1 GOLDEN MEAN: COMMERCIAL CULTURE, MIDDLE-CLASS IDEALS, AND THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS By JULIE SINN CASSIDY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008
2 2008 Julie Sinn Cassidy
3 To all the Sinns and Scheitlins
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Before all else and for so m any reasons, I thank my husband David J. Cassidy, a documentary film producer who will forever be plagued by a Partridge family pop star. This project on Little Golden Books came to fruition under the guidance of Dr. John Cech, to whom I am deeply grateful. Moreover, I want to thank my dissertation committeeDr. Kenneth Kidd, Dr. Marsha Bryant, and Dr. Li nda Lammefor providing excellent insight, feedback, and encouragement throughout this proce ss. They have all challenged and shaped me as a writer and scholar. For her editorial eye, I would also like to th ank Miriam Downey, who read every word of this dissertation multiple times. This project would not have been possible without two specific Little Golden Book collectors, Steve Santi and Holly Everson, who pr ovided me with access to their collections and answered my numerous questions. Diane Muldrow, the current editor of the Little Golden Books at Random House, graciously filed in any information gaps. The generous Childrens Literature Associations Hannah Beiter Graduate Student Schol arship and the University of Floridas O. Ruth McQuown Supplemental Scholarship for Gra duate Women provided me with the funds to travel across the country, dig through archives, and present at conferences. I am especially indebted, though, to Rita Smith, Curator of the University of Florida s Baldwin Library of Historical Childrens Literature. Under Ritas watchf ul eye, I returned to the Little Golden Books of my childhood by reading and cataloging over 3 00 of them for the Ba ldwins Collection. Today, I truly appreciate how an abundance of friends, family members, friends family members, and former professors have rallied behind me over the years. My friend and fellow graduate student, Lisa Hager, certainly deserv es her own line of thanks considering how often she has had to help me find just the right word or listen to me ramble through a chapters main point. Another dear friend from graduate school, Kirsten Bartholomew Orte ga, not only read and
5 commented on the occasional rough draft, but also gave me innumerable pep talks on-demand over margaritas or while quilting on a Saturd ay afternoon. Despite the physical distances between us now, the friends I grew up with in Fo rt Scott still encourage me to live each day with much happiness. Between swimming in defunct st rip pits, rounds of birt hday croquet, day trips to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, nights on haunted bridges, a nd public protests for skateboarding space, being stagnant or apathetic was never an option. Last, but certainly not least, I thank my mother, who instilled the value of an education in me at an early age and granted me the freedom to follow my dreams.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ...............8 CHAP TER 1 AN INTRODUCTION: WHY TH E LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS ........................................ 10Emergence in Middlebrow Culture ........................................................................................ 16Project Overview ....................................................................................................................302 FROM THE 1940S TO THE 2000S: DECA DES OF LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS ............. 333 THE GOLD STANDARD: GOLDEN AGES AND THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS ....... 57The First Golden Age of Childrens Literature ......................................................................61A Second Golden Age ............................................................................................................674 IMAGES OF INNOCENCE: CHILDREN IN THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS ................ 85The Romantic Child and the Knowing Child ......................................................................... 86Innocence and Children in th e Little Golden Books .............................................................. 87American Innocence ............................................................................................................ .102Changing Faces and Racial Diversity ...................................................................................1045 THE HAPPY FAMILY: GENDER DIVIDE S AND THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS ....113Educating Parents And Educating Children ......................................................................... 114Mothers and Fathers in the 1940s and 1950s ........................................................................ 118Mommies and Daddies in the Little Golden Books .............................................................. 1221960s and Beyond .................................................................................................................1356 TRANSPORTING NOSTALGIA: Souvenirs of childhood and THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS ......................................................................................................................... ........141Nostalgia, Souvenirs, and Little Golden Books ....................................................................142Acquisition of Little Golden Books ...................................................................................... 147Collecting and Little Golden Books .....................................................................................150Recycling Little Golden Book Images ................................................................................. 1567 FOR THE MASSES, NOT THE CLASSES: AN EPILOGUE ........................................ 162APPENDIX A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK ADVERTISEMENTS .............................................................. 169
7 B LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK FABRICS ................................................................................. 172LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................174BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................184
8 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy GOLDEN MEAN: COMMERCIAL CULTURE, MIDDLE-CLASS IDEALS, AND THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS By Julie Sinn Cassidy May 2008 Chair: John Cech Major: English In 1942, the first twelve Little Golden B ooks published by Simon and Schuster marked the beginning of the l ongest-running series of picture books in the United States. The Little Golden Books quickly gained popularity in the 1940s during the rise of middlebrow culture through a confluence of writing, il lustrating, printing, and marketing techniques that paralleled the first Golden Age of Childrens Literature in the late 19th Century. During both of these periods in childrens literature, pub lishers, authors, and illustrators joined in their commitment to higher quality writing and illustrations, which further revolutionized the design of books designated primarily for childre n. Since 1942, over 1,200 unique Little Golden Books titles have been published as part of their catalogue. Purposefully or not, the major ity of Little Golden Books f eature children whose physical features document Americas c ontinuing idealization of innocence in childrens picture books. By coupling the marginalization of ethnically diverse children with th e depiction of white children in stable families, the Little Golden B ooks help maintain the 1940s and 1950s version of the patriarchal, nuclear family. Unlike Dr. Se uss or Maurice Sendak, whose illustrations of children often defied convention and were sometim es even thought of as ugly when they were
9 first published, the illustrators for the Little Golden Books did nothing new that might work against the status quo of the sym bolic innocent child as already es tablished in childrens picture books. By focusing primarily on the image of the white, innocent child and marginalizing ethnic diversity, the Little Golden Books both reinforce and preser ve the patriarchal nuclear family values that dominated white suburban Ameri ca in the 1940s and 1950s. The movement of white Americans into the suburbs also facilitated th e polarization of gender roles since women were more likely to stay home while men traveled fart her distances to work. These aspects of white middle-class suburban American life were mirrore d by the children in the Little Golden Books who playacted the bread-winning male (boys on ly) and the homemaking female (girls only). Even though they started as a series of afford able picture books and c ontinue to flourish in the publishing industry, the Little Golden Books have also explor ed other marketing avenues for their well-known characters su ch as toys, domestic goods, com puter games, and childrens videos. The marketing, collecting, and recycling of todays Little Golden Books constitutes a prime example of the nostalgia-infused repackagi ng of childrens books as classics. Yet, critics and academics continue to summarily ignore the impact of these books on childrens culture and American popular culture. By ex amining specific Little Golden Books and the collection as a whole within the context of American culture, this dissertation considers th e historical, cultural, rhetorical, and commercial significance of the longest-running series of picture books in the United States.
10 CHAPTER 1 AN INTRODUCTION: WHY TH E LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS In this project, I exam ine a number of the cultural phenomena that inform the history and development of the Little Golden Books, from their beginning in the America of the 1940s to their place today as a universal presence in the literature of th e American nursery. Beneath the deceptively simple surfaces of the Little Golden Books, lie comp lex cross currents of American popular culture that range from publishing economics and marketi ng strategies, to the dynamics of the American Zeitgeist in the wake of World War II. To bring this complexity of forces into focus requires multiple critical lenses that include archival research, cultural and gender studies, psychoanalytical theory, and pi cture book aesthetics. A key pa rt of my methodology involves interviews with editors, collect ors, authors and librarians as well as archival work through newspapers, magazines, and research libraries to reach some conclusions about the wealth of anecdotal mythology surrounding the books. Examin ing the specific Little Golden Books themselves requires not only an understanding of picture book theory, but also reveals how American popular culture, normativ e gender roles, the archetype of the child, and consumerism coalesce to form a series of pi cture books that have maintained their popularity for over 60 years. Undoubtedly, the Little Golden Books have be en and are still popular cultural texts that contain their own widely accepted, reinforced, an d regulated images and belief systems. In Highbrow/Lowbrow: the Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America Lawrence Levine defines the adjective popular by pointing to not only those creations of expr essive culture that actually had a large audience but also, and often primarily, those that had questionable artistic merit (Levine 31). The establishment of cultural studies as a legitimate field of inquiry within the university setting in America has created a space for academic dialogue about topics that are popular in American culture but have questionable artistic merit in the eyes of the
11 critics. Books like Hop on Pop: the Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture that explore interest in mass consumer culture have opened th e door for projects such as mine that treat the Little Golden Books as a signifi cant part of children s literature and Am erican popular culture not in spite of, but certainly b ecause of, their mass distribution. The growth of cultural studies also provide s a context for books such as Julia L. Mickenbergs Learning from the Left which examines the progressive tendencies of childrens books produced by Leftists during the Cold War and compares those tendencies to the New Leftists of the 1960s in the United States. As a part of this study, Mickenberg focuses on a specific Little Golden Book titled Tootle (1954) by Gertrude Crampton in which a young, eponymous train engine rebels against the system by straying from the railway tracks because he wants to play with the butterflies and frolic among the flowers in the field. Eventually, Tootle learns that he must stay on the tracks and follow the rules precisely in order to be a productive part of his community, but for a brief moment in Tootle, children witness the joys of breaking a larger communitys social rules. Mickenbergs Learning from the Left is singular in the field of childrens literature in that it does not immediately dismiss the value of a picture book simply because it is a Little Golden Book. Yet, academic criticisms that examine the Li ttle Golden Books are rare because the books are often disregarded as sub-li terary. Critical childr ens literature books like Michelle H. Martins Brown Gold: Milestones of African-American Childrens Picture Books, 1845-2002 further the popular no tion that Little Golden Books ar e filled with cheaply rendered illustrations that do not have any artistic merit (Martin 201). In her discussion of Little Black Sambos origins, Martin notes the positive contributions that Helen Bannermans story and illustrations have made within the developing canon of African-Ameri can childrens picture
12 books even though the story is often dismissed as ra cist (Martin 17). A conc rete example of this ongoing controversy that Martin discusses occurred in a 1966 New York Times article in which Little Golden Books President Albert Leventha l noted that almost every time we reissue the story of Little Black Sambo [sic] we receive ma il deploring it. When it is not available in our Little Golden Books series, we have had letters asking why we do not keep this classic in print (Lelyveld 34). Even though Bannermans story a bout a boy who outwits tiger s and eats pancakes was eventually pulled from the Little Golden Books catalogue, in 2004 the story was published again under the title The Boy and the Tigers with updated illustrations to avoid any negative connotations attached to the firs t title. Unfortunately, by dismissing all illustrations in all Little Golden Books, Martin completely misses the opportunity to examine Gustaf Tenngrens nonstereotypical illustrations in the Li ttle Golden Books 1948 edition of Little Black Sambo when she examines several different illustrated versions of Little Black Sambo that have developed from Bannermans original story. Surprisingly, critical examinations of the cult ural and commercial signi ficance of the Little Golden Books as a whole do not exist, but inform ation about their history and collectibility is readily available. In 1991, Rebecca Greason authored Tomarts Price Guide to Golden Book Collectibles which focused more heavily on the trinkets, figurines, and toys associated with the Little Golden Books than the books themselves. More recently, collector Steve Santi, who is widely recognized as an expert on the Little Golden Books, regularly revises and publishes an extensive collectors guide to the Little Golden Books that includes information on the people and places he learned about thr ough numerous interviews. Unfortunately, Santi did not tape any of these interviews he conducted or draft de tailed notes. He does, though, maintain a web site1 1 Santis web site can be found at < http://www.thesantis.com/ >. This site includes an abbreviated history of the Little Golden Books, numerous photographs, and access to Santis Little Golden Books forum.
13 through which he answers questions about the Little Golden Books and sells extra copies of individual books. In a small, closely packed stud io room connected to his house, Santi stores his pristine collection of every single Little Golden Book ever pub lished which, he states, were usually pulled directly off the finished producti on line before being shipped out to the stores (Santi Interview). Since Santi has established hims elf as both a collector of and an authority on the Little Golden Books, contacts within the Little Golden Books company regularly provided him with newly printed titles and informed hi m about upcoming Little Golden Book events. As early as 1987, Dolores B. Jones edited the book Bibliography of the Little Golden Books, which is neither a collectors guide nor a critical edition. As the books title suggests, the Bibliography of Little Golden Books is a reference book that catalogue s all of the Little Golden Books that were published between 1942 a nd 1985, providing essential bibliographic information for each title. The book itself also includes entries fo r the various Little Golden Books spin-offs like the Giant Little Golden Books, Walt Disney Books, and Ding Dong School Books. Although the Bibliography of the Little Golden Books is comprehensive in its bibliographic entries, inexpli cably, the book does not include a ny historical or biographical information. Most recently, Leonard Marcus authored a popular assessment of the Little Golden Books titled Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Child ren's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became An American Icon Along the Way (2007) that pieces togeth er the stories behind the people and publishing houses that have made th e Little Golden Books an American success story. But Golden Legacy does not engage in the same type of critical examination that is found in academic texts like Martins Brown Gold or Mickenbergs Learning From the Left Instead, Marcuss book fleshes out the complete history of the Little Golden Books and includes short
14 biographies of the influential authors and il lustrators who worked for Golden. Prior to Golden Legacy a minimal snippet of this information wa s only available through Santis collectors guide. By providing candid photographs of the aut hors and illustrators as well as reproducing large, full-color illustrations fr om well-known Little Golden Books, Golden Legacy is designed to be visually admired. Its images invite nosta lgic reflection by induci ng readers to remember specific childhood favorites from the Little Golden Books catalogue. Moreover, the chapters in Golden Legacy are arranged by a timeline rather than containing an overarching argument or critical examination of particul ar Little Golden Books or the se ries as a whole. Published in conjunction with the Little Golden Books 65th anniversary, Golden Legacy primarily celebrates the history and currency of the Little Golden Books, which is not surprising since Random House, the present owners of the Little Golden Books catalogue, commissioned Marcus to write Golden Legacy for this very purpose. My approach2 departs from Marcuss Golden Legacy in that each chapter of the followi ng study critically examines a num ber of the factors that have undergirded or given fundamental support to the Little Golden B ooks since their first publication in 1942. The materials I study include the Little Golden Bookss marketing strategies and distribution as well as their st atus in education, library cultu re, and the field of childrens literature. After recognizing the pot ential magnitude of undertaking a pr oject about the Little Golden Books, I set up two constraints. Th roughout this project, I focus on the Little Golden Books as a collection in and of themselves rather than sorting through an d categorizing them according to the publishing house that owned the rights to the books at any given moment in their publication 2 By juxtaposing these forces with todays popular and c onsumer culture in the United States, my analysis also reveals how the Little Golden Books attempt to hide reality through the commodification of nostalgia with the reproduction of Classic Little Golden Books. This project is not a celebration of the Little Golden Books; rather, it is a careful negotiation between maintaining a critical distance, which is necessary to thoroughly examine the Little Golden Books, and my own nostalgia for the books, which were part of my childhood.
15 history. Information about the publishing houses th at owned the rights to the Little Golden Books from 1942 until 1980 can be found in John Tebbels A History of Book Publishing in the United States: The Great Change, 1940-1980, Volume IV Marcuss Golden Legacy also includes information about the various publishers and subsidiaries that have owned the Little Golden Books over the years. Currentl y, the Little Golden Books ar e solely published through the childrens division of Random House, which is lo cated in New York City. Prior to 2001, Simon and Schuster partnered with Western Publishi ng Company to produce and publish the Little Golden Books. During an interview with Joyce St ein, who worked for Little Golden Books from 19833 until 1989, she laughed slightly as she rec ounted the arguments that still flared up on occasion between the big city (Simon and Sc huster in New York City) and the quiet heartland (Western Publishing Company in Racine, Wisconsin) over what educational material to focus on (Stein Interview). It is im portant to note that, even though the Little Golden Books have changed publishers over the years, their content and production quality today has remained consistent with the st andards first established in 1942. Secondly, this project is primarily concerned w ith the familiar, almost square (21 x 18 cm) shape in which Little Golden Books were first published in 1942 and continue to be published today. As will be discussed in next chapter, the Little Golden Books growing popularity caused a number of spin-offs to be crea ted, among them: Giant Little Golden Books, Big Little Golden Books, Little Little Golden Books, My First Little Golden Learning Library, Little Golden Books Land Series, and the Eager Reader series. Because of the sheer size of the entire Little Golden Books collection (over 1,200 unique titles), this project cannot hope to specifically analyze each facet of every Little Golden Book that has ever been printed. This project does, though, seek to 3 Stein was unsure about her starting date during our inte rview. She does know, though, that she either started working for the Little Golden Books in 1983 or 1984.
16 establish a platform for further research through an examination of the historical, cultural, and commercial significance of the l ongest-running series of picture books in the United States. Emergence in Middlebrow Culture The first twelve Little Golden Books em erged towards the end of what Joan Shelley Rubin marks in The Making of Middlebrow Culture (1992) as a transitional period during which Americans created an unprecedented range of ac tivities aimed at making literature and other forms of high culture availa ble to a wide reading public du ring the three decades following World War I (Rubin xi ). Rubins book not only examines Le vines use of the terms highbrow and lowbrow in his book Highbrow/Lowbrow but also places the terms on a continuum in order to exploring the gap between the terms that led to the rise of middlebrow culture in the United States. In Highbrow/Lowbrow Levine defines highbrow someone who has intellectual or aesthetic superiority and lowbrow as someone who is neither highly intellectual nor aesthetically refined (Levine 221). Here, the te rms function as nouns to characterize a person connotatively as either elite or vulgar, re spectively. With the in troduction of the term middlebrow in the early 1920s, all three terms cam e to function as adjectives that describe and categorize a way of life based on a variety of cultural events a nd aesthetics demarcated by class structure. For example, in the United States an opera, which presumably requires a sophisticated educational background to enjoy and appreciate because it is not sung in English, can be described as a highbrow cultural event. In co ntrast, some might argue that a monster truck rally does not require an advan ced education as a prerequisite for enjoying the show, which makes it lowbrow. Yet, the growth of a middlebrow culture complicated these simplistically defined, either/or parameters of highbrow and lowbrow culture as the people in a growing middle and working class strove for self-impr ovement regardless of their class status and educational background. For example, the advent of digital signs makes opera more palatable to
17 all classes of viewers since subt itles can now be added to an ons tage screen. Therefore, Englishspeakers are not required to unde rstand more than one language to appreciate or enjoy the performance. In The Making of Middlebrow Culture Rubin argues that the establishment of the Bookof-the-Month Club, Great Books collections, and Outline books are indicators of the rise of American middlebrow culture following World War I. By mingling democracy and elitism, each of these book club businesses sold culture throu gh the mass distribution of books that not only bestowed prestige and currency on the books au thors, but also disseminated highbrow literature directly into the hom es of middle class people who be lieved that culture could be dissociated from wealth (Rubin 1). Thus, th e middlebrow ideal that broad reading was intrinsically worthwhile as well as socially rewarding led people in the 1940s to participate in these types of clubs so that th ey could identify themselves am ong their peers as intellectual, educated, and on par with the uppe r-class (Rubin 31). This cultural tr adition of self-improvement regardless of wealth in the United States is not simply a 1940s phenomenon, rather it stretches back to the early Puritan settlers and still flourishes today as exemplified by Oprah Winfreys book club. Each of these book clubs and collec tions that Rubin examines in The Making of Middlebrow Culture also created an internal, yet publicly visible, panel of experts who decided which books had the cultural merit to be included on each clubs reading list. When subscribing to the Book-of-the-Month Club, members agreed to buy one new [not classic] book per month for a year that was selected by a panel of expe rts known as the Selecting Committee or Board of Judges and shipped directly to the members home (Rubin 95). Even though some of the new [not classic] books like Joan Lowells Cradle of the Deep have not remained in constant
18 circulation, others like John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men have over the years earned classic status in the United States. Since the number of people attending college and becoming specialists in their respective fields grew in the early 20th Ce ntury, critics and book reviewers for papers like New Yorks Evening Post were also expected to also be specialists of a books subject matter in order to properly and thorough ly evaluate the books content (Rubin 39). As Rubin points out, the function of the literary critic was to asse ss works in both aesthetic and ethical terms (Rubin 45). Therefore, th e Book-of-the-Month Club, Great Books, and Outline Books all professed their reliance on a panel of experts, book judges or otherwise. At the turn of the 20th Century, the rise of middlebrow culture coincided with the dissemination of high or great culture to the general public through books prepackaged and pre-selected by an authority figur e. Much of this distribution was based on the assumption that culture could be acquired through the process of reading certain books and avoiding others (Rubin 1). Literature classes st arted requiring undergraduate stude nts to study a list of widely recognized Great Books compiled by various prof essors and critics of literature. The public appeal of the Great Books moniker cu lminated in 1952 with the publication of Great Books of the Western World a fifty-volume set from Encyclopedia Britannica, a highly respected source of information. The phenomenon of Outline b ooks, a summary of facts in an easily read format, started in the 1920s with the publication of H. G. Wellss The Outline of History and resulted in another way to catch up culturally an d regain a unified perspective in the face of new media and rising educatio nal opportunities (Rubin 210). The middlebrow Zeitgeist of the early 1940s encouraged Simon and Schuster to produce and distribute the Little Golden Books through grocery stores, pharm acies, and retail outlets like Woolworth rather than through freestanding, independent bookstore s. In a move that brought
19 books to the general public, the Little Golden Books reached general consumers as part of their regular shopping routine, similarly to the way that a Book-of-the-Month Club book might be delivered straight to a consumers doorstep. The entire Little Golden Books collection covered a variety of need-to-know childhood topics rang ing from the educational (with books about numbers, colors, the alphabet, and geographic lo cations) to the cultural (with fairy tales and books based on television characters). Although not es from the first editorial meeting in the creation of the Little Golden Books do not exist4, the early editors of the Little Golden Books clearly prioritized topics of educational value above those of mere entertainment as part of the enculturation process of American children. When covering a large section of history or bi ology, the Little Golden Books relied on a structure similar to Wellss Outline books For example, the Little Golden Book Our Flag (1960) by Carl Memling outlines the history of the American flag and then draws in the young reader by pointing out that when you [the reader] were born our flag still had forty-eight stars (Memling). The final pages of the book covert ly instill the democratic value of patriotism by showing the reader the rules to follow when carrying, flyin g, or saluting the flag. Little Golden Books also provided an outline of info rmation about oceans in Bertha Morris Parkers Deep Blue Sea firefighters in Jane Goldsmiths Firemen and the Fire Engine, and the entire world in Jane Werner Watsons Our World: A Beginners Introduction to Geography among others. While book clubs in America provided adult readers with Great Books, the Little Golden Books supplied adults with educationally informative and enjoyable picture books for children. 4 If notes from the first meeting do still exist, they would be housed in the Little Golden Books closed archive that is owned by Random House and inaccessible by the public.
