitled: Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 years of Little Golden Books
I had to go. I read and owned several of these books when I was little and even bought them for my sons.  I had to take advantage of this enriching opportunity and take Handsome. Handsome was reluctant. But I plied him with his favorite hamburger and off we went. Disapointed?  Heck, no!

The exhibition presented the most extensive public showing ever of original illustration art from the Little Golden Books which celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2007.  (I apologize for glare on some photos.)

In 1942, the Little Golden Books were made available at very affordable prices—initially 25cents. Some of the artists included Garth Williams, Feodor Rojankovsky, Tibor Gergely, Gustaf Tenggren, Martin Provensen, J. P. Miller, and Mary Blair (think Disney’s It’s a Small World!). Other artists from America were Eloise Wilkin, Elizabeth Orton Jones, Richard Scarry, and Hilary Knight.

These books changed publishing forever. Not only did wehave the beloved and familiar books, we had various formats like records, tapes, videos, toys and games. 

Stories covered nature and science, the Biblenursery rhymes, and fairy tales. Christmas titles are popular every year. Many old titles, which are still available, show the strong nostalgia appeal of Little Golden Books. The first twelve books are:  
Three Little Kittens  
Bedtime Stories 
Mother Goose 
Prayers for Children 
The Little Red Hen 
Nursery Songs 
The Alphabet from A to Z 
The Poky Little Puppy 
The Golden Book of Fairy Tales 
Baby's Book of Objects 
The Animals of Farmer Jones 
This Little Piggy and Other Counting Rhymes

For a list of the 800 Little Golden Book titles, go here: LGB list

As Handsome and I wandered through the exhibit, we found many selections we remembered from our childhood: The Pokey Little Puppy, Tootle, Home for a Bunny. The art work was truly amazing. 
Did you have Little Golden Book/s when you were little?


Eve Mardis said...

Actually I don't remember ... my family has talked about this before, how I don't remember any books in my childhood and yet, according to my older brother, I made him read to me all of the time. Since I'm surrounded by books, we see the Golden books all of the time, a lot of the originals too. Mom made me get a copy of Pokey Little Puppy and mail it to my brother to read to his son ... since he made mom read that to him every.single.night.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Eve! I don't remember the books before I read and isn't that weird, but then I don't remember anything before age 5. Aren't you amazed there are 800 titles? I love the Pokey Little Puppy story!

Anonymous said...

Pippi Longstocking - I had the original plus two other of those books and loved them. Read them over and over. My aunt also bought me a book when I was very small called 365 Bedtime Stories. A short, one page story for each day. We always had to read the story for that day plus January 1 about the Bouncing Baby New Year.

Pamela Stone

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Pam! I read Pippi Longstocking too. I never had pigtails like hers and wanted some. That 365 Bedtime story book sounds awesome. A story for every day. I really like that. Did you keep the book?

Melissa Keir said...

I love the Golden Books. Their gold spine made it noticeable. I loved reading the stories and would read them over and over. Some of them I was able to get for my children. It's too bad that they aren't as easily available any more!

Phyllis said...

My memory isn't the best of my growing up, so I can't give you any titles, but I know I had some of them. I do remember them being around.

Thanks for the fun of remembering.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Melissa! As Eve said, she gets them in her book store and they are still making new titles. I bought a book about Disney and the success with Little Golden Books. They still have that relationship. What I lament is going digital art (sorry. If you saw the orginals you would see why.)

Hi, Phyllis! Well, we can't remember everything, can we? lol

Liese said...

I remember the title of "Pokey Little Puppy," but I don't remember the story. I can remember one book about a girl who took ballet lessons to "strengthen her legs." She wound up with the lead in the recital.
Of course, Dr. Suess was another big one for me and I read the words off the page for some to my kids. "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb" was very popular with them. I'm now reading them to my grandkids. The favorite of my grandson? "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb," of course!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Liese! My boys loved One Fish, Two Fish, Hooper Humperdink, Not Him, and Green Eggs and Ham. I had the whole books memorized and still recite some passages. LOL

Angela Adams said...

I still have my tattered, falling apart copy of "Pokey Little Puppy." I'm a big fan of "The Velveteen Rabbit," "The Story of Ferdinand," and anything by Dr. Seuss.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Angela! You have Pokey Little Puppy!!! I think it is so much fun to hear what others have/had. Thanks for stopping.

Marianne Stephens said...

I remember reading them to my kids. Still have a few for my grandkids!

Lola said...

That would have been a terrific exhibit to see. Did it include the original artwork? I saw an exhibit that included original artwork for Heinke's Kitten's First Full Moon and it was so beautiful, I bought the book. As for Little Golden Books, I loved "Goodnight, Little Bear" as a kid and as an adult. It's one of my son's favorites too.

Sydell Voeller said...

Hi Vicky, I still have my childhood copies of The Pokey Little Puppy and The three Little Kittens--among others. Now my grandkids are enjoying them, although I must admit they sometimes smell a tad musty.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Marianne! I found giving away kids books so hard. Good to know you loved them too.

Hi, Lola! Yes, this was the original artwork. My pictures didn't capture them perfectly. The whale picture was luminous. The firetruck one was so detailed. And each section featured a specific illustrator, his bio, and the works for his specific books. Even text pages had artwork in the margins. I went through it twice!

Hi, Sydell! I'm guessing the paper content probably absorbed the musty odor. :( I'm sure there is some way to get rid of it.

Roxanne Rhoads said...

I had every one of the orginal twelve titles along with numerous other ones. I still have some of them that I have shared with my kids.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Roxanne! How lucky you are to have some originals. I hope you can go back and really look at the artwork. Breathtaking. Thank you for posting.