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GOLDEN LEGACY by Leonard S. Marcus Kirkus Star

GOLDEN LEGACY

How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way

By Leonard S. Marcus

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-82996-3
Publisher: Golden Books/Random

“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)