20 The Little Golden Books also borrowed the idea from the Great Books phenomenon that a person should not only read expertly chosen bo oks, but also display those same books as proof of their growing bank of knowledge. To this end, the Little Golden Books established exact format and design standards for each books size, sh ape, and number of pages, which assured the reader that a collection of these books would disp lay nicely on a bookshelf. In this, the Little Golden Books created a familiar look by simulating the continuity of a Great Books collection. Like book club participants who displayed th eir own purchased collection of uniform knowledge, children could place a ph ysically standardized assortment of books that contained relevant knowledge about Ameri can culture to prepare them for future schooling on their bookshelves. By purchasing numerous Little Golden Books, a parent in the spirit of middlebrow culture was on some level assuming that childre n could also acquire culture by reading the best books (Rubin 1). A display ad produced by Simon and Schuster in December 1942 boasted to parents that this [w as] the first time the publishers have advertised them because every time ads were planned, most everybody selling Little Golden Books had already sold out and just wanted more books instead of any a dvertising (Dear Parents 31). Noticeably, the persuasive, unspoken logic behind this print ad is that all the other parents have already bought Little Golden Books for their own children since they had already sold out, therefore if the potential buyer wants to be a good parent, she or he will buy these books, too (Dear Parents 31). Moreover, if a parent had not heard about the Li ttle Golden Books yet, it was simply because the publishers were advertising them for the first time (Dear Parents 31). Thus, this ad also promotes the building of a univers al bank of knowledge for children as it convinces the potential buyer to not be the only person unaware of the stories contained in the Little Golden Books.
21 Mickenberg points out in Learning From the Left that during the time following the Depression and Word War II, popular interest in American traditions grew as Americans united in the struggle agains t fascism (Mickenberg 232). The occurrence of these socializing traditions in print comprise a pocket of time in Americas history that David Reisman marks as a movement towards an inner-directed society (and away from a tradition-directed society). In The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character first published in 1950, Reisman attempts to interpret shifts within late 1940s American culture a ccording to its relation to the past and the prospective future (Reisman 5). As a part of this study, Reisman proposes that American culture in the 1940s moved away from the oral tradi tions that initially shaped its socialization process. At the same time in the 1940s, American culture moved towards socialization through different forms of print media that encouraged self-directedness and nonorality. Accordingly, a society de fined by tradition-direction mak es use of oral traditions, myths, legends, and songs as one of its mech anisms for conveying the relative unity of its values (Reisman 107). In comparison, a society defined by inner-direction is affected by the excitement and novelty of literacy: there is a wide spread hunger for the press and for books a hunger that the technology and distri butive facilities arouse but do not entirely satisfy (Reisman 110). Reismans articulation of American cultures rising need for books further underscores the growth of middlebrow culture that Rubin describes in the Making of Middlebrow Culture During this cultural shift, lingering oral traditio ns were relegated to the seemingly innocuous realm of childrens print culture and survived in texts such as the Little Golden Books. Particularly, the first twelve published Little Golden Books not only captured the orality of childrens culture, but also fed the wide spread hunger for books. In this format, the songs and
22 stories provided a space for socialization through both the traditions and camaraderie of public knowledge (tradition-direction) as well as through the inner-directedness of children reading such texts to themselves without the interferen ce of immediate adult inte rpretation. Thus, in the 1940s, the Little Golden Books balanced on th e cusp between tradition-direction and innerdirection by publishing books that ca ptured oral traditions in an easily distributed format for the individual reader. Since a mother shopping with her children was presumably the targeted consumer of the Little Golden Books, the books were originally placed in grocery stores and retail chains in order to reach a wide audience of shoppers. The front flap of each dust jacket hooked the potential buyer with a brief description of the story and the edu cational substance of the book itself. This description advertised both the craftsmanship in and the educational value of each book while at the same time encouraging the purch aser to trust the publis hers ability (as a specialist) to discern the value of a text. For example, the front flap of Scuffy the Tugboat (1946) with illustrations by Tibor Gergely specifically states: Gertrude Cramptons story is a skillful blend of entertainment and information (Crampton). At the same time that readers are entertained by Scuffys adventures and mishaps, readers are educated about the safety and value of returning home (or maybe even never leaving) wher e Scuffy finally finds safety. This mix of entertainment and information is further promoted towards the bottom of every front dust jacket flap: The countrys outstanding childrens [sic ] artists have joined forces to create this series, and each of the Little Golden Books is prepared under th e supervision of Dr. Mary Reed of Teachers College, Columbia University (Crampton). Dr. Mary Reed, who worked as an Assistant Professor of Education and held the position of head of the kindergarten division in Teachers College at Columbia University, supervised and
23 approved each books subject from 1942 until her death on November 30, 1960, at the age of 89, which occurred long after the discontinuation of dus t jackets on Little Golden Books (Dr. Mary Reed). Indeed, Dr. Mary Reed is mentioned agai n on the flip side of the title page, only this time her name is followed by the acronym P h.D. which doubly reinforces her own higher education and the educational value of the text. Thus, until the time of Reeds death, each Little Golden Book asserted both its educational wort h and entertainment valu e by pointing out the use of outstanding childrens [sic] artists and a supe rvisor from Teachers College with a doctorate in education. As a specialist in childrens education, Reed provided the prerequisite stamp of authoritative reassurance that each particular Little Golden Book is the best book to buy for children. In addition to the approval of Dr. Mary Reed, a number of Little Golden Books were also tested on a child audience in the Bank Streets School for Children before being published and distributed to the general public. Established in 1916 by Lucy Sprague Mitchell, the Bank Street College of Education in New York City or iginally named the Bureau of Educational Experiments before moving to Bank Street encour aged future teachers to create environments in which children could grow both physically an d intellectually by worki ng directly with New York public schools, a method still encouraged by Bank Street today. Aside from experimenting with and promoting new educational techniques in the 1930s and 1940s, Ba nk Street would later help in the creation of the federal Head Start program and form a writing laboratory for authors who wanted to write books that r eflected the interests and need of children at various stages of their development (Bank Street). Bank Street also established and promoted a here and now philosophy of writing among its authors that focu sed on writing about the everyday occurrences of a childs life that were meant to empower children with an understanding of social
24 relationships [while] giving them the power to change and improve the world around them (Mickenberg 26). Producing books about the here and now during the rise of middlebrow culture not only gave young readers a snapshot of children their own age, but also immediately archived a segment of that life for future generations of readers and scholars Between 1946 and 1951, eight Little Golden Booksincluding Mitchells The New House in the Forest The Taxi That Hurried and A Year on the Farm passed through the Bank Stre et writing laboratory for authors5 and were tested with school children before being published as Li ttle Golden Books. In order to show that a Bank Street author collaborated with the L ittle Golden Books, the title page of these books prominently declares that the book was written and test ed at the Bank Street Schools, Pioneer leaders in research in edu cation for young children [sic]. Here, the general buying public has the reassurance of a panel of teaching experts, not ju st a single education doctorate, that the Little Golden Books exemplify exactly what each child n eeds in order to be a vital part of the community and prepared for public education. Despite the Mary Reed, Ph.D. stamp of approval and cooperation with Bank Street Schools, most (but not all) librarians in the 1940s disapproved of the Little Golden Books, because the dominate discourse among librarian s during the influx of middlebrow culture 5 Possibly the most prolific childrens book writer to rise out of the Bank Street panel of writers and most influenced by the here and now philosophy was Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952), who wrote under her own name plus several pen names to keep from flooding the childrens book market. While she is probably most widely known for Goodnight Moon a picture book featuring a great green room a nd a sleepy little bunny, she wrote several popular texts for the Little Golden Books including The Color Kittens (1949), Five Little Firemen (1948), Home for a Bunny (1961), and The Golden Egg Book (1962). As these sample titles might suggest, Browns books published through the Little Golden Books line did not strictly focus on here and now topics initiated by Mitchell, like labor, machinery, industrializa tion or the modern city. Five Little Firemen rush through town to put out a fire with bells clanging, The Color Kittens teaches children about mixing colors th rough the antics of kittens who paint, Home for Bunny shows a bunny who tries to live in th e various places that other animals liv e until he finally returns to his own protective home, and in The Golden Egg Book, a rabbit and a duck become friends after misidentifying each other. Each of these books communicat es the importance of friendship, security in the home, and basic knowledge. Brown was not confined to publishing only with the Little Golden Books; instead, she freely published her work with whomever she liked (Marcus Dear Genius xxiii).
25 dictated that an inexpensive, highly popular childrens book c ould not possibly contain either high quality literature or high quality artistry. According to Marcus in Golden Legacy, the 1920s clash between traditiona l librarians and progressive educat ors deepened into the 1940s as librarians regarded all juvenile fiction published in series form with deep suspicion and educators challenged the standa rds by which librarians evaluated childrens books (58). Louise Seaman Bechtel, who was appointed Head of the first juvenile book department at Macmillan Publishing Company in 1928, further emphasizes th e rift between public school teachers and librarians when she reminds them to adhere to their separate, but e qually important, ideals concerning childrens reading habi ts in her speech at the Am erican Librarian Association meeting in 1950. Bechtel states, The teacher may emphasize what she knows the child can read; the librarian may know better what she hopes the child will read [Bech tels emphasis] (Bechtel 234). Here, Bechtels comment both reiterates that a rift still existed between teachers and librarians, but that the divide could be overc ome as long as both sides try to awakening [children] to real literary va lues (Bechtel 234). Functioning in the space between teachers and librarians, Bechtel did praise a Little Golden Book in a 1949 arti cle published in the New York Herald Tribunes Weekly Book Review when she not es that a big-edition version of Margaret Wise Browns The Golden Egg Book is a treasure among mass-produced color books due to its illustrations by Leonard Weisgard (Bechtel 217). The Little Golden Books successful book sales might illustrate their public appeal, but they also mark their downfall amongst librarians and childrens literature cri tics who in the 1940s prided th emselves on being cultural gatekeepers and moral guardians for children (Marcus 58). The image of librarians hating the Little Gold en Books has become an apocryphal part of the books history over the years. In his introduction to the 1998 version of A Family Treasury of
26 Little Golden Books, Marcus notes the dismissal of L ittle Golden Books by librarians who viewed them as subliterary and market-driven (Marcus xiii). In American Picturebooks from Noah's Ark to the Beast Within Barbara Bader also refers to librarians who saw in the series only crudity and commercialism (Bader 279). Such comments were in direct contradiction to librarian and children's book reviewer Anne Eaton who in 1942 wrote in a New York Times review that the books will provide a pleasan t book experience for th e young child (Bader 279). Even Dolores B. Jones casually notes in her introduction to the Bibliography of the Little Golden Books that Little Golden Books do deserve a place in the history of children's literature despite their poor image with litera ry critics, librarians, and teachers (Jones xvii). The most substantial indication of the general librarians direct hatred of the Little Golden Books is a statement made in the early 1980s by Lucille Ogle, who had been vice president of Western Publishing and founder of the Little Go lden Books. Ogle was incredulous when Edith McCormick approached her for an interview for the journal American Libraries Questioning McCormicks intent, Ogle reminded McCormick lib rarians hate us [the Little Golden Books] (McCormick 251). Ogle also points out during the interview that lib rarians did very, very nasty programs about them [Little Golden Books], and wr ote critical articles about them, too based on their rejection of the fact that you could make a good book cheap (McCormick 251). Here is where the archive starts to crumble, though, beca use a search of the New York Times does not reveal any negative reviews during the 1940s and 1950s of specific Little Golden Books. Moreover, many libraries during the mid-20th Century did not keep complete records of either the programs or the critical arti cles that were being produced. If todays New York Public Library (NYP L) system is any indication, the outspoken hatred that librarians felt for the Little Go lden Books in the 1940s no longer exists, even
27 though Little Golden Books are not being stocked regularly on their library shelves. Librarian Warren Truitt and Supervising Childrens Librarian John Peters, both of whom work in the Central Childrens Room at the Donnell Librar y Center in New York, spoke about their understanding of the rift between librarians in the 1940s and the Little Golden Books. Truitt iterated a story similar to the anecdotal ones abov e about how the Little Golden Books were not up to the librarians standards because they were cheap and contained TV show tie-ins (Truitt). Peters pointed out that the NYPL system did not own any Little Golden Books until the 1980s when he bought representative examples of Little Golden Books to add to the librarys collection for historical purposes, but not for general circulation (Pet ers). Currently, the only Little Golden Books in circulation at the NYPL ar e the ones that have been reprinted in a larger format (like Margaret Wise Browns The Golden Egg Book with illustrations by Weisgard) or the ones that have been collected into one volume (like Farm Tales Animal Tales, and Sleepy Time Tales) since the larger format both emphasizes e ach books value as a picture book and protects each book from being lost or destroyed by patrons. Even though the Little Golden Books are co mmercially successful and use outstanding childrens artists, no Little Golden Book6 has ever been awarded a highly influential Caldecott Medal, which can lead to total sales of sixty to a hundred thousa nd copies and come close to ensuring a permanent place on a publishers backlis t (Clark 74). The Association for Library Service to Children has given this award, named after Randolf Caldecott since 1938, to the most distinguished American picture book produced du ring any given year. Since the illustrators who worked for the Little Golden Books during th e 1940s and 1950s also freelanced for other 6 Currently, Abe Birnbaums Green Eyes a 1953 Caldecott Honor Book, is available through Golden Press. Todays version of Green Eyes looks like a Little Golden Book, but when the book won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 1953 it was not a Little Golden Book. (Collector Steve Santi does not list this title in the recent editions of his collectors identification and price guides.) Rather, Golden Books Publis hing Company, Inc. renewed the copyright in 1981 and thus gained printing rights to the book.
28 childrens book publishers, a handful of Little Go lden Book illustrators received a Caldecott honor for their artistic tale nts in other picture books. In 1956, Feodor Rojankovsky earned a Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in Frog Went A-Courtin and Leonard Weisgard earned one in 1947 for The Little Island neither of which is a Little Go lden Book. Elizabeth Orton Jones, who later illustrated Little Red Riding Hood for the Little Golden Books, received a Caldecott Medal in 1945 for Prayer for a Child The list of illustrators who worked for the Little Golden Books and were honored by the Caldecott committee for books that were not part of the Golden family, include several other books illustrated by Weisgard like Rain Drop Splash in 1947 and Little Lost Lamb in 1946 as well as honors for Tibor Gergely for his work in Wheel on the Chimney in 1955. By default, the illustrators who ear n Caldecott honors raise the level of the artwork in the Little Golden B ooks. Clearly, the total sales of th e Little Golden Books have not suffered from lack of recognition by the Cald ecott committee since four Little Golden Books occupy a place in the top ten positions7 of Publishers Weekly All-Time Best-Selling Childrens Books list. Of course, the Little Golden Books like much of childrens literature have been overlooked by scholars until relatively recently. For exampl e, in 1976, the Modern Language Association started listing childrens liter ature as a subject heading8 in its bibliography. Then four years later in 1980, the MLA granted childrens literature its own division status. (Flynn). By 7 In 2000, The Poky Little Puppy maintained the number one position on the Publishers Weekly All-Time BestSelling Childrens Books list for hardcover childrens bo oks (All-Time). The top ten slots on this list include three additional Little Golden Books: at #3 is Tootle (1945) by Gertrude Crampton, at #7 is Saggy Baggy Elephant (1947) by Kathryn and Byron Jackson, and at #8 is Scuffy the Tugboat (1955) also by Crampton. 8 Even with these additions, the MLA bibliography s till included only a small number of childrens literature journals until recently. As report ed by Beverly Lyon Clark in Kiddie Lit for a number of years [the MLA bibliography] has screened Childrens Literature the Childrens Literature Association Quarterly The Lion and the Unicorn the English Journal and (as of 1995) Canadian Childrens Literature But until 1998 it did not screen Bookbird Journal of Youth Services in Libraries Horn Book Magazine School Library Journal Language Arts New Advocate Five Owls Voice of Youth Advocates Junior Bookshelf, or even the prestigious British journal Signal to cite ten journals that publish work of in terest to scholars of childrens literature (75).
29 examining how the Little Golden Books benefite d from the rise of mi ddlebrow culture in the early 20th Century, the task of this project is plac ed in a similar context as that held by Rubin to redress the disregard and the ove rsimplification afforded to both middlebrow culture and, in this case, the Little Golden Books (Rubin 31). As a way to separa te great works of literature from childrens literature the status of the Little Golden Books has been diminished through pejorative terms such as kiddie li t that blithely brush away the importance attached to the very first books that the general public reads. Moreover, the historical significance of the picture book is not easily confined to middlebrow culture; rather, the picture book as traced through Europe and into the United States has a rich history of social elitism and high class cult ural standing as well as mass distribution. During the late 19th century, for example, when English printer Edmund Evans started producing pi cture books that featured the illustrating talents of Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, and Randol f Caldecott, he opened a door for the general publication and distribution of childrens picture books. Prior to Evanss time, picture books were considered too expensive for everyday use by children and c onsequently were bought primarily by the upper, social classes, not the everyda y, middle or working classes. Essentially, the Little Golden B ooks fell into a literary black hole even as they remained culturally popular. Although the Little Gold en Books benefited financially from mass distribution, their expansive e xplosion in the childrens book market during the 1940s and 50s also stigmatized their artistic merit and placed th em into a category disparagingly referred to as kiddie lit. In Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Childrens Literature in America Beverly Lyon Clark explores the developmen t of kiddie lit as a pejorativ e term in the United States by focusing on the split that occurs be tween literature for children and literature for adults in the late
30 19th century. According to Clar k, children and childhood were less segregated from adults and adulthood in the nineteenth century, before the split between hi gh culture and low, before literary authority shifted from genteel edito rs to the professoriate [sic] (Clark 16). This split, Clark argues, gave rise to the use of kiddy lit as a way to diminish literature written for both a child and adult female audience like Frances Hodgson Burnetts Secret Garden and to place adult literature like that written by Henr y James in a position of authority. By the early 20th century as gatekeeping shifted from literary journals to the academy, this split9 forced childrens literature out of the hands of genteel editors and into the hands of librarians10 since academics ignored it (Clark 76). Clark note s that the stewardship of child rens literature passed into the hands of librarians but academics tended to ig nore the work of librarians too which means that picture books like the Little Golden Books re lied partially on librarians for critical support in the 1940s and 50s (Clark 76). But, as discu ssed earlier, librarians in the early 20th century hated the Little Golden Books. Thus, even wit hout the support of gent eel editors, academics, or librarians, the Little Golden Books remained both largely popular and critically ignored in America. Project Overview In the chapters that follow, m y project explor es the ways in which the Little Golden Books became an important part of the history of childrens literature and popular culture, even though critics and academics have summarily ignored them. The second chapter From the 1940s to the 2000s: Decades of Little Golden Books, follows the extended history of the Little Golden 9 In one particular chapter titled Kiddie Lit in the Academy, Clark points out that even the most elite [of] such arbiters, the editors of the Atlantic devoted considerable space to reviewin g and discussing childrens literature during the nineteenth century (Clark 76). 10 The United States public library system only started allowing children into the buildings in the late nineteenth century when librarians started creating separate childrens rooms. By the mid-twentieth century more than half of books borrowed from public libraries each y ear were lent to juveniles (Clark 69).
31 Books from their inception in 1942 as a series of affordable picture books for children to their recent foray into childrens videos and computer games in order to show how they adapt to, reflect, and capture changes in American society. Next, The Gold Standard: Golden Ages and the Little Golden Books compares the publicatio n of the Little Golden Books in 1942 with the Golden Age of childrens literature in the late 19th Century to examine the cultural parallels between these two golden moments since both exemplify similar themes, advances in printing technology, and the employment of ta lented artists. The fourth pa rt of this study, Images of Innocence: Ethnicity and C onformity in the Little Golden Books, examines images of the child in the Little Golden Books in order to gage the marginalization of ethnic ities and the idealization of white, middle class children. The Happy Fam ily: Gender Divisions and the Little Golden Books further explores the image of the child in the Little Golden Books by examining how they mimicked the dominant perception of prescr ibed gender roles following World War II. As nostalgia for childhood continues to permeate the United States, the final chapter of this project, Transporting Nostalgia: The Litt le Golden Books as Souvenirs of Childhood, analyzes how the Little Golden Books utilize Americas current cultural preoccupation with both the recent and distant past by marketing childhood products and memories. In his 1985 prologue to Secret Gardens: the Golden Age of Childrens Literature, Humphrey Carpenter argues, all childrens books are a bout ideals. Adult fi ction sets out to portray and explain the world as it really is; books for children present it as it should be (Carpenter 1). Even if we accept Carpenters argument that childrens books present [the world] as it should be, we can s till question whose i deals are communicat ed through popular childrens books like the Little Golden Books. For example, during a 1998 interview with Mickenberg, author Rose Wyler notes that t he earliest Little Golden Books showed a
32 commitment to racial diversity and reject ed racism (Mickenberg 314n76). In the mid-20th Century when the term racial diversity meant a variety of Eu ropean immigrants, the Little Golden Books company did show a commitment to rejecting racism by hiring talented artists who hailed from various countries, including Fe odor Rojankovsky from Russia, Tibor Gergely from Austria, and Gustaf Tenggren from Swede n. Yet, by todays standards the early Little Golden Books themselves do not exhibit racia l diversity because the earliest books do not include a variety of ethnicities in the illustrations themselves. Very few Little Golden Books feature a protagonist of color and only a handful of book illustrations, af ter the second or third printing, changed secondary white children to non white children. Moreover, the republication of the earliest books from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s as part of the current Classics Little Golden Books catalogue only serves to highlight the supposedly desirable white child who still charms readers by reflecting an idylli c image of suburban, middle class life. As noted by Stephanie Coontz in The Way We Really Are (1997), most of todays Amer icans do not want to actually live in the 1950s, but instead want a more family-friendly economic and social environment that fosters a greater feeling of hope for a familys long-term future (Coontz 34). Perhaps, in the current cultural climate peppered by rising gas pr ices, a war in Iraq, and faltering faith in the abilities of the President, t odays adult consumer yearns for Americas post World War II golden age or their own memorable childhood and fulfils this yearning by buying Little Golden Books for the children in their liv es or collecting them for themselves.
