When Little Golden Books were first published in 1942, high-quality books for children hadn’t been available at a price most people could afford. Little Golden Books changed that! Priced at just 25 cents and sold where people shopped every day, they caused an instant sensation and were soon purchased by the hundreds of thousands. Created by such talented writers as Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon) and Richard Scarry, Little Golden Books have helped millions of children develop a lifelong love of reading.
October 1, 1942: Little Golden Books launch at 25 cents each, democratizing reading for young Americans. At this time, children’s books sell for $2 to $3 and are a luxury for many families.
February 1943: Many Little Golden Books are in their 3rd printing, and 1.5 million copies total are in print.
1944: The first Walt Disney Little Golden Book, Through the Picture Frame, is published.
1952: Little Golden Books celebrates its 10th anniversary with almost 183 million Little Golden Books sold.
1954: Little Golden Books are now available throughout most of the world, except in the Soviet Union, where they are considered too capitalistic.
Early 1960s: A large number of new Little Golden Books focus on popular Saturday-morning TV shows, such as Huckleberry Hound and The Flintstones.
1967: More than 200 Little Golden Books have sold 1 million copies each.
1971: The Monster at the End of This Book is published.
1974: The first Barbie Little Golden Book, Barbie, is published.
1982: Little Golden Books turns 40, with over 800 million books sold.
November 20, 1986: The one billionth Little Golden Book, The Poky Little Puppy, is printed.
1992: Little Golden Books celebrates its golden anniversary—50 years!
1996: A Publishers Weekly article lists The Poky Little Puppy as the bestselling children’s book of all time.
January 2011: The Little Golden Books Classic line is launched to bring back popular vintage Little Golden Book titles based on consumer demand.
2002: Little Golden Books celebrates its 60th anniversary with 1,200 unique titles and over 2 million books printed.
September 2013: Random House Children’s Books publishes the New York Times bestseller Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow, a longtime editorial director at Golden Books.
July 2013: Random House launches six Star Wars Little Golden Books with a Star Wars–themed gold spine.
2017: Little Golden Books celebrates its 75th anniversary!
May 2017: Margaret Wise Brown’s Manners is released—a book that has never been published before!