In 1942 (no I wasn’t born yet) Georges Duplaix was the head of one of the first author and illustrator groups in America called Artists and Writers Guild. They were partners with Simon & Schuster publishing. Children’ Books of that day were not for children. The volumes were large pieces of writing much too difficult for children to read or comprehend. They were expensive for that time costing $2-$3 each. Duplaix believed he could produce less expensive books with fewer pages, simpler stories, and more illustrations in small and sturdy format. In October of 1942, a trial run of twelve titles were published selling for twenty-five cents in department stores, drug stores and supermarkets. Little Golden Books was born. Within five months three titles had sold out; Three Little Kittens, Little Red Hen and The Poky Little Puppy. The Little Golden Books were the first books in my home as a child. There were many more titles by that time. For me, and thousands of others, the favorite was The Poky Little Puppy. As of 2001, it was the top selling children’s book of all time at fifteen million copies. Dr. Seuss’ top selling book, Green Eggs and Ham has only sold eight million. A trip to an antique store garnered me a Poky Little Puppy big book that my grandchildren listen to whenever I feel nostalgic. In 2000, the little puppy and his story made a comeback in books and plush animals. He rests comfortably on the bed in my guest room with his story on the bookshelf for guests who want to indulge in memories.
What childhood book do you remember loving?