33 CHAPTER 2 FROM THE 1940S TO THE 2000S: DE CADES OF LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS As the proliferation of Little Golden Books entered the hom es of American families, we witness the way that the Little Golden Books remain both flex ible and constant in their content and marketing techniques in the face of numerous social changes in the United States. Not only would the Little Golden Books capitalize on consumer interest by producing books that featured original stories and popular televi sion or film characters, but ove r the last 60 years, they have also maintained popularity by extensively utilizing advertising, marketing tie-ins and product placement. Who approached whom first is still unknown, but in the early 1940s Lucille Ogle and George Duplaix of the Artist and Writers Guild (a subsidiary of Western Printing and Lithography Company) started working with Leon Shimkin and Albert Levanthal of Simon and Schuster in order to produce a line of affordable childre ns picture books. Since several companies were affiliated with the production and publication of the early Little Golden Books, the copyright page often included Simon and Sc huster, the Artist and Writers Guild, Sandpiper Press, Golden Press, and various permutations of the name Western Printing and Lithography Company. Despite of the number of spoons lis ted as stirring the proverbial soup, Simon and Schuster in New York City primarily contende d with the editorial si de of production while Western Printing in Racine, Wisconsin, tackled the printing the books during the early years. From this merging of creative and commercial en ergies sprang the first twelve Little Golden Books, which were quickly followed by an entire line of picture books that continue to flourish today, albeit some titles more than others.
34 At the heart of the Little Golden Books worl d is the regular-size Little Golden Book that measures 21 x 18 cm and originally sold for $0.251 in 1942. These books were an instant success and by 1944 Little Golden Books of this size had sold more than five and a half million copies (Mackenzie BR2). By 1947, that number reached thirty-nine million. As noted by historian John Tebbel, even during wartime paper shortages, these [Little Golden Books] were selling about 4.5 million copies a year (Tebbel 203). In 1949, Little Golden Books accounted for 50,000,000 of the 100,000,000 total books sold by Simon and Schuster (From the Inner Sanctum 1949, 25). Within a 10-year period from 1942 to 1952, the Littl e Golden Books catalogue grew from twelve to 181 titles and sold 196,000,000 tota l copies (Dempsey BR8). These striking sales figures from the Little Golden Books early years mark the beginning of a pub lication history that spans over six decades, an expanse of time that no other se ries of picture books in the United States can match. In 1942, each book contained 42 pages 14 pages in full color and 28 pages with twocolor prints. Each book also came with a protectiv e dust jacket that prominently displayed the trademark golden spine with its patte rn of vines and flower clusters, a precursor to todays highly recognizable gold-foil spine that distinguishes th e Little Golden Books from other books on the shelves. The inclusion of a dust jacket also le nt a dash of quality to each Little Golden Book since dust jackets or wrappers hearken back to the days when they were only used to protect expensive books (Homme 20). The books themselves minus the dust jacket, sported a blue cloth tape-like binding that covered the side-staples, and the remaining page edges were tinted with either a blue, yellow, or red chemical to de ter the paper from expanding with moisture. 1 Today, a Little Golden Book of this size sells for $2.99 on Amazon.com.
35 In order keep the cost of each book low, We stern Publishing printed 50,000 copies of each title in time for holiday shopping, which meant that they could be sold for profit at $.25 each. This low price stood in marked contrast to th e two or three-dollar pi cture books and avoided competing directly with the $0.50 picture books on the American market at the same time. Despite initial concerns about printing such a larg e first run of each title, by early 1943 all twelve of the first books published were in their third printings, and a total of over 1.5 million copies of the Little Golden Books had b een sold (Santi History 7). Savvy marketing techniques, coupled with Amer icas underlying need to look towards the future in a time of war, creat ed a thriving space in which knowledge could be distributed en mass and collected by purchasing Little Golden Books. According to a 1944 arti cle about the Little Golden Books in The New York Times more than five and half million copies [of eighteen titles] have been sold and approximately 20 pe rcent of orders were being filled (Mackenzie BR2). Due to war-time shortages, the Little Golden Books line was not able to fully keep up with the demand for their books, which left 80 percent of their orders unfilled until after the end of the war. This same article by Catherine Mackenzie notes how a desire for picture books on the East Coast closely followed the establishment of nur sery schools for industrial workers children which implies that picture books like the Little Golden Books were being marketed to working and middle class families. By the end of 1945, the first twelve books had been reprinted at le ast seven times. In 1949, Simon and Schusters newspaper advertising co lumn, From the Inner Sanctum of Simon and Schuster boasts, of the 100,000,000 books sold by S&S thus far, 60,000,000 have been childrens books (50,000,000 Litt le Golden Books and 10,000,000 Giant Golden Books) (From the Inner Sanctum 1949, 25). In releasing this kind of information about th e Little Golden Books
36 from the Inner Sanctum, Simon and Schuste r utilized an eaves dropping technique of advertising commonly used in th e late 1930s and early 1940s. In this way, consumers are let in on a secret and are then presumably allowed to make up their own mi nds about a product after they overhear firsthand information to whic h they would not be privy (even though it has obviously been released publicly). Even when the eavesdropping method of advertising was no longer popular among publishing comp anies, it remained a central advertising tactic for Simon and Schuster because it helped maintain a sense of closeness and familiarity for the reading public with the Little Golden Books. Original titles published during the 1940s focused mainly on the everyday lives of American girls and boys living in the city, the country, or suburbia. The Little Golden Books focus on the home and family during a time of rest ricted travel out of the country due to World War II reflects what childrens literature hist orian Ruth Hill Viguers has termed as the 1940s know-your-own-land movement in A Critical History of Childrens Literature (Viguers 445). The original titles published in the 1940s illustrate the flow of the family from city center to suburbia. While The Taxi That Hurried (1946) highlights the fast paced life of the city when Tom and his mother are late for the train, The New House in the Forest (1946) reflects the Jenks familys decision to live a quieter life near the woods surrounded by friendly forest creatures. In Happy Family (1947), Mother, Peggy, and Tony all acco mplish their domestic tasks in their pleasant suburban home while Father takes the car to work in the morning and then maintains the yard when he returns home in the afternoon. A Year in the City (1948) follows young Jenny and Billy through the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter while living in a bustling city that resembles New York. Even the addition of new family members is explored in books like
37 The New Baby (1948) in which little Mike is so exc ited when baby Pat comes home that Mike gives up his own crib for the babys us e and is given his own big boy bed. By moving out of the city to an area like th e suburbs that in its inception during the late 1800s stood for a space both pastoral and technologi cally innovative, the fathers in these stories are able to encourage their ow n domestic masculinity by particip ating more fully in the upkeep of the home and family. Moreover, the mothers and sometimes the children in these early stories exhibited the freedoms and the limitati ons placed upon them by virtue of where they lived. For example, a city center provided women with access to public transportation, which in turn expanded their freedom of movement. The suburbs, howeve r, while providing green lawns and home ownership, inherently restricted women and their children to their homes since public transportation and public gathering places were generally minimal. The 1940s also marked the addition of Disney characters to the Little Golden Books line of original stories and illustrations. As early as 1933, Walt Disney signed a contract with Western Publishing giving them exclusive rights to all of Disneys licensed characters. From this agreement sprang numerous Disney comic books throughout the thirties and forties printed by Western. Then, when Western star ted working with Simon and Schuster, the first Disney and Little Golden Books collabor ation appeared in 1944 titled Through the Picture Frame Originally slated to be part of a Disney film about Hans Christian Andersen that was later abandoned, Through the Picture Frame is a Disney version of Andersens story about a young boy who enters the world of a painting to save a princess. The Cold-Blooded Penguin (1944) soon followed. In this story, Pablo the Penguin, w hose actions and appearance influenced the creation of Hanna-Barberas Chilly Willy in 1953, s eeks a climate that is warmer than his frozen home. In the book Dumbo (1947), based on the Disney animated film of the same title, a baby
38 elephant learns to use his huge ears to fly. More transitions from Disney animation to Little Golden Book soon followed with Peter and the Wolf (1947), Uncle Remus (1947), Snow White (1948), Bambi (1948), and Pinocchio (1948). By the 1950s, Little Golden Books regularly featured well-known Disney characters, among them Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, and Donald Duck as well as human characters like Mary Poppins, Robin Hood, and Zorro. Within three weeks of its release, Walt Disneys Santas Toy Shop (1950) completely sold out its first printing of 1,7000,000 copies (From the Inner Sanctum 1950, 25). Late r, Little Golden Books further capitalized on the Disney name by producing a speci al selection of Disney Christmas titles from 1955 to 1959 and a selection of Mickey Mous e Club titles from 1954 to 1956 with a red-foil instead of a gold-foil spine. Often, the Disn ey connection added even more popularity to individual Little Golden Books. The Little Golden Books of the 1940s provided a ready-made space for advertising war stamps throughout World War II. On the inside back -flap of the dust jacket, set off by a pink bar across the top and a blue bar across the bottom, one of the main characters from each Little Golden Book addresses the child reader about th e importance of buying and collecting U. S. War Savings Stamps. The baby softness of the pink and the blue bars immediat ely bring to mind the separation of boys and girls by a designated color, as well as the patriotic use of red, white, and blue. Unlike adolescent novels during this time th at focused on storylines involving children and the war, the Little Golden Books kept all referenc es to the war sequestered to their dust jackets. Moreover, children were already collecting postag e stamps and other items, so the promotion of this type of war stamp tapped into a patriotic consumerism that already existed in the United States. Since the Poky Little Puppy introduced the Little Golden Book line, he also introduced War Savings Stamps with this timely lesson:
39 The Poky little puppy [sic] sat near the bottom of the hill, looking hard at something on the ground in front of him. What is he looking at? the four little puppies asked one another and down they went to see. There was a War Savings Stamp lying on the grass. And the Poky little puppy hurried home faster than he had ever run before, to paste the stamp in his War Stamps Book. A ll the five little puppies buy War Stamps every week. So should you. (Lowery) Noticeably, even the Poky Little Puppy is not terribly pokey or slow when supporting the war effort. By directly addressing the child re ader in the last line with the phrase so should you, not only does this advertisement draw child ren into support for the war effort, but it also provides a space in which children c ould pester patriotic adults w ith cries of Buy me more War Stamps! Using War Stamps as a reward is echoed on the dust jacket of the Three Little Kittens when the kittens mother decides to get you all War Stamps today! because the good little kittens found their lost mittens ( Three Little Kittens). Furthermore, a War Stamp song sung to the tune of Mary had a Little Lamb increases th e chance that each child will influence other children while chanting and playing rhythm games such jump rope or hopscotch: Mary buys War Savings Stamps, Savings Stamps, Savings Stamps. Mary buys War Savings Stamps To help the U. S. A. Soon shes going to have a Bond, Have a bond, Have a bond. Soon shes going to have a Bond. Why not start yours today? (Gale Nursery Songs ) The most persistent and direct advertis ement for War Savings Stamps occurs on The Golden Book of Flowers where seemingly innocuous and shy flowers scream in all caps, BUY MORE WAR STAMPS (Witman). Thus, through thes e dust jacket advertisements, both parents and children are goaded into behaving as patrio tically and conscientious ly as their favorite characters.
40 Even though dust jackets continued to surr ound each book until the publ ication of the 35th title The Happy Family (1947) by Nicole (the penname fo r George Duplaix) advertising for War Stamps ended with the close of World War II. After th e war, the demand to Buy U.S. War Savings Stamps and Bonds was replaced by information about the artist and the author of the text on the back flap. Dust jacket advert ising ceased completely with the publication of The Saggy Baggy Elephant (1947), Goldens 36th title, which spor ted the first of its signature shiny gold foil spines. As television usurped the popularity of radi o in the 1950s, Little Golden Books reflected this change in the American home by includ ing characters from we sterns and childrens television shows. Bugs Bunny, from the Warner Br others Studios, celebrates his birthday in Bugs Bunnys Birthday (1950), is kidnapped by a tribe of Native Americans in Bugs Bunny and the Indians (1951), and starts working as a soda jerk in Bugs Bunny Gets a Job (1952). Yet, Bugs Bunny was not the only non-Disney character to join the Little Golden Books catalogue. Hanna Barbara characters also joined the Lit tle Golden Books cast with book such as Woody Woodpecker Joins the Circus (1953), Tom and Jerry meet Little Quack (1953), and Huckleberry Hound Builds a House (1959). These titles left little surprise as to what would happen in the books, and the covers always portrayed the main ch aracter in a scene that paralleled the title. Little Golden Books featuring childrens tele vision shows also incl uded some well-known, noncartoon characters such as Howdy Doody in Howdy Doody in Funland (1953), Rin Tin Tin in Rin Tin Tin and Rusty (1955), Captain Kangaroo in Captain Kangaroo (1956), and photographs of Cleo the basset hound, who appeared on the te levision show The Peoples Choice, from 1955 to 1958, in Cleo (1957).
41 Cowboys and the wild frontier found a home with Little Gold en Books in picture books like Hopalong Cassidy and the Bar 20 Cowboy (1952), Dale Evans and the Lost Gold Mine (1954), Roy Rogers and Cowboy Toby (1954), and Annie Oakley and the Rustlers (1955). These Wild West heroes and heroines reinforced Amer icas interest in expa nsion and the westward movement. They were joined by other American icons of exploration such as Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955) and Daniel Boone (1956) both of whom also appeared in their own television shows. During the 1950s, the Little Golden Books started advertising dire ctly to the child consumer through highly prominent product plac ement. Working in conjunction with the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company, Western published Doctor Dan, the Bandage Man (1950), a book that came complete with six pl ain, junior-sized J ohnson & Johnson brand BandAids glued to the title page. With the intr oduction of Band-Aid Adhe sive Bandages to the American public, cuts no longer re quired gauze bandages fastened to the skin with sticky tape. In this book, readers learn about th e healing power of the Band-Ai d when little Dan scrapes his knee and his mother cleans him up before applyi ng a bandage. He then becomes Doctor Dan, the boy who knows how to clean and bandage scrapes by applying Band-Aids to his little sister, her stuffed toys, the family dog, and his father. Later editions of Doctor Dan sported new Band-Aids designed with stars and stripe s. Circus animals appear on the Band-Aids that came with Doctor Dan at the Circus (1960). The first Doctor Dan was soon followed by Nurse Nancy (1952), another Little Golden Book with Band-Aids in patche s, strips, and spots or, in later editions, stars and flowers on the title page. In this picture book Nurse Nancy, her brother who plays Doctor Dan, and some neighborhood boys play ambulance complete with pink and green candy pills and plenty of brand-new Plastic Stri ps, Spots, and Patches (Jackson).
42 In 1952, Tex and His Toys came with a genuine red and white tin of Permacel Tape Corp.s Texcel Cellophane Tape and a series of activities that required Texcel Tape Here, Tex entertains his Little Sister by using cutouts from the book an d Texcel Tape to make a pinwheel, a rocking horse, paper hats, and other assorted paper toys. Unfortunately fo r Permacel, today in the United States cellophane tape is more widely known by Permacels competitors name, Scotch tape. Even though Permacel no longer produces celloph ane tape, the company still supplies camera operators with electrical ta pe, splicing/mounting tape, a nd gaffers tape. For the book Fun With Decals (1952), the Little Golden Books teamed up with Meyercord, a company that specialized in decalcomania2 transfers. Together they produced a picture book that included a sheet of suitable decals for children because children like 1. Things to cut up. 2. Things to stick together. 3. Things with lots of color. [and] 4. Things to slosh in water (A Note). In this book, when a vacation picnic is interrupted by ra in and the family is forced inside, Julie, Susie, and Ty help their mother and father clean up around the cabin. Then the children apply decals to the furniture and cabinets that are similar to the decals include d in the book. Two years after Tex and His Toys and Fun with Decals Little Golden Books printed Little Lulu and Her Magic Tricks (1954) in conjunction with Kleenex brand tissues. In this particular book, which came with a small packet of tissues, children learn about fun things to make and other playtime activities that can happen with Kl eenex tissues. Coinciding with this marketing technique, a yellow wrapper stretched around three boxes of Kleenex that advertised Little Lulu and her Magic Tricks and provided instructions for ma king a tissue Mr. Scarecrow. By 2 The word decalcomania defines an art process during which a picture or design backed with paper is transferred to another surface like wood, metal, or glass. This type of decorating gained p opularity in the late 1800s. Then, in the early 1900s, surrealist painters like Oscar Dominguez and Max Ernst perfected using the technique in their paintings. Etymologically, the word cockamamie is most likely a corruption of the wo rd decalcomania. In the 1950s, a company producing decalcoma nia transfers for children marketed the transfers as cockamamies, a purposeful mispronouncement of decalcomania.
43 packaging their products with childrens books, Johnson & Johnson, Texcel, and Kleenex reached a child audience that was likely to use all of the Band-Aids, cellophane tape, or tissues in the house during playtime without a second thought, thus causing moms and dads to buy even more of these household products. The combinati on also aligned new products like Band-Aids with a name that Americans already trusted in the Little Golden Books. Little Golden Books provided advertising spa ce for more than health care products. From 1956 through 1964, advertisements for both Little Golden Books and other Golden Book products graced the outside back cover of each book produced. Ranging from Craft and Hobby books, such as Indian Crafts or Chemistry Experiments, to Fiction for Boys and Girls, a line of young adult books staring Brains Benton and Vicky Loring among others, each back cover led readers toward another purchasing adventure3. These advertisements also highlighted the educational value of the Golden Books produc t line. According to the back cover of Rin Tin Tin and Rusty (1955) the Craft and Hobby Books collection is a boon to Scout-masters [sic] and club leaders as well as ide al for vacationers, campers, a nd rainy-day hobbyists (Hill). According to the back cover of Puss in Boots (1959), Dr. Herbert S. Zim, editor of the popular Golden Nature Guides, and authority on science education supervised the preparation of the texts in the Golden Library of Knowledge (J ackson). Today, updated and revised editions of these Golden Nature Guides are recommended reading in college biology classes and among nature enthusiasts. While teaching at Mercy College in New Yo rk, Henry Knizeski, Ph.D. lists a Golden Nature Series book titled Insect Pests on his annotated list of entomo logical literature. He writes that students should not be mislead by its size b ecause there is a wealth of information here 3 For a list of all the Little Golden Books products advertised from 1956 to 1964, see Appendix A.
44 (Knizeski). Knizeski also points ou t that Golden Press produces one of the best introductions to biology that is both well illu strated and inexpensive (Knizesk i). On a web site produced by and for orchid enthusiast s, Ed Wright describes Orchids another Golden Nature Guide, as a little paper bound treasure a nd his most-used orchid reference (Wright). Despite a proliferation of product placement and the inclusion of adver tising space in each picture book, the Little Golden Books continue d in their tradition of providing entertaining, educational, and family-oriented stories. Books like The Color Kittens (1950) introduced children to mixing paint colors through the antics of two painting kittens named Hush and Brush who finally discover that yellow and blue makes green. In order to teach children the value of being on time, the book How to Tell Time (1957) included a Gruen wa tch face with movable hands that replicates the popular Gruen Watch Company style. Du ring this time, some Little Golden Books focused on a single subject with encyclopedia-like clarity: My Little Golden Book About Dogs (1952), Airplanes (1953), My Little Golden Book about the Sky (1956), and About the Seashore (1957) to name a few. Some Little Gold en Books came with a jigsaw puzzle of a character or scene on the inside back cover that could be easily removed and reassembled like Jerry at School (1950), When I Grow Up (1950), and Ukelele and Her New Doll (1951). Other books included an extra page of paper cutouts to play with as seen in The Little Golden Paper Dolls (1951) and The Paperdoll Wedding (1954). Both jigsaw puzzles and paper doll cutouts added a level of play that required children to practice their fine motor skills and dexterity. Moreover, both girls and boys continued to be inculcated with domestic family values in these books and others such as Susies New Stove: The Little Chefs Cookbook (1950), My Baby Brother (1956), A Book of Manners (1956), My Baby Sister (1958) and We Help Mommy (1959).
