Recently, on the Book Riot Facebook page, I asked readers to share with us the first book they remember reading. There were hundreds of responses citing a big range of titles, but there were two that just kept coming up: Dick and Jane and Little Golden Books. While Dick and Jane were hugely popular in the past, most kids reading now aren’t aware of them. Little Golden Books, on the other hand, seem to continue to be popular for young readers from their first publication dates until now. Whether they’re the classics like The Poky Little Puppy or an adaptation of the latest Disney movie, Little Golden Books are mainstays in the kids’ book world.
In my time working in a used bookstore, we went through a lot of Little Golden Books. While some books came in much faster than we could sell them (looking at you, Twilight) and some were always in demand (like Where the Wild Things Are), there were only a few kinds of books that hit that perfect harmony of coming in and being bought at a constant rate, so that we never ran out or were overrun. I refilled that stack of Little Golden Books almost every day, but it stayed steady. (The other category? Archie comics.)
It’s not hard to see why they’ve been so successful. They include all the classic fairy tales, new franchise tie-in books, and stories they’ve made famous (like The Monster at the End of This Book). Despite the variety, they have a specific aesthetic that is nostalgic, but still appeals to kids today. The distinctive spines make them easily recognizable even at a distance. And most importantly: they’re affordable.
If Little Golden Books were a staple of your childhood too, then these accessories, decor, and journals will have you feeling all warm and fuzzy about those glorious early days of discovering the joys of reading.
Remember the ex libris page at the beginning of every Little Golden Book? Add those to your grown up reading with this ex libris bookplate stamp! $43–53
For a subtle nod to a childhood favorite, wear this Little Golden Books hoop necklace. $26
For a less subtle way to incorporate Little Golden Books into your wardrobe, there are these Tootles the Train earrings. $20
Or you can wear your nostalgia on your sleeve with this Raised by Books shirt. $20–26
Here’s an adorable Little Golden Books magnet that has lots of the most well-known characters. $9
This The Monster at the End of This Book journal is available with lined or dotted (for bullet journals) pages. $16–20
This wall art was made from a Little Golden Book in disrepair, and it’s the perfect way to decorate a nursery! $30
Speaking of nurseries, this cozy The Saggy Baggy Elephant crib blanket is cuddly cute. $75
For the crafty type, this bundle will give you the fabric to make your own The Little Engine That Could quilt. (Which isn’t only a Little Golden Book, but they did publish a version of it!) $65
There are also a ton of Little Golden Books fabrics, if you want to sew your own blanket — or even make clothing!
This Shy Little Kitten baby dress is absolutely darling. $17
These vintage stacking blocks might be suited for for rough and tumble play, but they do make a great (and interactive!) decoration. $39
Here we enter the junk journals section of this list! There are a ton of Little Golden Books transformed into junk journals, so here are just a few. This is a The Little Mermaid one! $65
This The Fire Engine Book junk journal has 120+ pages to fill with your creative additions. $65
This would be an adorable junk journal to use as a scrapbook for a parent of a baby or young child! It’s made from a copy of Home for a Bunny by the ubiquitous children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown. $70
Finally, here’s a Four Little Kittens junk journal to keep your memories in! $109