Friday, September 30, 2011

Little Golden Books: A Treasure Trove

Last night I went up to my little vintage toy bedroom at the top of the steps and went through my big collection of Little Golden Books.  I want to take some to Jamie for her two babies next time I go.  I remember letting the kids choose a book each if they were good in the grocery store.  They loved it!

One of my favorite "pairs".

It was a little nostalgic, a trip down memory lane, because Little Golden Books go back to my childhood.  I spent many "naptimes" reading these to a little brother or sister or a nephew or niece.  It seems their revolving racks of stories are no longer seen in drugstores and department stores as they once were.  They are still available on  But somehow, it's not the same when you can't spin that rack.

Some of the "mini" sized Little Golden Books from the 1980's.
Little hands could easily hold these and they were really "portable" for kids.

Today's kids will most likely read most of their "books" on Kindle or an iPad....and really, that's a shame.  Those electronic books cannot be snuggled up with at nap time, passed along, carried anywhere and everywhere, and last for generations, cannot be sold at garage sales for a quarter.

You never met anyone happier than I am, when I see a stack of Little Golden Books at a garage sale--it's so much fun to go through them.  They are absolute little gems and I mean to have as many as I can.  There are lots of us Golden Book collectors out here.

As a kid, I and my siblings would spend a lot of time studying the pictures in great detail--even the back cover was a treat to study, I loved them all.  

As kids, the nine of us spent our little quarters (our allowance) at the dime store, and would take great care choosing our titles--building up our own little libraries at home.  I still remember what aisle the book rack was in, and how much I loved that book selection.

We had no television growing up, so we spent much time with our books.  Reading them--to ourselves and each other, sharing them, playing library with them.  (Us girls had an elaborate setup for when we played library in the upstairs hallway, and our play would last for several days before we took the whole thing down, what fun that was!)

I could still spend hours with my Little Golden Books.  

Eloise Wilkin and Garth Williams are my favorite illustrators chosen by Little Golden Books, hands down.  

Garth also illustrated Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and of course, the Little House on the Prairie series, and I loved his style, I loved his realism, and the attention he paid to all the little details.  I thought he was especially good at drawing animals.

Eloise Wilkin captured the simple beauty of the era she lived in, and the sweet innocence of the little children at all ages, her baby pictures are my favorite...she is a very special illustrator.  

Seeing Jamie's carefully printed name in her own Little Golden Books 
gave me just a little lump in my throat.

I can't wait to see her reading these books to her little toddlers.

I have several collections within my collection:  Disney (my least favorite) and farm, and Christmas, and The Classics (like Tootles and Saggy Baggy Elephant, Poky Little Puppy), and Sesame Street, and many more.  

Eventually, I will share more of this collection with you.  But today, it's "BABY FARM ANIMALS" with pictures by Garth Williams. (I have several versions of the same book, just released different dates each with minor changes.)  Here you see the adorable way he had of drawing all sorts of animals...soft and sweet.

Click any photo to enlarge

Cute, huh?

So, do you have Little Golden Books?

Do you have a favorite?


~Sara said...

Love your collection of books and all of your knowledge about them. When we moved from NH to California a few years ago, I had to go through everything!! Everything that had collected for generations in a big old 5 bedroom New Englander. All of the toys that I had saved for my grandchildren had to be condensed down to a box full. The books that we had collected were gone through and we kept 2 large size boxes of them and shipped them to my daughter that had a child at that time. She still has all of the books and will be distributing them to her siblings as they have children.What a nice walk down memory lane. Thank you for sharing ~Sara

Sandie said...

Oh how I loved my Little Golden Books! I still have all of mine and can't wait to read them to my grandchildren! Thanks for the memories! Sandie

Laura said...

I handed most everything down to younger cousins.
When I recently discovered that some of the Little Golden Books were re-released, I grabbed up what I've seen by my favorite illustrators, who happen to be Garth Williams and Eloise Wilkin! I have been so tempted to collect the ones I've seen at flea markets etc., but I just don't have the room.

