Monday, June 06, 2011
Golden Books-Golden Memories
My favorite Little Golden Book: The Tawny Scrawny Lion.
My Dad used to read it aloud to me before I would go to sleep.
I just loved the lion who would chase one kind of animal on Monday, another kind of animal on Tuesday, and so on through the week, and how he never managed to catch his prey.
I won't spoil the plot by telling you more...
My Mom would allow my brother and me to get a new Little Golden Book at the grocery store from time to time. Eventually we had quite a collection of the small books with silvery golden spines.
I, of course, later read the same little books to my own children.
A few of my Little Golden Books have my name scrawled inside, with the "J" backwards, my earliest attempts at printing my name.
Those books are still at my parent's house, so visiting neighbor children can have a book or two read to them when they come visiting.
It would likely be safe to hold the assumption that almost everyone who is age 60 and under in America has a memory of a favorite Little Golden Book from their childhood.
Last Thursday I got an amazing new yet old Little Golden Book memory.
The Salt Lake City Public Library has installed an exhibition of The Little Golden Books-and included a show of at least 30 (we didn't count) original Little Golden Book illustrations.
I can not include any photos of the illustrations as photography was forbidden. A librarian was in the room to make sure no one managed to sneak a photo either.
Despite that limitation, the exhibit was so worth seeing.
Each painting stopped us dead in our tracks and created a yearning to own that particular illustration.
Why oh why hasn't the Little Golden book company released all those illustrations as posters?
The details...the details that we had missed seeing before in our own little book leaped out from the 11x15 inch (or larger) original work.
After we had finally dragged ourselves out of the room with all the illustrations we learned that the collection was the most expensive exhibit that the SLC public library had every shown.
There has been some pretty spectacular shows at the SLCPL before; the privately owned original LGB illustrations are valued at a price that falls into the serious investment level price point.
Since the Little Golden Book company no longer owns the illustrations, they have no way of offering re-prints of the originals.
Those folks who were lucky enough to acquire the illustration were very lucky indeed.
The librarian on duty steered us to a book that told the history of the Little Golden Books. Apparently there was quite a story beyond sweet little books with darling little illustrations. I am not sure I want to read the history book; it might spoil my pleasant memories if I know what went on between adults back then.
Ignorance is bliss...I want to stay happy!
I didn't take a picture of every Little Golden Book that was on display inside a Plexiglas display box; maybe I should go back and do that just that.
Photography of those books were permitted, and that might just give someone an idea of how they could get a poster sized print made of their favorite LGB page.
So now I have a question for you: What was your favorite Little Golden Book, and why?
Bernie pointed out the cover price on LGB rose over the years.
I think they were about a quarter when I was a child.
Next time I see one at the store I will have to check and see how much they are going for today.
Some illustration earned a special place in my heart after I was all grown up. If I could snap my fingers and make a wish come true, it would that everyone reading this post could see the original illustrations done by Eloise Wilkin.
They are breath taking beautiful.
I don't remember having seen this particular LGB before.
As a seasoned mom, my first thought concerned how bandage distribution was managed in families with more than two children.
Or in families with only two kids, where one of the children was quick to peel and stick those bandages on something before the second child could even say "boo".
Did the book buying mom restock the bandage collection to make all the kids happy?
(I know my mom took a dim view of bandages being used willie-nillie.)
Anyone out there have a memory about "Doctor Dan the Bandage Man" as a child? How did your family manage bandage distribution?
(Perhaps more significant: Could this problem's solution be applied to medical care distribution today? Did this book foreshadow a major health care dilemma for the young reader in later years?)
Looking forward to hearing about your favorite Little Golden Book memories.