Little Golden Books is celebrating 75 years as a mainstay of children’s home libraries. This iconic series has kept generations of little ones engaged with its imaginative illustrations and engaging, playful words.
The books found their way into the hands of children everywhere.
The launch of Little Golden Books in 1942 October was a revolution. It was in the midst of WW II, and Western Printers was busy printing for the war, so they took it upon themselves to print books because they had high paper rations. The company started out with 12 titles, one of which- The Poky Little Puppy, remains in print today.
The Mavericks of Little Golden Books were many.
Take Jane Warner Watson, who received a phone call telling her to move to NYC because the editor there was called off to war. She did. And in doing so, became one of the first editors at the publishing house, penning numerous titles during her time there.
Margaret Wise Brown noted that kids were more interested in what's happening on their block than anywhere else. So she championed for subjects of books to become more kid-friendly. She focused on subjects
that happened in the neighborhood and around town: a home being built, the postman delivering mail and shopping at the grocery store.
Mary Blair gave was employed to give Little Golden Books street cred. As the story goes, librarians thought Little Golden Books were déclassé and touted them as such. In order to appease the bibliophile set, Blair brought the Bank Street name and her artistic talent to Golden Books, illustrating “I Can Fly” in her much lauded, often copied conceptual style.
Diane Muldrow is now one of these mavericks, working to keep Golden Books relevant, while walking the line between keeping content classic and fresh. She releases 18 titles a year, seeking out modern illustrators to engage today’s kids, while reissuing favorite old titles as well.