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Funny you should post this -- my granddaughter is working on a very nice collection of Little Golden Books and she is only 15 months old! In fact, many of the titles you show, I read to her just yesterday! We generally buy them at the grocery store or at a small toy store that has the revolving rack. Border's had a nice selection but now they are gone. One of our antique stores has scads of them. Many of hers, however, actually belong to her mother because every week meant a new book at the grocery store! My daughter won't let me use my Nook Color with the granddaughter -- she wants - appreciate books and I completely agree so no e-reader for our little one!

Kelli said...

I loved and still love Golden Books:) My First Counting Book and the Pokey Little Puppy I remember fondly. Also, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman were pulled out at Christmas time. Wonderful memories...thank you.

mary your sis said...

I didn't know Garth Williams illustrated some of the Little Golden Books. You're right; the animals do look soft and sweet.

Dan said...

I loved seeing your Little Golden Books. They brought back so many memories. I have a small collection of them that I still enjoy looking at. I think my favorite isThe Pokey Little Puppy. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Tiffany said...

Oh, I love these! :)
I have many of these and have read them to my kids. My Daddy read a million to me. ;)

Linda said...

You have a great collection...I buy these whenever I see them at garage sales. I have several favorites but one of them is Pokey Little Puppy...I can not tell you how many times I have read this to our 2 grandsons.
Thanks for sharing.....

Echoes From the Hill said...

Oh, this is so timely. I was just thinking about how much I loved Golden Books when I was a little girl, and how much my older daughter loved them when she was a toddler. At barely two, she loved one called, "Little Mommy", and had it memorized. I would read it to her and she would "read" it back to me. I so wish I had kept that book, but with several moves, the books all went by the wayside. Just this morning, I looked on eBay, and a first edition (1967) copy of "Little Mommy" was for sale for $120.00! I couldn't believe it!
Maybe you should hang on to those books!
Thanks for a trip down memory lane.
We must be on the same wavelength today.

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Nancy, I want to let you know and I was unable to email you, that sells new and used Little Golden books, and many times it's MUCH more reasonable to buy the used ones from Amazon. The copy on eBay that was so high was probably a special edition that collectors covet; Little Mommy is available new on and it's 3.99! I hope you can get it!

Echoes From the Hill said...

Thanks about the info about selling the Golden books. I will check it out.
They sure do bring up wonderful memories.

Heartfelt living said...

I love your post! My daughter and I were looking at Golden Books at an antique store yesterday. She asked if we still had the ones from when she was little and of course I saved them. So many wonderful memories attached to each story. I see so many that we have read in your collection.
Thanks for bring back memories.

CountryatHeart said...

I came across your site over a year ago while looking for ideas for a vintage bridal shower for my daughter who got married last year. (Her bouquet was a collection of vintage brooches). I knew I wanted to come back and explore your site more but couldn't find it until now. We moved from Wichita, KS(400,000) to Stafford, KS (1200) where the kids and I lived for almost 13 years. We moved back to a suburb of Wichita (Derby) and I miss that small town atmosphere. I am the administrator of a nursing home 60 miles from my home in a town of 300. The commute through the flint hills and country side help but I do think I'll move to a smaller town again one day! Thanks for sharing!!

Mitzi said...

I share your love of little Golden Books. I have collected the Christmas ones and love the books illustrated by Eloise Wilkins. When invited to baby showers, I love to include one of the collected stories that I often find at TJMaxx.

Tanya said...

OH my Joni,
I'm having a moment here by myself....a bittersweet one. Sadness of my babies in the tender moments we had together with our books. I ooohhhed and aaahhhed at your collections seeing so many I have as well. Took me back to the 80's when my babies were little.
Thank you for bringing that wonderful time back to my heart!
I'm going to be a grandma in Feb...and it's on my list of "to buy" for my granddaughter.... :0)