Elf, Junior Elf and Tell-A-Tale Books


 I love my Little Golden Books.  They are - pardon me - GOLDEN to me.  They may have been started as a cheap way to get more books into the homes of post-war youngsters, at a time when children's books were expensive and only marketed at Christmas.  But the art!  The details!  I cannot recommend Leonard Marcus's book Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way highly enough.  (Random House, 2007)

Little Golden Books were not the first cheap, mass-market children's books - the first were published by the same company, Whitman, and called the Big Little Books - but Golden Books were of a much finer quality, and not restricted to popular movie, comic, and radio tie-ins.  And of course, they were not the last.  They ushered in a whole new era of children's publishing.

Some of the most popular mass-market picture book lines to emerge in the wake of Little Golden Books' success were the Elf and Junior Elf series, published by Rand McNally, and the Tell-A-Tale books by Whitman.  Between my grandmother (and her beloved yard and estate sales) and eBay, I've amassed a decent collection of Elf and Tell-A-Tale books.  I have more than these - somewhere I have the adorable Owl and the Pussycat - but as you can see, these books are rather small and tend to walk away from our designated spot between the deer bookends.




















Comments

  1. wow. LOOK at your collection! you won't mind another person living at your house, would you? I would be very quiet, and clean up after myself....:)

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    1. It's a little house and the fold-out couch is very uncomfortable, but if you can stomach that, I will ALWAYS welcome someone who'll clean up after themselves... ;o)

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  2. Oooh, I love this!! I think I am drooling onto my computer. I think half the fun of starting my own blog has been finding bloggy friends with similar interests!

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  3. I love these little books. They are so gorgeous and so is your blog!

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    1. Thank you! And thank you so much for stopping by. I love We Heart Books! :o)

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  4. What a fantastic collection! BEAUTIFUL! I've got several tell-a-tale books and a couple of elf. I have lots of little goldens. I'm with you, they are some of my very favorite books and most prize possessions! I picked up a 'treasure book' from 1952 while in NY. Do you know anything about them? I'm going to put 'golden legacy' on my amazon wish list right this instant. This post is WONDERFUL!

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    1. I am going to do some research on Treasure Books. My tiny bit of Google noodling this morning led me to this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Childrens-Book-Shy-Little-Horse-Published-Treasure-Books-/300610854359. The listing says it's by Margaret Wise Brown, so I'm going to start researching now!

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    2. I have an answer for you! Treasure Books were only in production for a few short years in the 1950s. They replaced the better-known Wonder Books, and were published by Grosset & Dunlap. Grosset & Dunlap were the owners of The Stratemeyer Syndicate: Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, etc. Many of the books published as Treasure Books were reprints of Wonder Books titles. There are some Little Golden Book collecting guides that delve into Wonder, Treasure, Elf, and Tell-A-Tale collecting, too, which is where I found my information. :o)

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  5. My Grandpa worked in a factory that made little golden books, along with many other books! I love to think of that as just another part of my book/reading history, and possibly why I love to read so much! We also have several books that were made in his factory around the house!

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    1. Oh, that's awesome! The one in Racine? What a cool job that must have been! I love Little Golden Books so much. They have such an interesting history, and they really did get the best illustrators.

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