45 Saturday morning cartoons were introduced in to the Little Golden Books catalogue in the 1960s and with them a return to cr eating original stories, rather than reprinting old favorites a trend that continued into the 1970s. Esther and El oise Wilkin teamed up to write and illustrate Baby Dear (1962), Good Little, Bad Little Girl (1965), Play with Me (1967), and several more original stories about getting a new family member or following th e rules of etiquette. Puppies, kittens, and other animals continued to be popul ar subjects for origin al stories in books like Corky (1962) about a black puppy, Bow Wow! Meow! (1963), a book of sounds, Hop, Little Kangaroo! (1965), and Animal Counting Book (1969). As part of the crossover between Saturday morning cartoons and the Little Golden Books, Yogi Bear (1960), Quickdraw McGraw (1960), Rocky and His Friends (1960), and Huckleberry Hound and His Friends (1960) recounted scenar ios from those cartoons. In these books, Yogi continues to steal picnic bask ets, Quickdraw still misses his targets but catches the bad guy, Rocky tolerates Bullwinkles antics, and Huck leberry makes dinner for his friends. Other books in the 1960s featured cartoons that are no longer part of the Saturd ay morning lineup or replayed on the Cartoon Network. For example, Supercar (1962), based on a childrens TV show by the same name, features a car with intergalactic capabilities. Beany Goes to Sea (1963), from the Time for Beany show, is about a boy and hi s sea monster friend, and in Fireball XL5 (1964), derived from a science fiction cartoon show, the XL5 spacecraft patrols Sector 25 of the Universe. Two particular Little Golden Books from the 1960s are worth noting here because they draw stories from local traditi on. The legend of the Kromer blizzard cap, a wool cap with a visor worn by engineers, became a Little Golden Book titled Mr. Puffer Bill (1965) written by Leonard Arland and illustrated by Tibor Ge rgely. As legend has it, the base ball cap that George Kromer
46 wore while engineering the train kept blowing off his head when he pushed it back at an angle. His wife created a new hat which was very popular with his coworkers, so he and his wife went into business sewing and selling the now famous Kromer cap for engineers and other people who want a comfortable hat that will not blow off in a high wind (H ajewski 1A). Then, three years later, Little Golden Books published Ookpik the Arctic Owl (1968) to raise money for Inuit cultures. According to the title page, Ookpik is a furry ow l who was born in Fort Chimo, far up in the Canadian Arctic. Royalties from the sales of Ookpik books and toys go to the Fort Chimo Co-Operative Association for the benefit of th e Eskimos (Hazen). In the book itself, even though Mukluck says that a huge monster is co ming, Ookpik the owl decides to go and see the monster rather than set a trap. Then Ookpik discov ers that the monster is really a sad and lonely walrus. Ookpik, Mukluck, and the walrus all become friends, and the walrus become a lifeguard in the summer when the water unfreezes. While the word Ookpik is Inuit for snowy or Arctic owl and the Ookpik was already a popular image and a small, fuzzy toy in Canada by the 1960s, how the Fort Chimo Co-Operative Asso ciation and the Little Golden Books became partners remains unclear. Throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, authors and illustrators occasionally incorporated small self-referential images and phrases that allu ded to other Little Golden Books in a playful form of intertextuality. When Timmy plays in the sand in Busy Timmy (1948), he carries a purple and yellow pail with an image of the Poky Little Puppy on it. In My Kitten (1953) a blonde nameless female protagonist spends a full day properly taking care of her new kitten named Fluffy. The very last page of this picture book reveals a pile of t oys and books including The Kittens Surprise (1951), a Little Golden Book about how not to treat a kitten. An illustration in We Help Mommy (1959) that shows young Bobby helping his mother unload her grocery cart
47 onto the checkout counter, also shows that for only 50-cents, the family is purchasing a copy of a Giant Little Golden Book titled Kittens: Three Complete Stories (1958). When Paul finds out that his mother is having a new baby in New Brother, New Sister (1966), he starts to collect new toys for the baby. One of the books Paul owns but gives to his new sibling is a copy of My Puppy (1955), which is about a boy and his dog. Finally, in Little Mommy (1967) when one of her dollies gets sick, the unnamed little girl pretends to call Doctor Dan from Doctor Dan, the Bandage Man (1950) so he can come over and heal her doll. While these are only a few examples of self-references in the Little Golden Books series, an observant reader could easily spot and appreciate others. This intertextuality also breeds a degree of familiarity within the Little Golden Books line. Over 1.5 billion Little Golden Books of vari ous sizes and formats were sold by 1970, and more than 300 million Little Golden Books app eared on foreign markets in 26 languages. By the early 1970s, Sesame Street dominated childrens television an d Little Golden Books marketing. My favorite, The Monster at the End of this Book (1971), stars a lovable blue character named Grover, who is based on a popular puppet from the show. Other Sesame Street books included Sesame Street: The Together Book (1971), Big Birds Red Book (1977), The Amazing Mumford Forgets the Magic Words (1979), and another personal favorite Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree (1977). The 1942 notion that Little Golden Books s hould be both entertaining and instructive continued to influence original stories that were introduced into the catalogue. While the mid to late 1960s included books about physical and mental maturation, such as We Like Kindergarten (1965), Good-bye, Tonsils (1966), and When I Grow Up (1968), the 1970s included books about home and personal feelings like Forest Hotel (1972), The Bouncy Baby Bunny Finds His Bed
48 (1974), My Home (1976), and Feelings A to Z (1979). In all of these books, children learn about their immediate surroundings and their growing bodies. Throughout American history, images in pict ure books have reflected the times during which they were published. Since the Little Go lden Book series thrives on reprinting familiar classics, some original illustrations were re placed before being republished as America became more aware of racial discrimination during the Civil Rights M ovement, gender bias following the Womens Rights Movement, and general health concerns as medical knowledge advanced. Unlike a picture book published in 1998, a pict ure book published in 1948 is less likely to contain a variety of ethnicitie s or an abundance of career opti ons for women. Certainly, picture books change in response to the social climate, but very few picture books span the same breadth of time as the Little Golden Books, which is why the Little Golden Books provide a unique platform for studying the changes between a first edition and an eighth or twelfth edition. When My Little Golden Book about God was first published in 1956, a ll the children depicted in the book were pink-cheeked and lily white. By 1975, Eloise Wilkins replaced several of the illustrations picturing white children with illust rations showing African American children in poses, settings, and clothing that are similar to the white children previously pictured. In the 1976 version of Cars and Trucks (originally printed in 1959), a family in 1970s style clothing replaces one of the 1950s illustrations in which the children are playing cowboys and Indians, dad is reading the paper outside, and mom is washing dishes inside the trailer while a baby peeks over a crib. In the new 1970s illustrati on, a little boy and a little girl play an AllAmerican game of baseball in fr ont of the trailer, while dad ta kes care of the baby inside, and mom sits outside reading. None of the other illustra tions in this partic ular book have been changed, so the difference between the 1950s style and the 1970s style is striking.
49 On the 1979 cover of We Help Daddy (originally printed in 1962) the father is no longer smoking a pipe while he clips the hedges with his two children nearby si nce smoke, especially secondhand smoke, is deemed hazardous and unhealthy. In 1948, the cover of Ruth and Harold Shanes The New Baby showed an infant sleeping on her or his stomach, which we now know can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The 1975 version features a baby on her or his back. In some situations, an entire Little Golden Book is completely redrawn by the same illustrator and the text is updated for a new gene ration of readers before the book is reprinted. One fine example of this is Ruth and Harold Shanes The New Baby, which was first illustrated by Eloise Wilkin in 1948 and later modified w ith new images for a 1975 edition. The basis of the story is that little Mikes pare nts are preparing for the arriva l of a new baby by purchasing new baby accessories and helping little Mike with the transition into being a big brother. In the 1948 version, a deliveryman brings the family a ba thinette. In the 1975 version, the deliveryman brings a buggy for the baby, which for a reading audience in the early 21st Century could be updated again to a stroller. Moreover the 1970s il lustrations show a younger, more contemporary family. Even though Mummy is pregnant in both versions of the story, she only looks pregnant with a large round belly and matern ity clothes in the la ter illustrations During the course of the story Aunt Pat comes to the house to help out before Mummy goes into labor and stays until after the new baby returns from the hospital. In the 1948 version, Aunt Pa t is clearly Mummy or Daddys older relative since she is illustrated with tiny glasse s, wrinkly skin, and a bent, grandmotherly posture. But, the Aunt Pat in the 1975 version must be little Mikes aunt since she is young with long blonde hair that matches the fathers hair color and wears stylish 1970s slacks with a sweater vest. These types of changes in text and illustration reflect the ability of the Little
50 Golden Books to maintain currency by continually updating the look of the American family. By giving a nod to the times in which a book is publis hed, through its pictures the Little Golden Books parallel the techniques used in updating th e time-sensitive details of long running, popular adolescent novels ranging from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to the Baby Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High series. During the 1980s and 1990s, the product pl acement marketing begun in the 1950s was used to draw people into buying certain foods in order to receive a free Little Golden Book. In 1982, McDonalds, which had begun selling child-size fast-food portions in 1979, packaged five different Little Golden Books with their Happy Meals so that children could pick up a new book every week (Porter 01). As part of this ad campaign, McDonalds piqued feelings of nostalgia by asking consumers if they remembered their favo rite books as a child. Burger King, the major competing restaurant chai n, handed out copies of The Train To Timbuctoo (1950) in the late 1980s as part of a promotion about trains and tr aveling. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, Hardees, still another fast food chain, gave away twelve different Little Golden Books titles with their kids meal including the following f our books that featured Pound Puppies and Pound Purries: Pick of the Litter (1985), The Puppy Nobody Wanted (1986), Problem Puppies (1986) and Kitten Companions (1986). Sometime around 1987, the Wienerschnitzel hot dog shops distributed copies of The Poky Little Puppys Naughty Day (1985) and When You Were a Baby (1949). Also in 1987, Crispy in the Birthday Band (1987) and Crispy In No Place Like Home (1987) could be found inside specially marked boxes of Crispy Critters cereal. A third book, Crispys Bedtime Book (1987), was available by special or der through the mail. In 1995 Chickfil-a, like Hardees, gave away eight different Little Golden Books with their kids meals. Since this restaurant is part of a family-owned chai n that also seeks to package traditional family
51 values with its fast-paced food service, the company handed out long-standing favorite titles such as The Poky Little Puppy Little Red Caboose, Velveteen Rabbit and Saggy Baggy Elephant. By aligning their names with the Little Golden Books all of these restaurants showed the general public that they were dedicated to creating an environment and food that appeals to the family as a whole. Yet, even as these restaurants were trying to feed both the childs mind and body, they were also feeding the childs impulse to collec t every Little Golden Book being offered by the chain through this promotional tie-in. From the 1980s through today, no other remarkab le changes or additions have taken place in the Little Golden Books cat alogue. The Little Golden Books continued to feature popular cartoon characters such as Rainbow Bright a nd the Pound Puppies in the 1980s and Dora the Explorer and the Powerpuff Girls in the 1990s. They included books based on popular toys like Barbie, Tickle Me Elmo, and Winnie-the-Pooh. Ea rly favorites from the 1940s and 50s, such as the Poky Little Puppy and others from the first twelve books published, are now being reprinted as classics for a new generation of readers. More over, people are still giving reprinted versions of The Golden Egg (originally published in 1962) as gifts during Easter time. In this story, a young bunny finds an egg from which a baby duck ha tches and the two of them become fast friends. The Night Before Christmas (1946), Christmas Carols (1946), Santas Toy Shop (1950), Animals Christmas Eve (1977), and other Little Golden B ooks about Santa or Christmas also remain popular. Today, the Little Golden Books still publish both original stories and reinterpretations of familiar stories in the tradition of those first twelve books. Throughout their publication hist ory, Little Golden Books have sold primarily in drugstores and supermarkets, as well as department stores and bookstores. Their affordable price makes them an easy, last minute addition to an already filled shopping cart. Today, in drug stores
52 like Duane Reade, Little Golden Books are on display in their own golden spinning rack that can hold multiple books on each of its four sides. Th e rack is sectioned off into book holders that nearly reach the floor, which allows for both tall adults and small children to easily pick out an eye-catching book. This newer, tw enty-first century display rack for the Little Golden Books varies greatly from the bulky, dark brown, wooden display that graced W oolworths in the late 1940s. On that first boxy, 1940s display, mustard yellow vines wrapped around the edges of the case, and a whimsical, gnomish man stood looking out the top half of a green-framed door on the front. Also, the paintings on the fr ont of the display case included a curly-headed, blonde child reading a book. In order to enti ce the potential buyer, shallow yellow pockets that rose like stadium steps running six across and four deep fully displayed each books colorfully illustrated front cover. While not exactly as close to the floor as the spinni ng rack, this wooden display also provided children with access to the books. Although different in design, both displays provide the buyer with easy access to th e available books and physically set the Little Golden Books apart from the other childrens books carried in the store. In addition to regular-sized books, Little Golden Books produ ced both larger and smaller versions of specific stories as well as vari ous shape books. In 1944, preorders for two Giant Golden Books, priced at $1.50 each, reached 150,000 (Mackenzie BR2). During that same year, Middling Size Golden Books, such as The Golden Almanac and Walt Disneys Circus were introduced for $1.00 (Golden Books BR13). In the 1950s, Little Golden Books, through Golden Press, launched activity books that included paper cutouts, jigsaw puzzles, paint sets, stamps, and spinning wheels. Also published in the 1950s was the 10 x 13 Giant Little Golden Book for $0.50 (a cousin of the Giant Golden Book) and the 2.25 x 3.25 Tiny Golden Book. Soft cover, shape books with die-cut edges emerged in th e 1960s. From 1974 to 1975, Little Golden Books
53 produced an Eager Reader series of books for be ginning readers. Golden Fragrance Books with scratch and sniffable spots were marketed in th e late 1970s and were followed by their smaller cousin, the Sniff It books, in the early 1980s In 1983, Golden Melody Books came with an electronic chip that played music when the book was opened. The late 1980s saw the production of the Big Little Golden Books (8 x 8.25) and th e Little Little Golden Books (2.57 square) as well as First Little Golden Books (5.5 x 5 7/8). Based on the popularity of their stories, the Li ttle Golden Books expanded to include other media formats. As early as 1948, a bright yellow Little Golden Record sold for 20-cents and included twelve popular stories such as Scuffy the Tugboat, Big Brown Bear, and Shy Little Kitten In order to maintain high artistic standa rds, Little Golden Records employed such talented actors and popular vocal artists as Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, Roy Rogers, and Irene Wicker. Based on the popularity of this first reco rd, Little Golden Books then produced a series of yellow or orange 45 and 78-rpm singles featuring stories or songs about famous personalities, holidays, folk songs, Disney characters, and an imated features. By th e mid to late 1950s, a person could buy a Golden Record Chest a boxe d set of eight records for $3.95 or a record and book set that included the enti re text of the book on the re cord. During the 1960s and 1970s similar records and books with records were rein troduced into the market with new Hi-Fi sound. During the technological shift from records to cassette tapes, Little Golden Books released ReadAlong Books and Cassettes. Coinciding with the popularity of VCRs in the 1980s, they produced eight, 30-minute Golden Book Videos. Each video featured three popular stories, and they were heavily advertised in womens magazines. By 19 96, the Little Golden Books went digital with the progressive release of 24 CD-ROMs. The design on each of the 24 boxes mimicked the familiar gold-foil spine look of the original books.
54 As the Little Golden Books became a co mmon part of an American childs book collection, they also marketed th eir own licensed characters for use as toys, costumes, jewelry, and other products. Larger newspapers across the United States such as the New York Times included these products in advertisements placed by local stores. As early as 1950, a parent could buy wallpaper that featured characters from the Shy Little Kitten Scuffy the Tugboat, Little Black Sambo, and the Saggy Baggy Elephant Designed for decorating the nursery, plastic washable drapes with these same characters and three or four piece laminated plaque sets illustrating various Little Golden Books characters were av ailable for less than four dollars in 1951. Aside from products designed specifically for the nurse ry, other Little Golden Books products included handkerchiefs and jewelry pins. Also in 1951, Simon and Schuster released a stationary set with postcards, envelopes, and writing sheets disp laying the Poky Little Puppy, the Saggy Baggy Elephant, Tootle, the Lively Little Rabbit, th e Color Kittens, Big Brown Bear, Little Black Sambo, the Fuzzy Duckling, as well as characters from I Can Fly and The Golden Sleepy Book The Little Golden Books characters even found th eir way onto fabric that could either be bought by the yard or purchased already assembled as a young girls dress. In 1955, a cotton dress printed with scenes from the Seven Little Postmen was available in sizes 4 to 6x, as was a dress with images from Circus ABC on it in sizes 1 to 3 for only $1.99 on sale at Mortons department store (Mortons F30). Each dre ss also came with a Little Gold en Book. Not only did the Little Golden Books establish a spot in the nursery by marketing plaques and wallpaper, they also cemented their own importance in childrens cult ure by reaching an audi ence beyond the nursery walls and opened up an avenue for collectors by producing stationary, jewelry, handkerchiefs, and dresses.
55 Despite the popularity of all of these tie-ins during the 1950s, the 1960s passed by quietly and the widespread distribution of Little Gold en Books images did not pick up again until the 1970s. Not only could children read about the Poky Little Puppy, but also they could hang images of the Puppy on their walls, curl up with a stuffed version of him at night, or dress up like him for Halloween. In the 1970s, Dolly Toy Compa ny manufactured wall plaques, lamps, and shades for the nursery. Images of the Saggy Baggy Elephant decorated a pl astic tea set. Plastic figures of the Poky Little Puppy and the Shy Littl e Kitten could be used as either a bank for collecting coins or a night light with the inse rtion of a light base. Gund, a stuffed animal manufacturer, produced both a ha nd puppet of the Saggy Baggy Elephant and stuffed versions of the Poky Little Puppy and the Tawny Scrawny Li on. Children could play with wind-up, hard plastic versions of Poky Litt le Puppy, Tootle the Tugboat, and the Saggy Baggy Elephant or even dress up as one of these characters for Halloween. By the 1980s, licensed Little Golden Books characters were on plastic lunch boxes, bookends, gift bags, night lights, sippy cups, t oothbrushes, table cloths, wall paper, growth charts, stickers, plates, napkins invitations, wrapping paper, banks, bowls, and pajamas. The Poky Little Puppy, the Tawny Scrawny Lion, the Shy Little Kitten, Baby Brown Bear, the Little Red Hen, and the Saggy Baggy Elephant were also manufactured as stuffed animals, ceramic figurines, and plastic toys. A musical Tootle the Train even headed up a ceramic train set that carried the Tawny Scrawny Lion, Baby Brown Bear, Poky Little Puppy, and Katy Caboose. In the 1990s, small stuffed animal versions of th e Little Golden Books characters filled store shelves, soft cover Little Golden Books ranging from The Poky Little Puppy to Beauty and the Beast came with miniature plastic figurines, and t-shirts for teenagers featured images from The Poky Little Puppy The Shy Little Kitten and the Little Golden Books back cover with its
56 montage of characters. Also available from th e 1990s is a pack of three Golden Book Card Games, which includes a memory card game, an A-B-C card game, and a 1-2-3 card game. People who like the Saggy Baggy Elephant a nd prefer a board game can purchase A Little Golden Book: Circle of Friends Matching Game in which Saggy and a good memory for matching cards will help players reach the inner circ le of Little Golden Books characters and win the game. When Lucille Ogle, George Duplaix, Leon Shimkin, and Albert Levanthal approached each other in 1942, they probably did not foresee th at the Little Golden Books would become the longest running series of childre ns picture books in the history of the United States. Nor could they have known that the earliest Little Golden Books would come to represent an idealized time in the history of Americas middle class. They did hope, though, to earn a huge profit return by keeping the cost of high quali ty picture books low and distri buting them through department stores, pharmacies, and groceries rather than in traditional bookstores. These books, particularly the first twelve books, have made an indelible mark on both child rens literature and childrens culture in the United States. As the regular-sized Little Gold en Books catalogue expanded to include a variety of sizes and shapes before morphing into different types of media, they reached such a high level of popularity and integration into American cultu re that they deserve to be studied. To completely ignore the Little Golden Books phenomenon is to discount the impact of these picture books on the history of childrens literature, childrens culture, and American popular culture.
57 CHAPTER 3 THE GOLD STANDARD: GOLDEN AGE S AND THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS W ithin the field of childrens literature, the defining parameters of the first Golden Age1 of Childrens Literature might vary slightly, but they generally include the decades in the late 19th Century when Edmund Evans (1826-1905), wellknown for his skillful printing technique, published illustrated picture books by Walter Crane (1845-1915), Kate Greenaway (1846-1901), and Randolf Caldecott (1846-1886). During this time in England, publishers, authors, and illustrators joined in their commitment to hi gher quality writing and illustrations, which revolutionized the design of books designated pr imarily for children. Moreover, consumers not only readily purchased books illustrated by Crane, Greenaway, Caldecott, and others, but also bought a variety of domestic goods like wallpapers a nd dishware that were based on illustrations first seen in childrens books. This confluen ce of writing, illustrating, printing, and marketing techniques in the late 19th Century set the standard by wh ich a golden age in childrens literature is currently judged. Today, critics and historians of childrens lite rature in the United States and Britain often allude to the 1950s as a second golden age due to the number of classic books published, including Crockett Johnsons Harold and the Purple Crayon and E. B. Whites Charlottes 1 Some critics, like Sheila Egoff in Thursdays Child (1981), pinpoint the Golden Age of childrens literature to the last half of the 19th Century when the Romantic view of childhood as a time of inno cence became the dominant rhetoric in the United States and Britain. Or, to quote Egoffs reductive analysis, the late Victorian period in childrens literature is a golden age because it is a time that can be described as good both in a literary and popular sense (21). Other scholars, like Humphrey Carpenter in Secret Gardens: the Go lden Age of Childrens Literature (1985), extend the Golden Age of childrens literature into the early 20th Century and confine the age to British authors by marking it as the time between the publication of Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland (1865) and A. A. Milnes Winnie-the-Pooh books (1928) since these texts envision an idealized child filled with imagination. Still more clarification could occur by defining the Gold en Age of childrens literature within the context of picture book illustrations; although, this additional parameter registers only slightly different results. Some point again to the mid-19th Century print work by Edmund Evans in England while others, like Ruth Viguers in A Critical History of Childrens Literature place the beginning of this golden age to the late 1920s with the publication of Wanda Gags Millions of Cats (1928) in America.
