GOLDEN LEGACY by Leonard S. Marcus
Kirkus Star


How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way
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“To me, they are like this big lump of warmth. They were my friends! . . . I loved those little cardboard covers . . . And of course, that little strip of gold.” So says author/illustrator William Joyce about Golden Books in this treasure of a history. The Poky Little Puppy, the bestselling picture book of all time, was published in 1942 by Simon & Schuster as one of 12 Little Golden Books in a joint venture with the publishing arm of Wisconsin’s Western printing company. This new line was a bold, controversial experiment in mass-marketing—to produce quality children’s books and sell them for 25 cents each. In this painstakingly researched but nonetheless sprightly volume that commemorates the brand’s 65th anniversary, eminent children’s-book historian Marcus tells the truly fascinating, multifaceted tale of the gutsy entrepreneurs behind Golden Books; their business strategies; their profitable licensing agreements with Disney and others; their librarian foes; and of course, the many renowned authors and illustrators who contributed their talents. (Several interviews with contemporary illustrators shed more light on old favorites.) Crisply presented full-color reproductions of Golden covers and interiors abound, and historical photographs bring the grand drama’s players to life. An irresistible feast, especially catnip-like for children’s-book history buffs. (foreword by Eric Carle, miscellaneous appendices, notes, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. Adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-82996-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Golden Books/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007


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