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Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won…

Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing… (2007)

by Leonard S. Marcus

Other authors: Eric Carle (Foreword)

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1155104,954 (4.45)1 / 2



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Showing 5 of 5
Ack. ?ŠI tried, but found this unreadable. ?√ɬ°Much more about the publishing industry than about books, or culture, or?√ɬ°children, or families. ?√ɬ°Some biographical commentaries on some of the artists and writers, and a few reflections from published authors who grew up with favorite Golden Books, but nothing at all like what I wanted. ?√ɬ°I did turn every page and read what I could. ?√ɬ°I did enjoy the pictures. ?√ɬ°But, blech.

If you know of an alternative, please comment!
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
A fun read, especially having already read books like Awakened by the Moon and Minders of Make-Believe, and knowing more of the stories touched on here.
  MelissaZD | Jan 1, 2014 |
My wife (the children's author and illustrator) was reading this book and laid it on the bed. I happened to see a couple of illustrations and I was hooked. This book will drive you into the depths of nostalgia like nothing else. Gorgeous covers -- you can skim most of the text, which while interesting, relates to a lot of the business aspects of Golden Books -- of all those books we loved and treasured as children. Remember [b:The Color Kittens|237346|The Color Kittens (Little Golden Book)|Margaret Wise Brown|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172992302s/237346.jpg|2986158] and [b:The Poky Little Puppy|505304|The Poky Little Puppy (A Little Golden Book Classic)|Janette Sebring Lowrey|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1175316752s/505304.jpg|493345]? Golden Books created a sensational business model that sold thousands of books at very inexpensive prices in supermarkets and began careers for many illustrators like Richard Scarry and the Provensons. At one point they were so successful that the Little Fat Policeman was given to every rookie NYPD cop in their orientation packet in the fifties.

By the late nineties, however, a company that had enthralled two generations of children was on hard times and subject to takeover bids and buyouts. A desperate attempt was made to capture the school market with the Road-to-Reading series (my wife's [b:Little Prince Know It All|861814|Little Prince Know It All (Road to Reading Mile 3 Reading on Your Own)|Sheila Kelly Welch|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1230827139s/861814.jpg|847242] was part of that series although she did not illustrate that title.) Unfortunately, when Random House took over the remnants of Golden Books they discontinued that series and replaced it with their own. (The conspiratorialists among us would argue they did it to eliminate competition. Whatever.)

I remember loving Golden Books as a child. My kids did, too. I remember Marc, now thirty and always a stickler for detail, pointing out a mistake. "But Dad, it says he hit his finger." The illustration showed a banged up thumb.

You will love this book. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
What a wonderful journey of remembrance! This series of books had a much wider influence on culture and children than I imagined. It also was extremely useful for a graduate level paper I completed. ( )
  readwritethink2 | Apr 27, 2010 |
In Golden Legacy, Leonard Marcus shows how the development of Golden Books changed the face of children’s book publishing forever because of resourceful people who thought outside the box. For the first time, children’s books were 25 cents, and not $2 or $3. Instead of buying just one book, parents bought twelve. Children had many books at their disposal, and The Poky Little Puppy has since been the best-selling children’s picture book of all time.

Golden Legacy details the history of Golden Books, the authors, and the illustrators that thousands of people grew up with. But Golden Legacy provided, for me, so much more. It details the history of the publishing company (of various names) that published Golden Books through the years, and it even more interestingly detailed children’s publishing in general. I learned how stereotype in illustration became a problem for the company, and illustrations were adapted or redone in the face of civil rights. Finally, in a fascinating way, I learned how children’s books got into the hands of children - and how and why they became best sellers because of marketing and low price.

In the end, I was delighted to see just how children were the true winners.

More detailed review on my blog
  rebeccareid | Apr 8, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leonard S. Marcusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carle, EricForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375829962, Hardcover)

THE YEAR 2007 marks the 65th anniversary of a bold experiment: the launch of the Little Golden Books during the dark days of World War II. At a time when the literacy rate was not nearly as high as it is now - and privation was felt by nearly all - quality books for children would now be available at a price nearly everyone could afford (25 cents), and sold where ordinary people shopped. Golden Legacy is a lively history of a company, a line of books, the groundbreaking writers and artists who created them, the clever mavericks who marketed and sold them, and the cultural landscape that surrounded them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:49 -0400)

a Presents a history of Golden Books, discussing how it was founded in the mist of World War II providing quality books at inexpensive prices and used innovative writers and marketing techniques to establish itself as a highly successful publishing firm.… (more)

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