I was born in 1948, just six years after the first twelve Golden Book titles were published, and they have been present in my life ever since...when I was a child, when my daughter was growing up and now that I'm a grandmother.
Probably my most vivid memory of a Little Golden Book involves something that happened when I was four years old. My father cut his finger badly with the blades of an oscillating fan. He was frantically wrapping his hand with a towel, and my mother was approaching hysteria, until I walked in, book in hand, and said, "Don't cry, Mommy. Doctor Dan the Bandage Man will make Daddy better than new."
Naturally a four-year-old would think that. After all, the book did come with six real Band-aids. That feature makes this book historically significant, because it marked one of the first ventures into book and product joint packaging. The first printing of this book in 1951 was 1.75 million, the largest Little Golden book first printing to date.
|Doctor Dan the Bandage Man Little Golden Book|
Here are some of the other Golden books that I remember fondly. The image of the Cheshire Cat will always remain in my memory, as will the words "I think I can, I think I can," but no book will ever have a place in my heart like Lady and the Tramp, my all-time favorite. Every time Grandson #1 says, "Read it again, Grammo," I realize how profoundly and magically these books have affected five generations of our family.
|Alice in Wonderland Big Golden Book|
|The Little Red Caboose Little Golden Books|
|Tootle the Train Little Golden Book|
|Lady and the Tramp Little Golden Book|
Of particular interest to lovers of mid-century design is the author of these books. Ole Risom, the brother of designer Jens Risom, was vice-president and art director of Golden Books Western Press from 1952 to 1972. He then became vice-president and associate publisher of the juvenile division of Random House when they acquired Golden Books in 1972. He retired in 1990 but remained a consultant thereafter.
He authored a number of Golden Books, including the ones shown here, which were illustrated by Richard Scarry.
From nytimes.com and randomhouse.com