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While the old Western Publishing Company dates further back, its most well known creation — Little Golden Books — celebrates its 75th birthday this year, according to a story by NPR.
Edward Henry (E.H) Wadewitz and his brother Al purchased the old West Side Printing Company in 1907 in Racine. By 1938, it collaborated with Simon and Schuster to create 16 Little Golden Books. Selling them for .25 in 1942, the company sold 1.5 million of them, according to the company’s history.
The titles are well-known: The Poky Little Puppy, I Can Fly, Doctor Dan the Bandage Man, and The Saggy Baggy Elephant.
The children’s books were found in the grocery store and up until then children’s books were mostly kept in libraries or high-end book stores, the NPR story reads.
In 2001 Western Publishing became Golden Books Family Entertainment. Penguin Random House and DreamWorks Animation own the rights to the characters on the back of the books. Almost 1,110 Little Golden Books were printed. Several years ago the Racine Public Library completed its collection of Little Golden Books.
What is your favorite Little Golden Book?