The Antique Explorer’s Chronicles » Trade Tidbits » The Many Formats of the Little Golden Books

The Many Formats of the Little Golden Books

A Little Golden Book - Many Formats

We are passionate collectors of vintage children’s books and we avidly seek out cherished series like Little Golden Books to add to our collection and share with fellow enthusiasts through our marketplace. For those interested in pursuing this particular series, this post strives to list all formats that have been used over the years in publishing.

Before we start, kindly note that this blog post is continuously updated as new information becomes available. If you’re aware of another format we haven’t covered, please share it with us. Photos of such formats are greatly appreciated!
Latest update: 2 more formats have been added.

The Little Golden Books series is a popular collection of children’s books that has been cherished by generations of readers since its introduction in 1942. The series was launched by Simon & Schuster in cooperation with Western Printing and Lithographing Company. It was conceived as a way to make high-quality children’s books affordable to the masses during the difficult years of World War II.

Little Golden Books are characterized by their distinctive size (approximately 6.625 inches by 8 inches), sturdy cardboard covers, and brightly illustrated pages. They were designed to be durable and accessible to young children.

While the traditional Little Golden Books are known for their distinctive size and sturdy cardboard covers with a particular binding style, the series has expanded to include variations in format to cater to different preferences and needs. This post explore in more detail the many formats of the Little Golden Books.

The One Constant in the Many Formats

Little Golden Books typically feature a distinctive gold or silver foil spine that runs along the length of the binding. This foil spine serves as both a decorative element and a way to reinforce the binding, providing additional durability to the book. The shiny foil spine is one of the defining characteristics of Little Golden Books and adds to their charm and appeal on bookshelves.

Without further ado, let’s start the list:

  1. A Little Golden Book, hardcover, approximately 6.625 inches tall by 8 inches, binding foil can be found in both gold and silver. Most common format, the Little Golden Book that most people know. Two examples are shown below:
  1. A First Little Golden Book, hardcover, in smaller size at 5.5 inches tall by 6 inches. Binding foil can be found in both gold and silver. As shown below:
  1. A Big Little Golden Book, hardcover, in larger size at 8 inches tall by 8.25 inches wide. Binding foil can be found both in gold and silver. As shown below:
  1. Golden Books, softcover, larger size at approximately 8 inches tall by 8 inches wide. They come with no binding foil, instead a simulation of it is printed on the binding. Glossier covers. As shown below:
  1. Golden Books, softcover, with the title and cover graphics embossed. The characteristics of these editions are very similar to those above, with the only distinction being the embossed approach on the front cover. We have only one of these editions in our inventory, as shown below:
  1. Golden Books, softcover, die-cut shape. Similar size as the ones above at approximately 8 inches tall by 8 inches wide. While based on the name, they are part of the same series, the differences are in the die-cut shape to add visual interest. The die-cut shapes vary from book to book, as shown below in these 2 items:
  1. Golden Books, hardcover, wider binding, binding foil is printed rather than applied. Size at 8.25 inches tall by 7 inches wide. This edition shown below was published in 1980. While sold under the same label – Golden Books – this format differs by featuring a hardcover and a more unusual binding, as seen below:
  1. Little Golden Book, hardcover, with much more content than the original editions. Gold foil applied, although at initial feel seems to be printed. They were clearly applied with a different process than the others. These 2 examples below show one that has 3 books into 1, and the second one being a case study around Little Golden Books – A New York Times Bestseller – Everything I Need to Know I learned from a Little Golden Book. Approximate sizes: 8.25 inches tall by 7 inches wide.
  1. Little Golden Book – Boxed Set, Hardcovers. This specific set features Disney Classics, comprising 6 Little Golden Books showcasing their most renowned tales. From our observations, it’s an uncommon collection to come across. Currently, this item is listed for sale in our marketplace, presented in excellent condition. The books remain crisp, suggesting they’ve likely never been read. Approximate sizes: 6 3/4 wide and 8 1/4 tall. For those with a curious nature, this boxed set was published in 2000.
Little Golden Books - Boxed SetLittle Golden Books - Boxed Set
  1. Little Golden Book, softcover, in smaller size at: 5 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches tall. The binding foil is replicated through printing on the book, distinguishing it from the majority of items typically found in the marketplace. For the inquisitive mind, this book has a publication date of 1999.
Little Golden Book, small softcoverLittle Golden Book, small softcover

Looking to buy or sell Little Golden Books? Discover our vibrant marketplace specializing in vintage and antiques or join as a seller. Have a sizable collection to offload? Contact us for bulk buying opportunities. The foil pattern on this book is also uncommon displaying a stars motif.

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