True Confessions: I Hate Little Golden Books

I don't like Little Golden Books. I have never liked Little Golden Books.

There. I said it. My dirty little secret.

Everyone I knew loved Little Golden Books, but not me. Pretty much everyone I knew had Little Golden Books on their bookshelves, (or more accurately, in their toy boxes with pages torn, covers scraped, and crayon marks all over them) --I did not have many. I had Dr Seuss books. I had Collier Encyclopedias and Junior Classics. I had the Parents Magazine Press book club books.

For me, Little Goldens were the books you saw ripped almost to shreds in waiting rooms. Or they were the books you looked through while you waited for your mom to check out at the grocery store. They were not books I wanted on my shelf because they seemed "disposable" to me, (at .59 a book, I recognized "cheap" when I saw it.) To me, books were not disposable. Books were to be treasured and as pretty as those golden spines were, they were not real books, to me.

I probably passed along those feelings about Little Golden Books to my kids, since I refused to buy them when asked. I'd be more likely to buy them a $10 book than a $1.99 Golden Book. I'd be more likely to buy a comic book than a Little Golden Book..

Still, my kids had a few:

  • Tootle
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant (though we preferred the Board book over the Little Golden)
  • Baby Farm Animals
  • The Night Before Christmas (the only Little Golden Book we actually read, regularly - once a year.)
  • The Golden Egg Book (which is not a Little Golden but a Big Golden)

Rather than read them, or have them read aloud, my kids preferred to look at the back cover and name all of the Little Golden characters on the back. Silly, right? That was their favorite thing to do with the Little Golden Books. Even now, when I pick up a Little Golden Book, I immediately turn it over and look for their favorite characters.

I don't think I've ever owned The Poky Little Puppy and my dislike of Richard Scarry, (oops, I'm exposing all sorts of dirty little secrets, aren't I?), might come from the fact that my first exposure to his work came through Little Golden Books.

As I've gotten older, I've learned to let go of my dislike of the Little Goldens (a little) because of the sense of nostalgia I feel when I look at them. And, the illustrations really are fabulous. Reading Golden Legacy didn't hurt, either. Now, when I look up at my bookshelves and see three sad and lonely Little Golden Books, (one belonging to my big kids, two belonging to TW's little kids), and I feel the urge to buy more. To track down the ones I never owned as a child -- the ones I refused to buy for my children -- maybe it's time I put aside my book-snobby-ways and start a Little Golden collection for JMP. He and I can learn to appreciate them, together.


Did you grow up with a large Little Golden Book collection? Do you love them? Or not so much?

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Flamingo House Happenings


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