58 Web .2 Yet, agreeing on the parameters that define a golden age is often a complex task, even though the term is most often applied retrospectiv ely. In and of itself, the term golden age generally is used to refer to an explosion of pos itive activity in a nation, cu lture, literature, or art and simultaneously denotes a time of happiness, peace, and prosperity that is likened to a utopian state. With the addition of a pr epositional phrase, the term gol den age is made more specific such as the Golden Age of Television or th e Golden Age of Brooklyn, but this specificity also leads to a vagueness and de stabilization of the term since no single moment in history can be designated as a golden age unless retrospect ively bracketed by dates to clarify potentially indistinct parameters.3 If the first Golden Age of Childrens Literature established a set of agreed 2 The books first published in the 1950s under the editorship of Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper & Brothers Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, are still qu ite popular today and have become classics in childrens literature. These books include Crockett Johnsons Harold and the Purple Crayon (1951), E. B. Whites Charlottes Web (1952), and Syd Hoffs Danny and the Dinosaur (1958). In Secret Gardens Carpenter states that the mid-1950s in England has often been described as a second Golden Age of childrens literature before pointing the re ader towards more discussions about Englands second Golden Age in the book Children and Literature (1973) edited by Virginia Haviland (Carpenter 214). Carpenter then belittles the development of a simultaneous rising in childrens book production in America by including the phrase at last in the following statement: at exactly the same time [in the mid-1950s] America itself developed, at last, its own vigorous strain of writing for children (214). Even though Carpenter does credit the United States with producing a vigorous strain of childrens literature, he does not specifically term this moment in American history as a golden age. In placing these two mid-1950s moment s in England and in the United States side by side, he indicates that childrens literature in America also experienced a golden age. Concurring with the notion that the United States experienced a golden age of childrens literature in the 1950s, Selma Lanes in Down the Rabbit Hole: Adventures and Misadven tures in the Realm of Childrens Literature (1971) argues that illustrations bega n to gain greater and still greater impor tance that had little in common with Peter Rabbit Little Black Sambo or even such 40s books as Make Way for Ducklings (Lanes 53). Lanes then marks the 1950s as the beginning of a veritable Golden Age for the [childrens book] artist (Lanes 54). Yet childrens literature critics and historians like Carpenter an d Lanes ignore a key facet of childrens literature in the United States when they define the 1950s as a golden age and ignore the production of quality childrens literature only a decade earlier. Childrens literature historian and critic, Ruth Hill Vigu ers had yet to experience the flourish of childrens literature in the 1950s when her chapter titled The Golden Age 1920-1950 was published in A Critical History of Childrens Literature (1953). Not only does she readily admits that she and other writers are too close to the books published between 1920 and 1950 to fully judge their worth, because they can only touch certain of them with respect, but she also neglects to include any of the Little Golden Books in her chapter (Viguers 447). Sixty years later, we are no longer too close to the 1940s to judge the value of the Little Golden Books as a whole or those first twelve Little Golden Books in particular. Rath er, we can retrospectively examine the strength with which the Little Golden Books impacted the childrens book publishing market in the United States and see the parallels between these books and the toy books published during the first Golden Age. 3 Admittedly, applying the term golden age in a willy-nilly manner throughout the decades has caused the term to lose some of its connotative value.
59 upon parameters, then I propose that the Little Go lden Books ushered in the second golden age of childrens literature in 1942 with the publication of Janette Sebring Lowreys The Poky Little Puppy Not only did the Golden Age of Childrens L iterature and the Littl e Golden Books see a rise in the production quality and sheer number of picture books printed, but both golden moments also benefited from advancements in printing techniques, rede corated the nursery, and revived interest in traditional te xts. More importantly, though, but harder to describe with facts and figures, is how books from both golden ages produce intangible feel ings of happiness in todays reader. When the Little Golden Books began publishi ng in the early 1940s, Simon and Schuster knowingly followed a pattern of educational, yet entertaining and affordab le picture books for children that originated in Germany and France in the 1930s, because the editors of the Little Golden Books recognized a simila r, profitable market in the United States. As early as 1937, more than 6,000,000 ten-cent childrens books were be ing sold monthly in department stores and other outlets across the country in the United States (Tebbel 280). According to William Feaver in When We Were Young: Two Centurie s of Childrens Book Illustrations the Herbert Stuffer Verlag publishing house in Germany produced ch eaper, attractive, semi-educational books as can be seen in Marianne Scheels illustrations of the farmers year and Friedrich Boers largely photo-montage [sic] books about the workings of a town and railway (Feaver 21). In 1930s France, the number of books pub lished under the name Pere Castor or, in English, Father Beaver climbed to over 250 titles and sold millions of copies (Feaver 21). Produced by a Parisian bookseller, this series of books were cheap, bright, calculate dly educational and included board games, calendars, and wild anim als (Feaver 21). George Duplaix, who helped found the Little Golden Books with Leon Shimkin, Lucille Ogle, and Albert Levanthal, also
60 translated to English the first Pere Castor animal histories books sold in the United States (Bader 278). Most notably, though, famed Little Go lden Book illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky first illustrated for the Pere Castor line in France as Rojan before moving to the United States and eventually illustrating books such as The Three Bears and Hop, Little Kangaroo! for the Little Golden Books catalogue. It was a tactical m ove requiring forethought for the editors to knowingly glean from the childrens books being marketed in France and Germany during the 1930s. Drawing inspiration from other childrens book markets outside of the United States was only one of many savvy business decisions practi ced by the Little Golden Books in 1942. When Little Golden Books first rolled off the Western Printing and Lithograp hing Company (Western) presses, President Roy A. Spencer was no strang er to the production and sale of childrens books. Almost thirty years earl ier in 1915, he personally found buyers for the thousands of childrens books that Western had printed fo r the Hamming-Whitman Publishing Company (a primary publisher of childrens books) when Ha mming-Whitman could not pay their bill and left their printed stock with Western. One year later (1916), Western bought out Hamming-Whitman, renamed the publishing house Whitman Pub lishing Company, and started creating and distributing childrens b ooks through this subsidiary (Diversity 5). When Western faced another overstock of childrens books three years later in 1918, salesman Sam Lowe convinced the F. W. Woolwo rth Company and other retail stores to sell Westerns childrens books year-round rather th an just with the toys during the Christmas holiday season. Banking on this accomplishment, Lo we then convinced Western executives to produce a ten-cent line of books, whic h also became an immediate success (Diversity 6). Even Walt Disney helped in the promotion of Westerns childrens book section by signing an
61 agreement in 1933 granting Western exclusive rights to all of Disneys licensed characters (Diversity 8). In 1942 when Duplaix and Ogle of the Artist an d Writers Guild, a New York subsidiary of Western, approached Levanthal and Shimkin of Simon and Schuster, the group decided to produce a line of colorful durable, and affordable childrens books that could be sold year round in department stores and supermarkets as a way to promote Simon and Schusters newly established childrens department. This decision to produce the Little Golden Books was not a stroke of sheer luck or good fortune; rather, the move was indicative of Westerns production history. The two companies were already in the midst of discussing the details of producing a print version of Walt Disneys feature-length animated film Bambi (Santi 6). The First Golden Age of Childrens Literature During the late 19th Century, four distinct marketing in fluences converged to provide the necessary infrastructure to s upport and advance a flourishing ch ildrens book activ ity in England that spilled over into the United States whic h has since been named the Golden Age of Childrens Literature. During this time the childrens book market benefited from advancements in printing techniques, an enthusiasm for decorati ons that targeted a childs domestic space, and a revival of public interest in traditional texts. Over 70,000 copies of Kate Greenaways Under the Window were reprinted with over 30,000 more copies in French and German (Viguers Introduction 17). The publisher Edmund Evanss own account about Greenaways Under the Window shows the chiding that he endured for prin ting thousands of copi es during the initial press run: George Routledge chaffed me considerably for printing 20,000 firs t edition of a book to sell at six shillings, but we soon found that we had not printed n early enough to supply the first demand: I know book sellers sold copies at a pr emium, getting ten shillings each for them: it
62 was, of course, long out of print, for I could no t print fast enough to keep up the sale. (E. Evans 61) Randolf Caldecotts books usually sold 10,000 c opies of a single printing before Evans could bring out another editi on. Evans speculated on the picture book project, and Caldecott agreed to make the illustrations for a royalty of three farthings a copy six and a quarter percent of the shilling that the books cost (Hut chins 59). Within a six-month period crossing from 1878 to 1879, the small royalty brought Ca ldecott 375 pounds, which taking into account inflation is equivalent to over 25,000 pounds or almost $51,000 t oday. In response to public demand, the Evans-Caldecott team produced two new toy books each year for eight years (E. Evans 58). The popularity and sale of toy books in creased to a point where Evans was printing 100,000 first editions that were bound in volum es and sold immediately (E. Evans 59). Walter Crane also shared in this printing success. As pointed out by Spencer, the excellent sales of Walter Cranes toy books enco uraged Routledge in 187 0 to begin to issue composite volumes of several titles, and the rapid consumption of these were proof of the artists well established popularity as a ch ildrens illustrator (Spencer 52). All in all, these toy books, printed by Evans, achieved a popularity that exte nded all the way to the United States where firms had soon brought out pirated editions (Spencer 60). The toy books produced by illustrators Crane, Caldecott, and Greenaway, who all benefited from Evanss printing skills and the subsequent marketing spin-offs from their books, are a prime example of the first Golden Ages convergence of marketing influences the lik es of which will be seen again in 1942 with the publication of the first twelve Lit tle Golden Books in the United States. Both the toy books produced by Edmund Evans and the Little Golden Books flourished under the advancement of multicol or printing techniques, which allowed for a greater emphasis
63 on enjoyable color prints in childrens books. Even though John Newbery (1713-1767) greatly improved the publication and pr oduction value of books meant for children by printing on sturdier paper and writing stories specifically for the child reader, Evans is credited with packaging and publishing the first truly modern picture book with full-color illustrations ushering in the initial Golden Age of Childrens Literature. In 1865, Evans started printing an inexpensive, usually sensational, novel that sold for one or two shillings and was printed on a yellow stock paper with a thinly coated enamel surface. According to Elizabeth Billington in The Randolph Caldecott Treasury the books were immediately successful and were affectionate ly called yellowbacks, or more humorously, mustard plasters (36). Isobel Spencer notes in Walter Crane that these cheap editions of books met the growing demands of an expanding literate class and bored railway travelers (39). Even though yellowbacks were not expr essly produced for children, they did reinforce for publishers the general publics interest in affordable readin g and that a profit could be made when printing large quantities of relatively cheap books4 as opposed to limited runs of more expensive gift books. When his printing machines were sitting idle Evans started manufacturing the toy-books of Walter Crane, then those of Randolph Caldecott, and finally he turned his attention to Kate Greenaway (Spencer 37-8). All three artists bene fited from Evanss ability to create a large color palette by utilizing only six colors: red, ye llow, blue, pink, gray, and brown as well as the artistic effects to be gained th rough the layering of colors when pr inting a red with a fraction of 4 In the same way that the French Pere Castor books made a path for the Little Golden Books to follow, a path was cleared for printers such as Evans by publishers Dean and Son, who took early strides in the production of inexpensive books: The pioneer publisher of inexpensive picture books was Dean and Son, a firm which, in the 1840s, began to cater for a cheaper market than it had done before. ... The firm was ingenious in devising books intended, not for reading, but for colouring with moveable parts and dolls to dress (Spencer 46).
64 brown in it and the use of gradations when e ngraving the print blocks (E. Evans 34). Advances in printing plus the growing market for children s books kept the cost [of a toy book] within the reach of most middle-class pockets (Spencer 46). Eventually, toy books became so popular that Evans started reprinting individual books on larger paper, binding the books together, and selling them as deluxe collection sets that included the printers and publishers signa tures. According to Evans in his memoirs, this Edition de Luxe sold immediately [as] they were printed: I wished I had printed three or four thousand instead of one thousand (E. Evans 59). In the 19 40s, the Little Golden Books would also publish larger and smaller editions of original books as well as print deluxe collections. Through these types of advancements, both Evans and the Littl e Golden Books capitalized on the middle class publics interest in childrens books. As the images produced by illustrators Caldecott, Crane, and Greenaway grew in popularity, these same images started appear ing as domestic decorations that expanded characters beyond the nursery and into the communa l space of the private home. Just as todays Little Golden Books are enjoyed by both children and adults, the toy books of the late Victorian period were appreciated not only in the nursery but by adults in th e parlor and library and even by artists and architects who used them to give clients an idea of the way in which their own homes could be decorated (Spencer 60). Although more widely recognized for his toy books and magazine illustrations, Caldecott produced wallpapers5 that included images from Hey Diddle Diddle and Baby Bunting The Diverting Story of John Gilpin, and The Three Jovial Huntsmen Caldecotts illustrations also appeared on eight-inch square ceramic tiles. In one set of tiles featuring five illustrations from John Gilpin, a few of the individual illustrations spread 5 Some surviving samples of these wallpapers are located in the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi.
65 across the surface of three different tiles. Not only were these tiles used to decorate private homes, but they were also used in the children s wards of hospitals due to their hygienic, easy to clean surfaces. Between 1876 and 1906, Crane designed six nursery wallpapers based on scenes from his toy books: Humpty Dumpty (1876), Froggy Would a-Wooing Go (1877), Sleeping Beauty (1879), The House that Jack Built and The Fairy Gardens (1886), as well as Mistress Mary (circa 1906). Crane also designed ceramic tiles for the Shropshire firm of Maw and Company that drew from his toy book illustrations. Within a year (betwe en 1874 and 1975), six-inch square tiles were produced featuring Boy Blue, Bo-Peep, Tom Tucker and other nursery characters. Aside from wallpapers and tiles, Crane designed lace cot cove rs, doilies, and printed fabrics among other household goods. Unlike Caldecott and Crane, Greenaway did not specifically design illustrations for wallpaper and other household goods, but her imag es were still utilized outside of her books, both with and without her permission. A wallpaper titled The Months uses images and themes from Greenaways Almanac for 1893 in which the pattern was built up of what were, in their original forms, single-page plates in tiny books and transformed by the delic ate use of chains of flowers and foliage into a delightful continuous whole (White 65). Additionally, Greenaway images appeared on, but were not limited to, t ea service settings and prints for nursery wall hangings. As pointed out by Anne Higonnet in Pictures of Innocence the formal simplicity of her watercolors allowed Greenaway children to a ppear on every conceivable printed or stamped commodity: tea towels, embroidery kits, china figurines, wallpaper, stationary, dolls, doilies, soaps, etc (54). The quaintness of her childrens dre ss in illustrations also spawned what was referred to as the Greenawa y-look in the world of child ren and womens fashions.
66 Though a nearly 80 year gap exists between Evanss first toy books in 1865 and the first Little Golden Books in 1942, both books capitalized on a revived interest in fairy tales, folk lore, and nursery rhymes by producing books that highli ght the antics of talkin g animals and softened the prevailing view that childrens literature ex ists primarily for didactic purposes. Not only did Crane illustrate fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast The Frog Prince and Cinderella for his toy books but he also illustrated numerous nursery rhymes like This Little Pig Went to Market, Mother Hubbard, and One, Two, Buckle My Shoe among others. Aside from writing and illustrating her own verses, Greenaway illustrate d a collection of forty-four rhymes titled Mother Goose or The Old Nursery Rhymes which includes Little Jack Horner, Goosey, Goosey, Gander, Little Miss Muffet and other familiar poems. Most famously, Caldecott illustrated nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and songs in his toy books. Ranging from The House That Jack Built and John Gilpin in 1878 to Jack and the Bean Stalk in 1886, which was published after his death, Caldecotts illustrations in these toy books set a standard for moveme nt, color use, and fine detail in childrens book illustrations for which he was posthumously honored with the establishment of the Caldecott Medal. According to Spencer in Walter Crane leaning heavily as they did on fantasy and folk lore for their story-line, Victorian picture books mark the complete rout of the rationalists who emphasized intellectual and deductive reasoning ra ther than sensory reaction as the primary source of knowledge (46). Even though the comple te rout of the rationalists may be too reductive a statement about the entirety of child rens literature during this period, these Golden Age Victorian picture books did gain popularity due in part to the growing arts and crafts movement that spurned the mechanization of daily life brought on by th e Industrial Revolution and its factory system. Spencers observation in dicates that the onset of non-rational subjects
67 lend themselves to fanciful, full-color illustrations such as Cranes anthropomorphic felines in Pussie Cats ABC Book (1865) or the Dish who runs away with the Spoon in Caldecotts Hey Diddle Diddle and Baby Bunting (1882). These two Victorian pi cture books alongside other toy books published by Evans between 1865 and 1875 reflect a social change in attitudes regarding books aimed at children during a time of rapid mechanization. In the 1940s, a similar social regard for childrens books developed6 when American factory production rises in response to World War II. A Second Golden Age The Little Golden Books em erged at the e nd of World War II and concretely gained popularity during a postwar boom in the United St ates by utilizing methods that parallel significant publishing tactics from the Golden Age of Childrens Literature. These include advancements in printing techniqu es, a revival of traditional texts, and an assortment of domestic products for the home. Affordable pricing and ne w printing techniques with illustrations in full color as well as black and white helped both 19th Century toy books and the Little Golden Books prosper in popularity wi th the general public. Even though the 1942 ad in Publishers Weekly promised that the Little Golden Books would have 30 black and white pages plus 14 full-c olor pages (44 pages total), the first run of Little Golden Books only contained 42 pages 14 pages in full-color and 28 pages with two6 In January 1945, the Association of Childrens Book Edito rs officially formed the Childrens Book Council (CBC) which starting distributing promotional materials on a year-round basis to libraries, bookstores, and other book buyers for November Book Week, book fairs, and season al promotions. The CBC sponsored publishing forums at conventions, collected lists of current childrens publicatio ns for easy reference, and significantly contributed to the growth of childrens literature. Long-standing publishing houses also established or expanded their childrens book departments following the war. For example, Bennett Cerf, the head of Random House, decided that the childrens book department should develop the types of books that would help his children expand their knowledge of the world and hired the now famous Dr. Seuss when he wa s still known by his given name: Theodor Geisel (Tebbel 478).
68 color prints. No one is quite sure if the number of pages listed in the Publishers Weekly ad was a misprint, or if production costs caused Western Publishing Company to cut the number of pages before the initial publication run. Either way, within five months Simon and Schuster sold over 1.5 million Little Golden Books and were on thei r third printing. Despite paper restrictions during World War II, the Little Golden Books stro ve to fill numerous books orders from across the country. By 1949, mothers were listing Little Golden Books among the suggested materials to take on a long car trip to keep young children occupied (Mack enzie 27). The sheer number of titles printed under the Little Golden Book catalo gue (over a thousand) coupled with the extent to which they have been in production (over 60 y ears) attests to their popularity and impact on American childrens literature. In the same way that improved color printing techniques advanced the Golden Age of Childrens Literature, changes and advances in color printing practices also affected the production of picture books during the 20th Century. With these advancements, the Little Golden Books were able to produce a large number of books that contai ned several full-color illustrations during a single press run. The 1930s in America marked new strides in photo-offset lithography that made possible larg e editions of illustrated books at low cost (Viguers Golden Age 438). This new technique in printing m eant that publishers were able to produce significantly larger runs of books at a reduced price per book, which in turn guaranteed that picture books would become available to a much wider audience of readers. By the 1940s, manufacturing childrens books in large quantities by machine made the picture book a steady product in the United States:
69 Mass production made possible large editions of elaborately illustrated books at small cost, with selling outlets not only in bookshops but in ten cent and variety stores, drug stores, and even chain grocery stores. Childrens books had beco me a commodity (Viguers Golden Age 442). Much like the profusion of yellowbacks that reached a new market of travelers by being sold in train stations in England, picture books reached a growing demographic of readers by being marketed in shops other than independent bookstores. Drug and chain grocery stores, as well as ten cent and variety stores, provided a space where working and middle class families could easily purchase inexpensive picture books and toy books while buying other household goods. Like the images produced by Crane, Caldeco tt, and Greenaway, once the Little Golden Book catalogue proved successful and the early characters became household names, other domestic products emerged that were built on th e cultural capita l of popular characters. In 1950, Katzenbach & Warren produced Little Golden wallpaper, which featured characters from popular Little Golden Book stories including the Shy Little Kitten, Scuffy the Tugboat, Black Sambo, and the Saggy Baggy Elephant. Costing 90-cents a sheet, the 72 by 25 wallpaper positioned collage-like squares replicating the print on a books gold spine next to large, colorful images reprinted directly from the illustrati ons in each book (For the Home 38). These same Little Golden characters appeared in childre ns rooms on plastic drap eries in 1951. Manufactured by Shapiro & Son, these 24 wide by 87 long, fade-r esistant, washable curtains sported a ruffled valance and cost only $1.98 (Whimsical Figures 28). Also in 1951, Nursery Plastics, Inc. produced a line of laminated cardboard plaque sets that included Noahs Ark and the Saggy Baggy Elephant among other Little Golden characters. These particular laminated wall plaques cost anywhere from $2 to $4 for a three or four piece set (Presents Suggested 51).
70 The Little Golden Book characters also reached seamstresses and quilters when multidesign fabrics entered the market. Even though little is officially known about the Little Golden Book fabric, collector Holly Everson dates eleven fabric designs 7 to the late 1940s or early 1950s in part because of the books represented an d also because of the fabrics 36-inch bolt width, as opposed to the 45-inch bolt that developed later (Eve rson). In the 1980s, new wallpaper emerged featuring some of the same classic characters that were on the 1950s wallpaper. Decorated cups, plates, dishes, and stuffed animal s have also recently reemerged from the Little Golden Books catalogue. Through this type of product exploitation, parents can inexpensively decorate their childs room from top to bottom in Little Golden Book characters. Just as toy books during the Go lden Age of Childrens Literatu re provided contrast to the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution in E ngland, the Little Golden Books also employed traditional texts during the 1940s when the Unite d States experienced a time of heightened factory production to meet the demands of World Wa r II. Of the first twelve Little Golden Books published in 1942, two books reprint familiar fairy tales (The Golden Book of Fairy Tales and Bedtime Stories), three books contain talking an imal tales (The Poky Little Puppy, The Little Red Hen, and Three Little Kittens), and four other books gather together nursery rhymes, songs, and prayers (This Little Piggy, Mother Goose, Nursery Songs, and Prayers for Children) 8 all of which reflect Caldecotts subject m a tter. Eight of these Little Go lden Books are a gathering of stories and rhymes plucked from the public dom ain, which means that Simon and Schuster, the 7 For more information about the Little Golden Book fabrics see Appendix B. 8 Of the first twelve Little Golden Books published, only three do not specifically fit the categories of fairy tale, folklore, or nursery rhymes. As its name implies, The Alphabet From A to Z is an alphabet book in which the narrator shows the reader what little Jimmy sees around his house. In Babys Book the narrator asks the reader if she or he has seen little Tommy before looking for him while pointing out everything that Tommy owns or likes. Finally, in The Animals of Farmer Jones Farmer Jones feed his farm animals later than usual so the animals complain by meowing, mooing, or gobbling among other farm animal noises.
