10 Most Beloved Little Golden Books (A 75th Anniversary Celebration)

by ParentCo. January 09, 2017

white puppy

Beautifully illustrated pages. Lovable characters. The perfect size for little hands. With their magical, shiny edges, Little Golden Books have been enjoyed by children for 75 years. When they were first published in 1942, children’s books were often bulky and expensive – costing $2 to $3 each.

Little Golden books were not only affordable, at just a quarter a book, they were also an instant success – opening a new world for early readers. Today, the books are collected by millions of people from all corners of the globe and reprinted for new generations of children to fall in love with time and time again.

Celebrating 75 years as a hallmark of childhood, here are 10 of the most beloved Little Golden Books:

The poky little puppy, golden books

The Poky Little Puppy

by Janette Sebring Lowrey

A poky little puppy gets into mischief when he digs holes under the fence and goes off to explore the world. What happens when Mama finds out? No dessert for the naughty little puppy. One of the original 12 published in 1942, “The Poky Little Puppy” is the single best-selling hardcover children's book of all-time in the U.S., having sold more than 15 million copies.

little golden book Scuffy

Scuffy the Tugboat

by Gertrude Crampton

First published in 1946, “Scuffy the Tugboat” tells the endearing tale of a toy tugboat who was “meant for bigger things.” After an afternoon of playing at the local pond, Scuffy soon finds himself carried off by a current. Lost and scared, he discovers that the bathtub just might be the best place of all. Can he find his way home?

little golden book, the jolly barnyard

The Jolly Barnyard

by Annie North Bedford

Published in 1973, “The Jolly Barnyard” takes us on a fanciful tromp around Farmer Brown’s delightful farm. It’s his birthday, and the animals are deciding what they’ll do for him on his special day. Eggs? Wool? What will it be?

little golden book, monster dog

Mister Dog

by Margaret Wise Brown

One of the newer Little Golden treasures, “Mister Dog” hit the bookshelves in 2003 and became an overnight success. It’s a story about a funny dog named Crispin's Crispian who belongs to himself – until he meets a boy who also belongs to himself. And the rest, as they say, is breathtaking and beautiful children's book history.

little golden book, tawny scrawny lion

The Tawny Scrawny Lion

by Kathryn Jackson

A favorite children’s book of 1982 and one of the top selling Little Golden Books of all time, “The Tawny Scrawny Lion” is a lesson in etiquette and love. A hungry lion learns not to eat a family of rabbits and instead enjoy the carrot stew.

little golden book, little red caboose

The Little Red Caboose

by Marian Potter

A Little Golden classic first published in 1953, this colorful picture book tells the story of a little red caboose who longs to be as popular and strong as the big steam engine leading the train. When he unexpectedly saves the day, he learns that being a caboose is important too.

little golden book, monster at the end of this book

The Monster at the End of This Book

by Jon Stone

Sesame Street’s Grover begs little readers not to turn the page. Why? Because there’s a monster at the end of the book! Will they keep reading or hide under the covers? What – or who – is waiting on the last page? Written in 1971 by series writer and producer Jon Stone.

little golden book, tootle


by Gertrude Crampton

"You must not leave the rails no matter what," is the most important rule. But Tootle, a free-spirited young locomotive, disobeys when he swerves from the rail lines to race the horses and play in the meadow. If he hopes to fulfill his dream of being a Flyer between New York and Chicago, he better get on track. And fast. Another classic published in 1945.

little golden book, the saggy baggy elephant

The Saggy Baggy Elephant

by Kathryn Jackson

A timeless tale from Kathryn Jackson published in 1947, “The Saggy Baggy Elephant” follows Sooki – a lost elephant in search of what or who he is. After a parrot makes fun of his big ears, long nose, and wrinkled skin, the "saggy baggy" elephant feels bashful and ashamed. He then discovers his elephant family and realizes that he’s not so different after all.

little golden book, little red hen

The Little Red Hen

by Diane Muldrow

Colorful farm animals jump right off the page in this old folk tale from 1942. Will they learn the value of team work and help the Little Red Hen plant her wheat? A valuable lessons for kids (and adults) of all ages.

Which Little Golden Book is your favorite? Share in the comments!



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