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Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became An American Icon Along the Way (Deluxe Golden Book) Hardcover – October 23, 2007


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Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became An American Icon Along the Way (Deluxe Golden Book) + Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book (Little Golden Books (Random House)) + Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book
Price for all three: $40.04

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Deluxe Golden Book
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Books; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375829962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375829963
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Review, The New York Times Book Review, November 11, 2007:
"The book includes a wonderful selection of archival photos and artwork that convey the depth and breadth of the creative talent working there in those early years."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, December 2007:
"This winning combination of nostalgia and clear-eyed, meticulously researched history breaks new ground, and should have broad appeal."

About the Author

Leonard S. Marcus has written many award-winning books, including Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon. A frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, The Horn Book, and Publishers Weekly, Marcus's book reviews have been featured in every issue of Parenting magazine since it was founded in 1987. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I give this book my highest recommendation!
C. Miller
I gave it to my sister for Christmas (we are both Baby boomers) and we love it.
Sue A. Coolidge
Golden Legacy by Leonard S. Marcus is the story of Little Golden Books.
Christina Lockstein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Golden Legacy by Leonard S. Marcus is the story of Little Golden Books. How did they come to be, how did they change the market for children's books, whose careers did it start up, etc. I don't think I could gush enough about this book. It's absolutely beautiful. Marcus tells the story of the Western Publishing Company out of Racine, Wisconsin from its earliest beginnings. This small company started out just as printers but when the publishing company they printed a lot of books for collapsed, Western bought them out and embarked upon their colorful and successful career in children's books. The book is filled with breathtaking illustrations; it reminded me of everything that I loved about Little Golden Books as a little girl. And who doesn't have a favorite Little Golden Book? I think every child for the last 65 years has been impacted by these books. My mom still collects Eloise Wilkin books. My favorites were The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown and The Bunny Book by Richard Scarry. LGBs changed the children's book market by selling beautiful books for a price that parents could afford to purchase. At a quarter a piece, every child could own at least one, which encouraged reading at home. The books were also focused on the idea of writing for children about Here and Now as opposed to fairy tales. There are tales of the discovery of Richard Scarry and Gustaf Tenggren, and current children's authors as interviewed as to how LGBs impacted their lives and art. This would make a great Christmas present for any book collector, especially boomers who will be thrilled to see pictures from their childhood. As for me, it reminded me of the joy I found in these books as a child, and I've officially added them to my daughter's Christmas list.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. Miller on November 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so glad I purchased this book. I bought it sight unseen directly from Amazon and was amazed when I received it. It is a coffee table book with wonderful history of Little Golden Books. The title says "how golden books won children's hearts" - This book will win your heart. It is a must buy for all of your history nuts -- especially if you are a biblioholic! I give this book my highest recommendation!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Linda Bulger VINE VOICE on January 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the most enchanting book I've had in my hands in a very long time. I was at a dinner party recently and GOLDEN LEGACY was on the coffee table -- for about thirty seconds. All evening it went from hand to hand, with squeals and sighs following it around the room. I had to have it.

The text is a fascinating history of Little Golden Books, first published in Racine, Wisconsin during the Second World War. What a visionary leap -- affordable quality books for children, with great production values and marketed everywhere. Yet the Western Publishing Company was originally a printing company; when they got stuck with railroad cars full of children's books due to a publisher's bankruptcy, the company sold them directly. The books sold well, the company directors were inspired to publish more, and the rest is history. You can read all about it if you buy this book, which is bound to be of interest to book collectors, readers interested in cultural history, and nostalgic baby boomers.

Just as absorbing as the text, the illustrations are an astonishing collection of history. If you ever had Little Golden Books, or bought them for a lucky child, you'll be sighing with happy recollections as you leaf through these pages. We don't forget our first books, and you'll see old favorites and smile at the memories they evoke.

GOLDEN LEGACY honors the 65th anniversary of Little Golden Books, and I recommend it to anyone whose love of books was fostered by a collection of these 25 cent treasures.

Linda Bulger, 2008
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Lux on February 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For the last 65 years, children have grown up on The Poky Little Puppy, The Color Kittens, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, dozens of other Golden Books titles. To celebrate the legacy of this innovative publishing venture, Leonard S. Marcus has released the art book "Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way." The collection is not only an exquisitely beautiful celebration of our collective childhood, but the rich history of the publishing company that changed the face of literacy in America.

The first Golden Books, published in 1942, were distributed through supermarket chains at a retail price of 25 cents. At the time, paper shortages had increased the average cost of children's picture books to $2, putting them financially out of reach for many consumers. Librarians initially resisted the mass-produced books with a place to draw your name inside, but parents could purchase a title a week, children could devour the books on the go like any other toy, and television and cartoon marketers quickly seized cross-promotional opportunities. Golden Books succeeded at their goal of democratizing reading and personal book ownership for families across America.

Given that this title was published by Golden Books, the overall tone is rather celebratory, but author Marcus does not censor all detractors. He covers the controversial flat fee payments to the creative talents behind early titles. Those authors and illustrators have received no residuals from books which are still bestsellers today, 65 years later.

A 2007 copy of The Poky Little Puppy is nearly identical to the original 1942 edition that launched a publishing empire. After reading Golden Legacy, the reader may well be inspired to seek out copies of both for his or her personal library.
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