71 publishing house, kept production costs down by not having to pay any single person for the rights to use these traditional text s. Using pre-established texts th at are familiar to the general public also allows each illustrator to bring new in terest to a familiar piece of childrens culture because the same story can be told in different ways. Only The Poky Little Puppy is an original story that lists an au thor on the title page 9 and is not derived from a previously published source or a comm only known tale. Whether purposefully or inadvertently, Sim on and Schuster also cr eated an underlying sense of security in these fi rst Little Golden Books by publis hing stories that were already familiar to the general public in the United Stat es during a time of national vulnerability. Fairy Tales and Bedtime Stories contain well-known st ories such as Jack and the Bean Stalk, Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs, and C hicken Little. Mother Goose, Nursery Songs, Prayers for Children, and This Little Piggy gath er together nursery rhymes, childrens songs, prayers, and counting rhymes. Mother Goose is a collection of familiar rhymes like There Was an Old Woman, and This Little Piggy is a coll ection of counting poems like Thirty Days Hath September. Nursery Songs contain musical scores for each song so that the entire family can sing along to a musical accompaniment. In the only overtly Christian selection of the first twelve books printed, Prayers for Children teaches trad itional Christian values through chants and prayers such as the Doxology and Twenty-Third Psalm. Even though their actual origins are unclear, an earlier version of The Little Red Hen was retold and illustrated by Florence White Williams in 1918, and The Three Little Kittens stems from Eliza Folens New Nursery Songs for All Good Children published in New England in 1843, although some argue that the rhyme is even older. These books are a readily available 9 The Alphabet from A to Z also lists an author on the title page, but The Animals of Farmer Jones and Babys Book only list the illustrators.
72 accumulation of the oral rhymes, songs, and tale s that mark childrens culture both in and previous to the 1940s. The revived interest in these texts from the public domain serves to reinforce the Little Golden Books ability to create a space of cultural commonality for American readers, which is something that Crane, Caldecott, and Greenaway also did for their English audience. Like their Golden Age counterparts, the firs t little Golden Books in 1942 also include illustrations from a cadre of acclaimed illustrators The front flap of the dust jacket on these books drew attention to the outstanding artwork that included bright a nd lively illustrations designed to fill in the gaps be tween word and actual object 10 for young readers. Gustaf Tenggren joined the L ittle Golden Books fam ily and illustrated The Poky Little Puppy and Bedtime Stories after a strong art career in Sweden and drawing for Walt Disney Studios 11, Rudolf Freund, who illu strated The Animals of Farmer Jones and The Little Red Hen, also worked with the American Museum of Natural History during his career and later became a leader in natural history illustrations (Bader 282). Including Nursery Songs, Corinne Malvern illustrated seventeen Little Golden Books a nd won the Julia Ellsworth Ford Foundations childrens literature prize in 1943 for her work in Valiant Minstrel: Th e Story of Sir Harry Lauder with Messner Publishing. In the years that followed, other well-respected childrens book illustrators 12 joined the Little Golden Books fa mily including Feodor Rojankovsky, who illustrated such favorites as The 10 As Janet Evans points out in her introduction to Whats in the Picture? illustrations enabl[e] children to gain meaning from books and provide a starting point from which the reader gets meaning and to which the reader gives meaning (J. Evans xv). 11 His work with Disney can be seen throughout the animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and in the background of the movie Pinocchio 12 Maybe because a biographical and critical examination of the sheer number of people who have illustrated for the Little Golden Books could fill multiple volumes, only one critic (Barbara Bader in American Picture Books) and two
73 Three Bears (1948) and Gaston and Josephine (1949) after working for the Pere Castor line of childrens books in France; Eloi se Wilkin, who illustrated My Little Golden Book about God (1956), reillustrated Prayers for Children (1952) and designed Baby Dear dolls; Garth Williams, who illustrated the popular Little House on the Prai rie series, Stuart Little, Charlottes Web, and The Cricket in Times Square befo re working for Little Golden Books; and Richard Scarry whose bear cub in the Little Golden Book titled Smokey the Bear (1955) eventually became the icon for national outdoor fire safety. Unlike books without pictures where every actio n described is of equal significance as part of the whole, each illustra tion in picture books forces the reader to pause and pay special attention to some particular moment out of the whole action (Nodelman 255). Due to this inherent quality and the desire to produce high qu ality but affordable picture books, the editors of the Little Golden Books strove to employ top-no tch illustrators to provi de those visual stopping points. If the second golden age of childrens liter ature began with the Little Golden Books catalogue in 1942, then the book that arguably mark s the exact starting point is the same book that heralded the publication of the Little Golden Books: Jane tte Seabring Lowreys The Poky Little Puppy with illu strations by Gustaf Tenggren. On Oc tober 1, 1942, the image of a brown and white Poky Little Puppy crawling under a red fence embellishes the first advertisement in Publishers Weekly announcing the a rrival of the first twelve Litt le Golden Books. According to Leonard Marcus, the advertisement boldly declar[e d] that the high quality of the books would in every respectart, text, printing, paperset them worlds apart from all the other books (50). collectors (Rebecca Greason in Tomarts Price Guide to Golden Book Collectibles and Steve Santi on his web site under Illustrators & Authors) have taken on the task of highlighting the smallest handful of illustrators and their accomplishments with the Little Golden Books.
74 Here, the rhetoric of th e print advertisement publicizes the same principles that girded the first Golden Age of Childrens Literatu re. Over the last 60 years, The Poky Little Puppy has remained the signature book for the Little Golden Books and is a key figure in their anniversary celebrations. For reasons that are not necessarily ta ngible, people in the Un ited States have a soft spot for the Poky Little Puppy. In 2000, The P oky Little Puppy was ranked the number one selling hardback book on the Publishers Weekly All-Time Best-Selling Childrens Books list (All-Time). Today, since the Li ttle Golden Books are seeped in nostalgia and have reached multiple generations of readers, The Poky L ittle Puppy is the book most often remembered by the people with whom I discussed this project. The Poky Little Puppy is a well-loved trickste r figure in training, who cleverly gobbles up dessert after all his brothers and sisters have been sent to bed without any dessert as a punishment for digging a hole under the fence. Teng rrens color illustrations of the puppies with their floppy ears and button noses are colorful, ro und, and inviting. The shading of the black and white illustrations shows depth and precision. Lowr eys story consists of repeated words and phrases that add a lyrical quality to the text. Even the physical properties of the book itself are inviting to the reader. In Words About Pictures, Perry Nodelman posits that in picture books that are taller than they are wide there is less opportunity for depi cting setting and, as a result, greater concentration on and closer empathy with the characters de picted (46). Since the regular Little Golden Books proportions are barely taller than wide (21 x 18 cm), books like The Poky Little Puppy invite the reader to both enjoy the little puppy s curiously slow nature and empathize with his plight when he eventually does not get any dessert. In combination with the size of the regular Little Golden Books, the textured, non-glossy paper on which the books are
75 printed seems to invite our touch and in that way supports an atmosphere of involvement and intimacy (Nodelman 48). Like all picture books, The Poky Little Puppy for ces the reader to de code the images and the text separately on each page before combining each deciphered message into an overall meaning on the page itself and in relationship to the entire story. As explained by Nodelman, since words and pictures give us different insigh ts into the same events [in a picture book], we move from one to the other in terms of how the text forces us to go back and reinterpret the pictures and how the reinterprete d picture then forces us to go back and reinterpret the text again (243). For example, the first page 13 of The Poky Little Puppy f eatures two pictures, one above the other, separated by a single sentence of text. W hether or not the reader enters the story by reading the text first or examining the illustra tions first is not particularly important; although, the American convention of reading from left to right and top to bottom might cause the reader to start with the first picture of a puppy crawling under a red picket fence since it is located at the very top of the first page. Rather the readers interpretation of th e pictures is colored by her or his interpretation of the opening sentence and vise versa in a continuous cycle until a full semblance of understanding is reached. While one single puppy is shown crawling under a fenceat the top of the page, the picture at the bottom of the page features four other puppies scampering down a swath of green grass that im plies a hill. Judging by the images alone, these four puppies could be running away from the sing le puppy at the top of th e page, or they might be running towards something that the reader has yet to learn a bout because it lies on the next page. As a matter of fact, without the text dividing the pictures, the reader could misconstrue the 13 Like most picture books, The Poky Little Puppy does not have numbers at the bottom of each page. To facilitate with the analysis of this book, I mark page one as the first page of the actual story following the title page and the copyright page. The rest of the page numbering follows sequentially.
76 first image to mean that the single puppy is stuc k under the fence. The intent of the puppies is clarified when coupled with the text since the sentence reveals, five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide, wide world (Lowrey). Thus the reader learns that all five little puppies belong together, and that all five are culpable for digging a hole under the fence which is presumably against the rules. Since the plot of The Poky Little Puppy cen ters around a single white puppy with brown spots plus his four variously colored puppy siblings, the turn of each page causes the reader to track the location of all five puppies before cente ring on the pokiest of the puppies. The reader is never given an explanation through either words or pictures as to what the Poky Little Puppy is doing that is causing him to be slower than the othe rs. Visually, he is not smaller than any of the other puppies which might indicate th at he is the runt of the litte r and therefore unable to keep up as easily. Nor is the Poky Little Puppy distracted by any of the sm all creatures that live on the hill beyond the fence. Even though the front cover of the book s hows him crouched down and examining a small green lizard, inside the book the Poky Little Pup py is not examining any of the small creatures on the hill. Instead, in one color illustration, he has his head cocked to the side with one ear jauntily in the air so that he can better hear the sound of chocolate custard being spooned into all of their bowls. In another black and white illustration, the Poky Little Puppys nose quivers in the air when he detects the smell of rice pudding. After each of these moments, the puppies run home as fast as they could go but the Poky L ittle Puppy comes home later after everyone [is] sound asleep (Lowrey). Where the Poky Little Puppy is or even what he is doing while the other four puppies eat dinner is never indicated in the story through eith er words or pictures. He is simply late, and the reader is left to either fill in the gaps with information that is not readily
77 available or ignore the gaps completely. Maybe the first time the Poky Little Puppy returns home later than the other puppies, he learns that showing up late equa ls eating everyones dessert. The reader could easily fill in the gaps by assuming th at the Poky Little Puppy purposefully tricks the other puppies into digging a second hole under the fence so that he can again return to the scene of the crime later than the othe rs and thus gobble up a second night s worth of dessert. Or, maybe he enjoys getting his puppy siblings into trouble with their mother. But neither the text nor the images indicate any forethought or malice on the Poky L ittle Puppys part. Not only is his body, like his siblings bodies rounded which we asso ciate with softness and yielding, but his face and body are also predominately white which tends to represent goodness (Nodelman 72, 111). Curves, in contrast to angles, are non-th reatening, so the Poky Little Puppys round eyes, pudgy body, and curlic ue tail make his actions throughout the book seem pure and altruistically motivated. Even though he shows the spark of a trickster figure, the Poky Little Puppy is still ultima tely a good little puppy who slips up but learns not to dig holes under fences or separate from his siblings. Similar to a fairy tale where the hero must go through a series of task s that parallel each other, a repetitive patte rn flows through the text of The P oky Little Puppy m oving the action of the story forward. In this way, the book builds an underlying feeling of safe ty through repetition. On three separate occasions, all of the puppies es cape under the fence and run to the top of a hill before the reader and four of the puppies notice one little puppy wasnt th ere (Lowrey). At this point, the four puppies roly-poly, pell-mell, [and] tumble-bumble back down the hill only to discover that the Poky Little Puppy smells, hears, and then sees a reminder that dessert is being served which causes the four puppies to run home as fast as they could go (Lowrey). They, of course, are punished for digging a hole under the fence by being sent to bed without any dessert
78 because their mother was greatly displeased, and the Poky Little Puppy arriving late eats everyones leftover dessert before crawl[ing] into bed as hap py as a lark (Lowrey). Through the simple repetition of words and phrases, Lowr ey sets up a complex pattern that both compels the reader to move forward through the text to see if the pattern of events holds true, and at the same time allows the reader to leisurely linge r over the pictures since what will happen on the next page is not going to be comp lete surprise either the patt ern will continue, or it will be broken. In addition, each page of The Poky Little Puppy is self-contained which provides the reader with another opportunity to stop and ex amine the pictures. Rather than compelling the reader to move forward through the plot by br eaking up a sentence across multiple pages, each sentence with its neat little peri od at the end indicates the reader should stop right here. In The Poky Little Puppy the picture on th e page acts as a confirmation of what the reader already knows from having read the text since the moment s depicted by the pictures come exactly at the place in the sequence of events that they occur in their physical in terruption of the [entire] text (Nodelman 259). After the Poky Little Puppy disa ppears and the other puppies st art looking for him, both the sentences and the pictures depict the same events. A picture of a big black spider is positioned under two sentences about what the pu ppies could see going down the hill, and a picture of a brown hop-toad is shown above tw o sentences about what they could see coming up this side (Lowrey). On these two example page s, the reader experiences a small piece of the overall repetitive pattern, which will be replayed a total of three times with different sets of creatures. This compels the re ader the move forward to find the Poky Little Puppy and at the
79 same time remain on the page to examine the pictures bringing the readers perspective to the same level as the puppies by focusing solely on a close-up of the spider and the toad. Cleverly, the combination of text and the images inside the book do not reveal which puppy is the pokiest of the puppies until several pa ges into the story, even though the Poky Little Puppy is the only puppy on the front cover. On the second page, one sentences lead the reader with the five puppies under the fence and far aw ay from home: Through the meadow they [the five puppies] went, down the road, over the bridge across the green grass, and up the hill, one right after the other (Lowrey). To emphasi ze the movement of the puppies and the great distance covered, a single black and white illust ration that moves across the gutter of the twopage spread shows five puppies sprinting across a wooden bridge in a grassy field. The Poky Little Puppy might be th e last puppy in line to cross the bridge but he is not significantly trailing behind the other puppies. At this point, he is still just a single puppy in a crowd. Even the phrase poky little puppy is not used in the story until the fifth page when the other four puppies suddenly realize that one puppy is missing: Now where in the world is that poky little puppy? they wondered. For he certainly wasnt on top of the hill (Lowrey). As the reader moves back and forth between the color illustration and the text, she or he will notice that only four puppies stand on top of the hill, all of whom look like they are searching for the missing puppy. Now that a phrase signaling the title of the book has been used in the text, concern over the missing puppy coupled with anticipation in potentially meeting the Poky Little Puppy grows and continues to heighten when the reader turns the page only to discover two more pict ures one of a fuzzy caterpillar and one of a green lizard but no puppy. One more turn of the page, though, reveals an illustration of the Poky Little Pup py by himself at the bottom of a hill.
80 In the first eight pages of Th e Poky Little Puppy, the illustra tions pull the reader through the book until the pokiest of the puppies is found for the first ti me. Here not only does the picture on page eight force the reader to pause a nd examine the missing puppy, but the picture also allows the reader to build an identification with the lost puppy. Up until this point in the story, the main moveme nt in each of the illustrations is towards the right side of the book, which encourages the r eader to turn the page because action usually moves from left to right in picture books (N odelman 163). Four puppies scamper across a swath of green towards the right, five puppies sprint acro ss a bridge that opens up to the right, two of the four puppies on the hilltop face right on the right side of a two-page spread, and even following the line of the fuzzy cat erpillars body and the green lizar ds tail moves the readers eyes towards the right side of the page Once the Poky Little Puppy is found, though, the movement stops. On the right hand side of the page, four puppies look down over the hill towards the left, which draws the readers attent ion back to the Poky Little Puppy who is also facing left while sniffing around in the grass. By placing the Poky Little Puppy alone on the left side of the two-page spread, the reader is also given his or her first oppor tunity to identify with the main character in this pict ure book. According to Nodelman, b ecause we look first at the left foreground, we tend to place ourselves in that positi on and to identify with the objects or figures located there (Nodelman 135). Nodelman is a pplying the implications of Mercedes Gaffrons glance curve theory, which focuses on paintings, 14 to the way Americans take in and respond to the art in picture books. The r easoning behind this stipulation is twofold if the reader follows the conventional pattern of readi ng left to right: one, the left foreground is visually the closest point on the page to the reader, a nd two, since the left side of the page is the f irst side that the 14 For more about the glance curve, see Gaffrons article titled Right and Left in Pictures in volume 13 of Art Quarterly (1950).
81 reader will notice, picture book illustrators tend to place the most important character on that side. By waiting until page eight to foreground th e Poky Little Puppy, the r eaders satisfaction in identifying the main character, or even identi fying with the main character, is delayed. The delayed identification of the Poky Little Pu ppy coupled with the fl attening effect that nostalgia has on a past event might explain why todays average adult, who read The Poky Little Puppy as a child, does not remember the melancholy ending of the story. If brought up in conversation, remembrances of The Poky Little Puppy often include some form of the sound aww to indicate a sweetness a nd a clarifying question about how thats the one where the cute puppy eats dessert, right? Since nosta lgia tends to change a person s perception of past events by pushing aside bad memories and heighten ing good memories, the adult reader who remembers the Poky Little Puppy usually forgets that the pokiest of the p uppies is punished in the end when his mother catches him. Remarkably, the reader never sees the mother, which gives her the same omniscient qualities as Santa Claus the giver and remover of gifts. The very act throughout the story that guaranteed the Poky Little Puppy would have an entire tub of dessert all for himself his inability or maybe even choice to not keep pace with his siblings is what keeps him from enjoying that fina l strawberry shortcake dessert. The story ends with a black and white illustration of the Poky Little Puppy staring up at a sign that reads No desserts ever unless puppi es never dig holes under this fence again! (Lowrey). Since the Poky Little Puppy is seen from behind in this picture, the warning on the sign is directed at the reader just as much as it is directed at the puppy, since the reader is essentially reading over the puppy s shoulder. Neither the text nor the illustration leaves the reader with any indication that the Poky Little Puppy learns his lesson so that he can earn more dessert. Moreover, the last frontal image of the Poky Little Puppy that the reader sees is on the
82 second to last page. Here a very sad-looking puppy is lying under a blanket with his paws folded under his chin because he felt very bad for hims elf (Lowrey). Thus the reader is immediately left with the lingering impression of a depressed puppy that highly contradicts with the cheerfully nostalgic memories people have of a puppy eating chocolate cust ard in the middle of the picture book or a puppy with a curlicue tail examining a green lizard on the cover. As recently as the beginning of 2008, the comic strip Luann examined the appeal of the Poky Little Puppy through a five-day storyline. In the first strip, Luann, the 16-year-old main character, picks The Poky Little Puppy to read to a group of kids during the librarys story hour because it is, in her words, more classic than Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick, or Wuthering Heights (G. Evans 31 Dec). Luanns friend, Gunther, a nerd who has the highest IQ in their high school, admits that he has never heard of The Poky L ittle Puppy and was more into Maurice Sendaks Where the Wild Things Are (G. Evans 1 Jan) After reading The P oky Little Puppy on his own, Gunther declares that the book is way too compli cated for kids because theres so much going on, even though Luann deems it a sweet little story for kids about some curious puppies (G. Evans 2 Jan). During story hour when Gunther ques tions the plausibility of the warning sign at the end of the book because dogs can t read, a little girl sitting next to him tells him that he is too old to understand (G. Evans 3 Jan). Perhaps the little girl is right in that an adult, even a 16-year-old adult, is too old to understand, because the magic of The Poky Little Puppy probably occurs when the book is read as a chil d. Then nostalgia carries the appeal of the book into adulthood. More importa ntly, though, Luann and Gunthe rs exchange throughout the storyline touches upon how The Poky Little Puppy is both complicated and si mple in its plot and illustrations, which is why it remains a vital part of American childrens culture and should be the touchstone for a second golden age of childrens literature.
83 Although The Poky Little Puppy did not ear n a Caldecott Medal for Tenggrens illustrations, the above close reading and the Luann comic strip shows why the story and illustrations continue to thrive in today s market. Not only are Tenggrens illustrations distinctive, but Americans also have a soft spot for loveable trickster figures like Huck Finn, Bart Simpson, and the Poky Little Puppy. By the end of World War II, the middlebrow concept of bringing literature, or more specifically in this case high quality pictur e books, to the general public that started with publishe rs like Edmund Evans was fully in place. The Poky Little Puppy should not be summarily dismissed because of its mass production and continued popularity. Rather, by weighing its popularity and the time during which it was published against the standards of a golden age establ ished in the late 19th Century of childrens literature, we see that The Poky Little Puppy indicates the beginning of a second golden age. What the editors of the Little Golden Books could not have anticipated when they first published The Poky Little Puppy was the staying power of this particular story albeit a version that in peoples memories glosses ove r the puppys punishment and of the other eleven books 15 in general. Nor could the creators of the Little Golden Books catalogue have foreseen the large im pact that the Litt le Golden Books would have ha d on both the general public and childrens literature. Now, over 60 y ears later, historians and critic s of childrens literature can look back on the 1940s in the United States, char t the continuation of th e Little Golden Books through the nostalgia-infused popular ity of the Poky Little Puppy, a nd retrospectively define the beginning of a second golden age in childrens literature that take s into account both the popularity of certain Little Golden Books and the standards from the Golden Age of Childrens 15 In 1992, the Little Golden Books published a commemorative box set of the first twelve Little Golden Books published in 1942 in order to celebrate their 50th anniversary. While the books in the box set look more like todays Little Golden Book than the 1942 version with a dust jacket and thicker paper, the stories and illustrations inside each facsimile remains true to form.
84 Literature that they meet. Drawing from the adva ncements of the first Golden Age of Childrens Literature, the Little Golden Books certainly lead the way into a second golden flourish of activity that revolutionized 20th Century childrens literature.
85 CHAPTER 4 IMAGES OF INNOCENCE: CHILDREN IN THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS In The Human Face John Brophy argues that not all chil dren are beautif ul, but almost all are attractive because of their yout h and because their promise has not yet had the opportunity to disappoint (82). Of course, the at tractiveness of the child is not only determined by her or his youth or promise, but also by the childs actual phys ical characteristics and how they reflect societal expectations. Brophy also points out that we almost unive rsally assume that certain configurations of the face, certain shapings a nd proportions of the features, symbolize definite traits of character whether th e face is on a live person or in a realistic illustration (195). Purposefully or not, the major ity of Little Golden Books f eature children whose physical configurations document Americas continuing idealization of innocence in childrens picture books. By coupling the marginalization of ethnically diverse children with the depiction of white children in stable families, the Little Golden B ooks help maintain the 1940s and 1950s version of the patriarchal, nuclear family. At the same time, the Little Golden Books draws on the purchasers nostalgia for a childhood shaded in an idyllic, harmonious American past. In contrast to Little Golden Books with nonhuman characters like Tootle (1945) whose story is arguably about the subversive pleasures of resisting pressure s to conform, the child in the Little Golden Books conforms to the larger expectations of American society with little re sistance (Mickenberg 7). Unlike Dr. Seuss or Maurice Sendak, whose i llustrations of children often defied convention and were sometimes even thought of as ugly when they were first published, the illustrators for the Little Golden Books did nothing new that might work against the status quo of the symbolic innocent child as already establishe d in childrens picture books.
86 The Romantic Child and the Knowing Child In Pictu re of Innocence (1998), Anne Higonnet explores the image of the child as innocent by examining photographs and paintings thr oughout Western history. She delineates the differences between the Romantic or innocen t child and its opposite, the Knowing child. After examining numerous images of the chil d, Higonnet concludes that the Romantic image enable[s] us to forget many aspects of adult society because the child remains innocent, sexually pure, and healthily chubby, while the Knowing image contains an element of heightened sexuality and knowledge about the misfortunes of the greater (adult) world in which the child lives (23). The Romantic child make s a good show of having no class, no gender, and no thoughtsof being socially, sexually, and psychically innocent" (Higonnet 23-4). In paintings and illustrations, a Romantic or innocen t child does not maintain eye contact with the viewer; rather, the child peers at a spot off in the distance that is to the right or left of the edge of the painting or illustration. Ov er the years, the Romantic ch ild image reveals its underlying archetype of innocence in painti ngs such as the aptly titled1 The Age of Innocence (1788) by Sir Joshua Reynolds or the childrens book illustrations of Kate Greenaway, who during the Victorian Golden Age of picture books produced Under the Window (1879) among other titles, and Bessie Pease Gutmann, whose career started by illustrating Robert Louis Stevensons A Childs Garden of Verses (1905) and continued through the 1940s. Today we see the underlying archetype of the innocent child in the work of Anne Geddes who phot ographs babies and young children primarily sleeping or dressed up as flowers and small, cuddly animals. 1 Even though Sir Joshua Reynolds character study or fancy picture is widely known as The Age of Innocence the Tate National Gallery Online states that the painting di d not receive this name until 1794, six years after it was first painted. Previously, the Tate contends, the painting was simply titled A Little Girl or An Infant Girl (Postle).
87 In contrast, the Knowing child can be seen in paintings like John Everett Millaiss Cherry Ripe2 (1879) in which a young girl stares directly at the viewer while tilting her head slightly downward in a manner that looks more coy than demure. Even though she is dressed in an enveloping white gown with girly pink highlights (hat ribbon, waist sash, and shoes), she wears black lace gloves that form a distinct v-shape in her lap and draw attention to the potential erogenous zone hidden under the folds of her dre ss. The characteristics of the Knowing child, though, are most apparent in photog raphs of actual children wher e their knowledge of the adult world cannot be masked or created by an illustra tors brush. In contrast to the innocent child, the Knowing child shows characterist ics that range from a skinniness that implies constant hunger to a Lolita-like way of having sexual understa nding. Although Higonnet doe s not specifically examine the Little Golden Books in Pictures of Innocence the images of children the Little Golden Books clearly resonate with the characteristics she identifie s to define the Romantic child such as the innocence, guilelessn ess, and unaffectedness that can be seen in their chubby faces, wide round eyes, and bubbly smiles. Innocence and Children in the Little Golden Books Although not striving to be photor ealistic, the L ittle Golden Books do try to capture the uncensored facial expressions of a child. In A Brief History of the Smile Angus Trumble points out that a babys impromptu smile can reduce hea lthy adults to a state of incoherent rapture partially due to the innocence imbued on a child with large eyes and chubby cheeks (123). Moreover, a good representation of a child smiling is more appealing because it is in some 2 John Everett Millaiss painting Cherry Ripe is actually based on another famous painting by Sir Joshua Reynold titled Penelope Boothby Young Edie Ramage attended a fancy dress ball in 1879 dressed as the girl in Penelope Boothby Millais was so struck by Edies appearance that immediately after the ball she was taken to his studio, where he began a portrait for her uncle (Cherry Ripe) Unlike the child in Cherry Ripe the child in Penelope Boothby has her hands folded demurely in her lap and is gazing towards her left off the edge of the painting which highlights her innocent characteristics.
88 fundamental way genuine, not staged or put on (Trumble 131). Brophy declares that from a babys face emerges vivid expressions, unmixed with shame or self-consciousness, all the elementary emotions of humanity: desire, gratif ication, anger, indigna tion, affection, surprise, and amusement (28). The first twelve Little Golden Books in 1942 published archetypal images of healthy, happy, inquisitive, innocent children th at could reassure the average American that World War II hardships would be followed by a time of peaceful stability and that the economic growth experienced during heightened wartime production would continue. Similar to Disneys version of Snow White whose wide-eyed innocence is emphasized in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs3 by her pale white skin and pink cheeks, children in the Little Golden Books are guilelessly unaware of potentia l dangers that surround them. The child in the Little Golden Books is often portr ayed in lackadaisical poses that highlight the childs sense of security whether standing, sitting, or laying down. The face of the child probably plays the most important role in revealing the childs innocen t nature and reassuring the average American. Rather than looking directly at the reader when facing forward, the child in the Little Golden Books redirects his or her gaze to an area that is above, to the right, or to the left of the reader but does not actually contain the reader. For example, even though the child on This Little Piggy is grasping at her or his toes, from the readers perspective, the childs eyes look into the space that exists just outside and in front of the books cover. By not making eye contact with the reader, the child in the illustration keeps him or hersel f distant from the reader. Brophy notes that if a glance is made seriously, and interlocks with the glance of another person, each pair of eyes staring into the other, the meeting cannot be su stained for long without an intense relationship 3 First released in 1937, Disneys feature-length animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was such a huge box office success that the Walt Disney Company re-released the film in 1944 to earn more company revenue. Clearly, the American public was well acqu ainted with Snow White as both an image of innocence when she is not in a relationship and an image of financial security when she marries Prince Charming.
89 being set up since maintaining eye contact for several minutes at a time without glancing away is a sustained intimacy prope r only to lovers (Brophy 14). McNeill concurs that we normally dont gaze straight into peoples eyes when we speak to them instead our eyes dance about their faces in order to not appear rude nor de velop a deep intimacy (230). Thus, in the Little Golden Books, by focusing the gaze of the child on a point beyond the edge of the illustration, a barrier is metaphorically establishe d between the reader and the child that turns the reader into an outside observer who can witness, but not part icipate in, the childs archetypal innocence throughout the story. From an archetypal standpoint, the child figur e must always remain innocent of adult understanding even though a potential future for the child and the childs community is graphed onto her or his every thought and action. While the forward growth of the child archetype is often examined and commented upon in the context of Jungs initial descri ption of the child, the child archetypes static nature is more of ten overlooked or unacknowledged by critics and psychologists. In Abandoning the Child, James Hillman briefly describes the staticity of the child archetype in conjunction with the archetypes abandonment in We stern culture. For the child archetype does not grow but remains an inhabitant of childhood, a state of being, and the archetypal child personifies a component that is not meant to grow but to remain as it is as child, at the threshold, intact [his emphasis] (Hillm an 30). By remaining at the threshold [of adulthood], intact, the archetypal childs pote ncy is bound up in its ab ility to personify a component that is not meant to grow or cha nge. Thus the child archetype can emerge through static images like those found in the Little Golden Books where the child is in a constant state of age containment because she or he is not de picted growing towards adulthood. In order to maintain the innocence of the child, Little Go lden Book illustrations portray two distinct
90 characteristics regardless of th e individual books author or ill ustrator: a healthy chubbiness, which was promoted by child care manuals at the time, and a gender neutrality that anchored the universality of the child as an archetype. First, to show their healthy chubbiness, children in Little Go lden Book illustrations carry the same physical characteristics that Higonnet identified in Reynolds painting The Age of Innocence : pudgy hands, round cheeks, and large eyes th at reflect the childs innocent nature. When analyzing childrens faces, Brophy declares that part of the charm of a babys face comes from its roundness and its comparatively large size [because] all the proportions of the body are different in infancy (82). Even the toddler who is old enough to speak has a face compact of plump, soft curves and from th ese emerge vivid expressions (Brophy 82). In Words About Pictures Perry Nodelman argues that rounded and cu rved attributes in an illustration are visually associated with a sof tness and yielding that counteract s the harshness of straight lines and sharp edges (Nodelman 72). Accordingly, our eyes respond to all these sharp points the way our bodies might if we sat on them while rounded shapes are accommodating (Nodelman 73, 127). When these attributes are applied directly to the physical featur es of a child in an illustration, the vulnerability of the child is visually emphasized. Barbara Bader also notes in American Picturebooks: From Noahs Ark to the Beast Within that in the Little Golden Books heads are overlarge in order to emphasize the essence of an individual through the exaggeratio n of distinctive features ( 288). Here again, the essence being emphasized is one of innocence, even t hough Bader does not specif ically refer to it as such, since an overlarge head draws attention to the childs cheeks and eyes. Like the print advertisements in the 1930s that equated being American with ha ving fair features, more often than not in the Little Golden Books, the physical characteristics of innocence are combined with
91 light hair, blue eyes, and a reinforcement of midd le or working class status that is meant to accentuate the All-American components of the child. Second, in the Little Golden Books the innocent child is depicted as a gender-neutral child, which emphasizes the childs archetypal qualities. In illustrations of individual babies, gender is usually not ascribed to each ba by through the use of clothing color, hair ribbons, or other visual cues. Generally, the story itself provides the only way to determine the biological sex of a baby. For example, the covers of Babys Book (1942), This Little Piggy (1942), and The Alphabet from A to Z (1942), depict each child with curly blonde ha ir, chubby cheeks, and blue eyes that gaze off towards the edge of each cover as if the chil dren are lost in their own happiness. The neutral image of the child dissipates, though, once the first page of The Alphabet from A to Z and Babys Book is read and the sex of little Tommy and Jimm y, both boys, is revealed. The sex of the child on the front cover of This Little Piggy remains ambiguous, though, since This Little Piggy is a counting rhyme that does not incl ude sex or gender specifications. Here, the innocence depicted in the physical featur es of the child in The Alphabet Book from A to Z and Babys Book two of the first twelve books published by the Little Go lden Books, remains intact even as male supercedes gender-neutral as an indi cator of the universality of the child. In Little Golden Book illustrations of toddlers and young children, a clearly male child is often paired with a child who is clearly female to visually form a heterosexual balance4 that serves to visually neutralize their sexuality. Th e pairing of children mirrors the marriage union5 of a heterosexual couple, which in turn might dissipate any ad ult concerns about the children 4 Although not discussed here, this type of heterosexual pairing also evokes the promise of two children in a nuclear family. 5 According to Stephanie Coontz in The Way We Never Were the number of out-ofwedlock babies placed for adoption between 1944 and 1955 rose by 80 percent, a statistic which only serves to highlight how images of innocent children in heterosexual pairs could assuage middle-class Americas underlying fear of entering into a marriage with an out-of-wedloc k child in tow (Coontz 39).
92 engaging in any activities that th wart their prescribed gender role s. For example, on the cover of Bedtime Stories with illustrations by Gustaf Tenggren, a little girl a nd a little boy wearing cozy pajamas and slippers read stories6 such as Chicken Little whil e sitting on a purple love seat before bedtime. A new moon hangs in the night sky outside the window and subtly illuminates the outline of a churchs steeple in the distance. As readers, we assume that these two children are brother and sister and will be off to bed after reading these bedtime stories. In this illustration, these two children represent a safe he teronormativity that is further reinforced by a blurry image on the girls pajamas that looks like a bride or a princess in a white dress standing next to a male figure. Like a fairy tale he roine who sleeps through pube rty and wakes up in the arms of her future husband, visually pair ing children in a heterosexual coupling7 immediately places each child in a safe marri age-like situation that keeps the innocent Romantic child from turning into a Knowing child. The clearest sign of a childs inherent inno cence, though, is the incorporation of healthy chubbiness and gender neutrality into compos itions with overly sw eet, cherubic children.8 On the 6 Near the childrens feet leans a Little Red Riding Hood doll who appears to be listening to a story that might even be about herself since the story of Little Red Riding Hood is in this collection of Bedtime Stories 7 In 1863 when Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton) married Lavinia Warren, they sparked the performance of numerous fake weddings between young children, which became a common spectacle th roughout the United States. Referred to as Tom Thumb Weddings, fa ke weddings that heterosexually couple together children are still being performed as fundraisers and spectacles. In a short article titled Tiny People Participate in Tom Thumb Weddings, Becky Billingsley writes that there is photographic evid ence of a local Tom Thumb wedding as early as 1931 in Conway, South Carolina (1). 8 While a babys inherent helplessness underscores the image of the innocent child, innocence still clings to the elementary school children scattered among the illustrations of babies and toddlers in the Little Golden Books. Here, education does not equal access to inform ation that might divest the innocent child of her or his angelic demeanor. Several Little Golden Books, such as Fun with Decals or Helen Gaspards Doctor Dan, The Bandage Man focus primarily on developing gender roles by illustrating children in mock grown-up, domestic situations. These early Little Golden Books socialize children by teaching them some patterns to follow and ways to behave or not to behave as an adult. More importantly, these early texts provide a provocative space in which children can comfortably explore the rhetoric of American individualism through potential careers that will more than likely be different than the careers currently held by their parents, since the social order had moved past apprenticeships in the United States. As a component of what Reisman terms an inner-driven society, these picture books teach the child
93 cover of one of the first twelve Little Golden Books published in 1942, Prayers for Children with illustrations by Rachel Taft Dixon, a little boy and girl both with pink cheeks and blonde, curly hair kneel together as if pray ing while they read from a blue book9 with gold edging titled, Prayer Book A white glow and a border of flowers, vines, and friendly bi rds surround the two children on the front cover. Further reinforcing the innocence of these two children, a rabbit, a lamb, and two angels peer at the children from th e border design as if they are listening to the prayers; the young girl even wear s a garland of flowers in her hair. Inside the book, each fullcolor page showcases more blonde children with pink cheeks collecting flowers, playing games, praying, singing, walking to church, and being protected by angels with similar blonde features. Other pages in black and white have a slightly medieval feel to them since their borders are primarily decorated with angels, vines, and flow ers. With both the children and the angels, the blue of their irises takes over th eir eyes, which are as round as ma rbles, leaving only the slightest touch of white on the very edge of each eye. In these illustrations, the lack of white in these something about the variety of adult roles he [or she] may enter upon and to permit him [or her] to try on these roles in fantasy (Reisman 114). 9 The children on the front cover of Prayers for Children are reading a collection of po ems and songs that focus on Christianity and American nationalism, assuming that blue book the children are reading contains the same material as Prayers for Children which is also a blue book with a golden spine. Ranging from the rarely sung fourth verse of Reverend Samuel Francis Smiths America, the de facto national anthem of the United States for most of the 19th Century, and Leah Gales Till the Victory is Ours to The Twenty-third Psalm and the Doxology, collectively these songs and poems thank and praise the Christian image of God while asking Him for guidance, strength, and security in America. Fo r example, in Gales poem the God who watche s over all is called upon to be a shield and a guide for our heroes who in clude sailors, soldiers, and pilots dur ing the struggles of World War II ( Prayers 36-7). Tying the various poems and songs together are color illustrations of blonde children with rosy cheeks and angels with similar features that illuminate the verses by Emerson. Last verses of songs seem to be very popular. The fourth and last verse of A merica or My Country, Tis of Thee goes as follows: Our fathers God, to Thee,/ Author of liberty,/ To Thee we sing./ Long may our land be bright/ With freedoms holy light;/ Protect us by Thy might,/ Great God, our King. In 1989, a fifth verse was added to America in celebration of George Washingtons centen nial inauguration as Pres ident of the United States. Interestingly enough, the text of the Doxology was origin ally the final stanza of Thomas Kens hymn Glory to Thee, My God, This Night written in approximately 1674. Gales Till the Victory is Ours is not included later editions of Prayers for Children printed after the end of World War II.
94 childrens eyes removes the reader s ability to interpret what th e children are actually thinking. The visual messages the children might be trying to send are lost. As discussed by McNeill, the eyes send a constant stream of messages, but without a backdrop like the white the signals elude the reader (24). Moreover, the children and the angels physically look exactly the same from the tops of their curly blond hair to the tips of th eir pudgy toes, except that the angels have white, feathery wings. The very first page of Prayers for Children reproduces Ralph Wa ldo Emersons poem Father, We Thank Thee10 in its entirety before giving way to two full-color illustrations on the second and third pages. The relative placement of two lines from Emersons poem centered underneath the pictures on each full-color page tu rns the lines of the poem into titles for the illustrations. For example, an illustration of tw o tow-headed children praying before sitting down at a small table to eat are capti oned with the lines For health and food, for love and friends, / Father, we thank Thee (Prayers for Children 6 1942). In this illustration, we see the heterosexual coupling of a boy and girl in a mo ck-grownup domestic s ituation. Moreover, the white border around each color illustration provides a layer of detachment, as if the reader is viewing this happy scene from a distance. As noted by Nodelman, white space around a picture can act as a frame that demands detachment fr om the activities taking place in the framed illustration (Nodelman 53). Even though Prayers for Children is heavily text-based due to the number of poems and songs in its collection, the illustrations of childre n portraying moments of thankfulness provides a balance to the text that defines the book as a picture book and not a hymnal or a collection of poetry. These children in Prayers for Children represent the idealized 10 Even though some controversy surrounds whether or not Emerson originally wrote this poem titled Father, We Thank Thee, this poem should not be confused with Re becca J. Westons same-titled hymn written in 1885.
95 innocence associated with the child in Little Golden Books by falling just short of capturing the expressions of real middle and working class children in the United States. Todays reader might scoff at the overb earing guilelessness of the children in Prayers for Children and write it off as a convention of illustrating or of the Litt le Golden Books in the early 1940s, but even a 1943 New York Times review of the first twelve Little Golden Books described the pictures of the children in Prayers for Children as over-sweet (Golden Library BR25). Yet, if Dixons illustrations in Prayers for Children were over-sweet in 1943, then the 1952 reprint edition with illust rations by Eloise Wilkin might have sent that same book reviewer into sugar shock, since Wilkins trademark is to overemphasize the qualities of the innocent or Romantic child. Not only did Wilkin illustrate ove r 50 Little Golden Books with this style of child between 1943 and 1961, she also freelanced ot her childrens book illust rations and created a line of Baby Dear dolls for Vogue, a doll manufacturer. In Eloise Wilkin Stories Eloise Wilkins daughter, Deborah Wilkin Springett, writes that her mothers dolls sold in the millions. In 1960 Nikita Khruschev came to New York City to deliver his famous shoe-thumping speech at the United Nations. When he and his Russian delegation saw Eloises doll in the window of FAO Schwarz, they purchased thirteen Baby Dears to take back to Russia (xi). Over the years, Wilkins illustrations have become a cornerstone of the Little Golden Books catalogue with her books going through numerous printings. On the 1952 cover of Prayers for Children a young boy and girl ar e still kneeling in prayer, but rather than show the entire body of each child as on Dixons cover, this illustration focuses on each childs pale, freckled face. The boy, in a plaid suit and tie, bows his head, closes his eyes, and folds his hands. His mouth is slig htly open which reveals a gap from where his front two teeth have yet to grow in. This boy is the image of the id eal child that every
96 churchgoing parent wants or wishes their child to be since he l ooks clean, respectful, attentive, and serene rather than uncomfortable, anxi ous, and prone to outbursts. This boy clearly understands what is expected of him and complie s with both God and his parents. Next to him, a little girl, who we are to assume is his younger sister even as she provides a heterosexual balance, also has her hands touching in prayer Both childrens mouths naturally turn upward on the corners, which give them a slight smile a nd causes the reader to imbue them with positive qualities. As observed by McNeil l, people with naturally uptu rned mouths are often given qualities of humor, kindness, and hone sty based on appearance alone (169). Yet Wilkins depiction of innocence in childr en is also strangely off-putting or even uncanny when the child is directly facing the reader. Unlike the boy on the cover of Prayers for Children the expression on the little girls face se nds mixed signals when combined with her chubby features. She stares directly off the cover but still does not meet the readers gaze, which keeps the reader from establishing a relationship with the child. Since her eyebrows are raised, causing a slight wrinkle in her forehead, and her bottom lip disappears into her top lip, as if she is quietly chewing on her bottom lip, the little girl looks quite worried. Her large blue eyes might be meant to convey kindness and warmth,11 but instead her eyes look vacant as if she has been fed a dose of childrens Nyquil to keep her quiet The combination of her eyes and eyebrows reveal that she is more concerned or afraid than curious about the church services taking place around her, since fear causes the face to open as the eyes widen, and the eyebrows lift and move towards each other (McNeill 182). Her chubby fingers, round eyes, and button nose might physically define her as an inno cent child, but the little girls expression be trays a level of fear and concern. What she is concer ned about is hard to determine, especially since she is not 11 In The Face Daniel McNeill points out that some features [like eyes] convey warmth and that large, Bambilike eyes seem kinder (169).
97 specifically depicted inside Wilkins Prayers for Children but her facial expressions could evoke similar feelings in wh omever views the cover. Probably the most well known book illustrated by Wilkin and the book most indicative of Wilkins portrayal of the innocent child is My Little Golden Book About God by Jane Werner Watson. First published in 1956 and still reprinted in various Little Golden Book formats today, My Little Golden Book About God attempts to explain the omnipotence of God at a childs level by mixing simple sentences such as God is Gr eat, God is Good, and God is Love with longer sentences detailing Gods movement in nature and eternal qualities. For example, according to the text the mountain peaks were cr umbling away with age before the first men lived on earth yet when they [the mountains] were raised up sharp and new/ God was there, too (Watson). Although this book never specifically mentions Jesus Christ or any other religious figures, it clearly focuses on a JudeoChristian image of God just like the other religionbased books in the Little Golden Books catalogue.12 On the cover of My Little Golden Book About God, a small girl with rosy, plump cheeks, blonde hair, and pudgy toddler finge rs gazes toward a purplish tulip she has plucked from the ground. A wreath of daisies crowns her head, and a bee gathers pollen from a blue flower nearby. Since all of her concentr ation is on examining the tulip, she is clearly unaware of the bee and also unaware that the reader could be examining her. By placing the girl on the front cover in a position that focuses on her profile, Wilkin remo ves any initial connectio n between the reader and the small girl since intimacy is lost when th e direct glance of both eyes is avoided (Brophy 28). Rather, it is easier to study other people with detachment if they are seen in profile, for 12 In addition to My Little Golden Book About God and Prayer for Children over the years the Little Golden Books have published various books based on Old Testament stories including Bible Stories of Boys and Girls Heroes of the Bible, and David and Goliath So far, stories culled from other religions have not been published as a Little Golden Book.
98 there is no meeting of the eyes no disconcerting clas h or communion of self-consciousnesses (Brophy 28). Since the girls eyes are in the proc ess of closing while she smells her tulip, even the potential for eye contact or communication of self-consciousness is removed. Here, the image demands that the reader focus on the childs physical characteristics of innocence by thoroughly negating any chance of l earning more about the small girl by peering into her eyes. The familiar, yet strangely off-putting, illustrations in My Little Golden Book About God have not stopped todays reader from enjoying the book, although on Amazon.com, several reviewers note that their preschoolers lost interest in the book s long sentences and antiquated word choices. The adult reviewers also not ed that they enjoye d rereading a book they nostalgically remember from their own childhoods Overall, the reviewers commented positively about the Wilkins illustrations, and only one pe rson pointed out that he r son did not like the baby doll-faced children because he found their eyes scary (Azuma). This comment about scary eyes is what makes Wilkins Little Go lden Book illustrations unique. The children she draws all carry the physical characteristics that mark the depic tion of an innocent child, but at the same time, these children lack the intangible flas h of excitement in their eyes that brings an illustration of a human for lack of a better word to life. The lack of emotion in Wilkins illustrations is viscerally disturbing because sm all children in real life exude a variety of emotions with little to no self-censorship of their faces. If face signals truly are univ ersal, as argued by McNeil, then the faces depicted on the children in My Little Golden Book About God carry more weight and mean ing than the text itself. Even as the text reassures the re ader that Gods love provides co mfort and protects children from harm, only one child on one page looks as if she is enjoying herself as she st ands in the rain with her face upturned and her mouth open catching rai ndrops. Even though she is visually centered
99 in the foreground of the illustration on a dirt pa th that draws attention to her presence, her body height barely occupies the bottom half of the pa ge. The tall, thin trees on either side of her coupled with the downward motion of the raindrops also brings her to the center of the readers focus. But, the girl is standing in profile with her eyes closed, so she is still visually closed off to the reader, which means that the reader can examin e, but not participate, in this childs moment of joy as she appreciates t he needed rain (Watson). The first time that the reader sees a childs full face in My Little Golden Book About God rather than the childs profile or the back of the hea d, a little boy and girl walk hand in hand up a small dirt road towards the reader. As discus sed earlier, the two children visually connote a heterosexual balance, which is a characteristic of innocence employed by the Little Golden Books. Moreover, children have pink, chubby chee ks, pert little noses, and pudgy knees, which are easily identifiable with a quick glance as physical marker of innocence. The position of the path not only leads the children to the bottom ri ght of the illustration, bu t also encourages the reader to turn the page. As noted by Perry Nodelman in Words About Pictures, we usually assume that figures of characters pointed towa rds the right are moving forward and so we as readers move forward with them in order to find out what happens ne xt (Nodelman 163). The sentence at the top of the page similarly encour ages page turning because it begins on the facing page and breaks before it ends: so that now, fo r a day of play and work/ we face the sunlight, then we turn away (Watson). In order to find out what we are turn[ing] away from or to, the reader could even move on to the next pa ge without examining the illustration since the sentence ends before the picture begins. If the reader stops to linger ove r the picture, though, she or he will notice that neither of the childre n is smiling, nor do their eyes contain any white
100 around their irises. Their faces do not register any emotions other than a slight disinterest and even that is minimal.13 Several pages later, the image of a young girl holding up a teacup de mands the readers attention since she is facing left on the left side of a two-page spread. Her position on the page, with her back to the gutter of the book, provides a visual stopping block for the reader, unlike the left to right movement of the path discussed ab ove. A grandmotherly figu re, possibly the girls own grandmother, pours tea into the girls cup. Not only is the body of the figure positioned in the same direction as the childs another visual stopping block, but the grandmothers body also fills the background of the illustration and bleeds off the edges of the page. Even as the position of the little girl demand the readers a ttention, the teapot from which the grandmother pours tea is nearly the same size as the girls head and serves to focus attention on the little girls chubby cheeks, round eyes, and fine, blonde hair. Once again, this girl is not smiling even though her lips naturally upturn slightly, and her eyes do not s how a glimmer of emotion. Nor does the girl reflect that God is in all the love we feel/ for playmates and family and friends since she looks as if she does not feel anything at all (Watson). Since the black type of the sentence on the page basically melts into the bl ack dress the grandmother wears, the image and text can easily be viewed holistically.14 The girls lack of interest is heightened by the fact that she is staring blankly off the front left side of the page, rather than watching the tea being poured into the cup she holds. As explained by Nodelman, words and pictures give up different insights 13 The next page does not add any more information to their emotions since it reveals the same two children from behind walking back down the path at night. They must have spent part of their day picking flowers since the girl wears a ring of them around her head. The little boy also hol ds a bouquet of flowers in the crook of his free arm. His other arm is wrapped around the girls wrist. 14 In Words About Pictures Nodelman argues that the alternation be tween words and pictures requires constant switches between two different ways of seeing from a pattern of left-to-right and top-to-bottom scanning to a much less regulated consciousness of holistic form and then back again (243).
101 into the same events so that the reader must constantly go back and reinterpret the pictures followed by go[ing] back and reinterpret[ing] th e text again (243). He re, the sentence about the love we feel and the image of an emoti onless girl continually demand reinterpretation in the context of each other and creat e an ambiguous subtext that c ould leave the reader confused even as the physical features of innocence create delight. The most striking and yet disconcerting image in My Little Golden Book About God is of a little blonde girl whose hands rest underneath her chin as she stares directly at the reader, unlike the other images where the children avoid eye cont act. First of all, by staring directly at the reader, the blonde girl not only makes the reader feel uncomfortable for in truding, but also forces the reader to look away from the illustration. Through her stare, the reader changes from a voyeur of the illustration to a participant. As observed by McNeill, staring is generally considered a rude behavior since it invades others, psychologically a nd physiologically (230). The description that McNeill further attaches to the act of staring perfectly describes how this blonde girls stare is b latant, persistent, often blank, and unr esponsive to the acts of its target (McNeill 230). Secondly, the little girls brow n eyes completely lack irises. Included in the illustration are two small white spots where her ey es reflect a nearby light, but where her irises should be is a barely discernable smear of light er brown. These are the scary eyes that the Amazon.com reviewer referred to in her comments. The illustration of the girl floats on a white background above two longer sentences in which the reader is told that God gives us a small still voice in our hearts as well as hopes and wishes and dreams (Watson). Yet in interpreting and reinterpreting the messages between the illustration and the text, the r eader is left wondering if the little girl hears that small still voice or has any dreams since throughout history the eyes have been connected to the inner workings of a person. If, as stat ed by Cicero, the eyes reveal the
102 contents of a persons mind or, as written by Melv ille, the eyes are the gateway to the soul, then the little blonde girls mind and soul must be as blank as her eyes. American Innocence The imm ediate success of the L ittle Golden Books in 1942 lay in their ability to tap into the image of the innocent child that had alrea dy entered American society through picture books and print advertisements. As noted by Higonnet, Bessie Pease Gutmann (1876-1960) helped set the standard for the image of the innocent, wi de-eyed, and healthy white child in America. During her working years, she produced over 600 prints and illustrated numerous books including a 1907 version of Lewis Carrolls Alices Adventures in Wonderland. Her illustrations of innocent children at play or sleeping became a regular part of nursery decorations, postcards, calendars, and print advertisements. While almo st all of her artwork depicts a white, chubby, pink-cheeked child with a wisp of curly hair, she also occasionally drew an African American baby with the same characteristics, except for skin color, that can be seen in the 1926 print titled My Honey. Alongside Gutmann stands the artwork of Maud Humphrey (1865-1940) whose prolific work as an illustrator15 is usually overshadowed by the fact that she gave birth to Humphrey Bogart and used him as a child model for her early drawings. In her illustrations for Ivory soap advertisements such as My Busy Day (1898), the child washing her dollies and their clothes takes center stage, and Ivorys name is only seen on the bar of soap she uses. Even though the little girl drawn in th e Ivory advertisement is busily mimicking her mothers everyday chores, her rounded features, small stature, and smiling eyes betray no hint of adult worry or fatigue. The little girl clearly enjoys her current activities that will eventually be required of her on an almost daily basis when she is an adult. Humphrey also illustrated popular picture books, 15 Both of these American artists Gutmann and Hum phrey benefited from an advance in color-printing techniques, which allowed for more de pth of color in each print and larger more cost efficient print runs.
103 among them Babes of the Year (1888) filled with illustrations of winsome toddlers and Mother Goose (1891) in which common nursery rhymes like L ittle Miss Muffet sit next to images of rosy-cheeked, plump, white children with curly hair. As pointed out in A. M. Sperber and Eric Laxs biography about Humphrey Bogart simply titled Bogart Humphrey was earning close to $50,000 a year by the age of 27 and was nicknamed the American Kate Greenaway due to the popularity of her illustrations of innocent children. Early in the 20th Century, the images of the innocent white child reached consumers nationwide through advertisements in popular mag azines and incorporated a rhetorical strategy of depicting All-Americanness. For example, Ivor ys use of the innocent child image did not end with Humphreys illustrations Rather, Ivorys advertising campaigns focused on convincing women that they, too, could have skin as soft as a babys by showing images of bubbly, wideeyed babies next to women with clear co mplexions. One 1930s advertisement printed in magazines like Ladies Home Journal Good Housekeeping and the Saturday Evening Post announces that Ivory persuaded a few of Ameri cas youngest bathing beautie s to pose so that the consumer can see the most eminent living authorities on keep ing a clear complexion (Come into a Beauty Conference). Noticeably, the babies on the page are all illustrations drawn by Dorothy Hope Smith, who two years earlier ha d sketched the widely popular image of Ann Turner Cook, the first Gerber Baby. Quite reminiscent of the Gerber Baby, every one of Americas youngest bathing beauties is ivory white with chubby pink cheeks, a gurgling smile, and a wisp of strawberry blonde hair. American reliance on expert opinion is also highlighted through this advertisement in that the bathing beauties are living authorities on skin care. A second 1930 Ivory soap print advertisement th at aligns clean, white children with being all-American showcases a drawing of a pink-ch eeked, blue-eyed baby peeking over a pillow of
104 clouds. The body of the advertisement states that the child must demand his rights as an American because Ivory foam is as light as the clouds youre resting upon (To the Babies). By placing this child within the framework of hi s rights as an American, the advertisement further standardizes how an American child should look. This same ad points out that the reader wont have to be a gold-spoon baby to enjoy Ivory soap (To the Babies). In other words, the American child does not have to be a socially elite child to enjoy clear, soft skin, but the American child should at least be a white child. According to Brophy, the childs character, at least so far as it is visible in the face, is unfor med, all possibilities and alternatives (202). This particular print ad encapsulates many of the common cultural va lues that the image of the innocent child connotes in the early 20th century, including an air of innocence, true-blooded Americanism, and middle or working class stan ding. From a societal psychological standpoint, the occurrence of the child motif [in any form] signifies as a rule an anticipation of future developments as stated by Carl Jung in Essays on a Science of Mythology (83). By producing images of the innocent child untouched by adult knowledge, the American public was able to focus on the health and the well being of the pr esent and future state of American society. Changing Faces and Racial Diversity The lack of racial diversity in the Little Golden B ooks was not uncommon for mainstream picture books published in the 1940s and 1950s. For example, one of the largest nation-wide controversies surrounding a picture book occurr ed in 1958 when Garth Williams illustrated a white bunny marrying a black bunny in The Rabbits Wedding As pointed out by Werner Sollors in Neither Black Nor White Yet Both the presence of the categories black/male and white/female helped to override the species difference between the books subjects and its readers which caused a backlash against the book since interracial marriage was still illegal in more than half of the United States (19). Desp ite the national need for change that the Civil
105 Rights Movement brought to the forefront of Americas cultural consci ousness in the 1950s and 1960s, the Little Golden Books have continuously and dominantly presented images of the ideal, white child while marginalizing multiethnic illustrations. The early images of predominately white children in the Little Golden Books stand in stark contrast to an assertion made by Little Go lden Books author Rose Wyler who in a 1998 interview claimed that the early Little Golden Books showed a commitment to racial diversity and rejected racism (Mickenberg 313-14n76). In the early to mid-20th Century when racial diversity included a variety of European immigrants, the Little Golden Books company did show a commitment to rejecting racism by hi ring talented artists wh o haled from various countries like Feodor Rojankovsky from Russia, Tibor Gergely from Austria, and Gustaf Tenggren from Sweden. Moreover, the Little Golden Books did not publish any stories where white children or adults tormented non-white ch ildren or where differe nt ethnicities fought against each other. Even the Native Americans a nd the cowboys learn to work together in the Little Golden Books about the Old West. Yet, the early Little Golden Books themselves do not exhibit racial diversity as a whole since their focus remained on the white child as the ideal of America, and the earliest books do not include a variety of ethnicities in the illustrations themselves. In the 1940s and 1950s, a handful of Little Go lden Books focused on American Indians, but none of these books showcased an Indian child with chubby chee ks or round eyes, the physical attributes of innocence. Rather, each books storyline revolved around a boy coming of age or the conflicts and resolutions between American Indian s and various cowboys or settlers. In Charles Spain Verrals Broken Arrow (1957), Aquila, an Apache Indian, breaks an arrow with a white boy on the frontier as a sign of friendship af ter the white boy saves his life by distracting
106 a bobcat. During the story, both boys feel conflicted about whether or not they should help the enemy, but they each look beyond the others skin color in order to save the one who is in trouble. When the Pawnee try to at tack the Cheyenne in Verrals Brave Eagle (1957), one of the Pawnee shoots an arrow at a huge eagle that is guarding the mountain pass. As the eagle falls, young Keena and Morning Star run to warn the rest of the tribe of the attack. After driving back the Pawnee, Brave Eagle climbs the mountain cliff to rescue the wounded eagle and nurse it back to health. Rather than being presented as an amorphous group of brown people, each American Indian tribe is referred to by na me, and individuals within each tr ibe are marked as distinct from each other. A handful of other Little Golden Books about the Wild West include, but do not necessarily focus on, American I ndians as in Irwin Shapiros Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955) and Gladys Wyatts Buffalo Bill Jr. (1956). Even though settlers and American Indians work together in many of these books, the ev entual destruction of the tribes by American expansionism casts a shadow over these moments of recognition and understanding. Printed concurrently with these books that fo cus on American Indians are another handful of Little Golden Books in which a white male child dresses up as an Indian in a game of pretend. In these books, the child is not exploring a pot ential career, but instead is playing out the stereotypical connotations sometimes applied to American Indians that were not seen in the previously discussed books. While the books depi cting American Indian adolescents show a semblance of understanding between two cultures, these books in wh ich a white child pretends to be an Indian focuses on mainta ining the status quo of white American superiority. In Hilda K. Willams Up in the Attic: A Story in ABC (1948), Ted climbs the stairs into the attic instead of going to bed at his bedtime. Once in the attic, he dresses up as an Indian and plays until he scares himself in a mirror. Published in 1958, Jacks Adventure by Edith Thacher Hurd is about a
107 boy named Jack who builds a hideout where he can pl ay cowboys and Indians, after he is kicked out of his fathers garage and his mothers garden shed. Then, in Kathryn Hittes Im an Indian Today (1961), little John decides that he will BE an Indian in the Old Wild West for an entire day of play. As the day progresses, though, he realizes that he has to ignore all non-Indian distractions such as a peanut butter sandwich or a bicycle since those items presumably did not exist in Native American culture. By the end, John realizes that his white suburban neighborhood is significantly bette r than being an American Indian. In these books, Native American culture is presented as a source of amusement and strength since Ted, Jack, and John all want to be Indians. It is also a source of terror since Teds own dressed up reflection sends him downstairs to bed while Jack and John both try to scare others with their Indian attributes. But in the end, all of the boys return to and greatly appreciate their rightful place as white American children. Since, according to the Little Golden Book Fun with Decals (1952), the Little Golden Books are meant to acquaint the child with the lives of people around him [or her] and extend his [or her] awareness of the world, the reader might expect to see a myriad of children with different ethnic backgrounds. This potential exp ectation is especially reinforced by the location of the publishing house, since a variety of peopl e walk the streets of New York where the publishing house resides (Nast). Instead, a survey of Little Golden Book covers from 1942 to 2004 reveals that only five of them show a child who is black or of African descent: Little Black Sambo (1948), Corkys Hiccups (1973), Just Watch Me: Funny Things To Do and Be (1975), My Kindergarten Counting Book (1995), and The Boy and the Tigers (2004). Quite noticeably, a twenty-year gap exists betw een the first publication of Little Black Sambo in the late 1940s and next two books to feature African American ch ildren in the 1970s. A nother twenty years pass before a fourth Little Golden Book with an African American child on the front cover is
108 published. Then ten more years separate the publication of My Kindergarten Counting Book and The Boy and the Tigers Technically, though, the number of b ooks that feature African American children on the front cover should only be four since The Boy and the Tiger is a re-illustrated version of Helen Bannermans Little Black Sambo which is the earliest Little Golden Book to feature a child with dark skin as the protagonis t. Often banned in the United States, this story, originally written about a child in India by a Br itish author, has recently been claimed by the African American community which has led to a renaming of the st ory with new illustrations as seen in The Boy and the Tigers with illustrations by Valeria Petrone. African Americans are not completely ab sent from the Little Golden Books, though. Nonwhite adult men do at times appear as small, darker, blurry porters who scurry around with other peoples luggage at the tr ain station in several early Little Golden Books, like in the background illustrations of The Taxi That Hurried In Marion Congers All Aboard! (1952), when Molly and her mother take the train west from New York towards Buffalo and Albany to visit Mollys grandmother, they are helped by a variety of smartly dressed African American porters and cooks. Although they look dignified in their white jacket uniforms and are treated with respect by Molly and her mother, these Litt le Golden Book images indicate that African Americans are only allowed on the train to serv e the white traveler. Mollys plump cheeks, blonde curls, and ready smile physically depict her inherent innocence, which is further emphasized when she mistakenly assumes that the train belongs to the people who work on it. After thanking the porter for brushing off her clothe s and shining her shoes, she says Id like to stay on your train forever [my emphasis] (Conger). Even as relatively recently as 1983, the Fire Fighters Counting Book by Polly Curren includes only one African American man on the fire fighting squad. As side and background characters, these depictions of dark brown, adult,
109 African America males contrast greatly with the very pale women and children they are often helping. Throughout the decades a handful of Little Golden Books illustrations have been revised to include African American children. Picture books originally publis hed in the 1950s like My Little Golden Book About God, depicted only white children, but in 1974 two illustrations with African American children drawn by Wilkin replaced two of the original illustrations of white children. In one illustration, a little Afri can American boy and girl hold hands while standing on the beach staring at seagulls under th e words For GOD IS GOOD (Wat son). The second replacement illustration contains a close-up of an African American child, who is holding flowers and wearing an orange winter cap. Sh e, too, has the same perfectly r ound eyes without pupils that are Wilkins signature characteristic In 2005, Golden Books released Prayers For Children as a larger board book, with a combination of selections from My Little Golden Book About God and Prayers for Children as part of A Toddler Treasury se ries. This particular book shows two additional images of African Americans in its 35 pages: one saying a blessing over a bowl of oatmeal, and one sleeping with a teddy bear. Si nce the illustrations depicting black children simply replaced a white child wi th a black child while not cha nging the rest of the composition, white children and black children did not, and stil l do not, coexist within the same illustration in this particular Little Golden Book. Visually, the images imply that black children and white children can praise God, but should not do so together. If, as Nodelman suggests, the visual in formation on covers of books forms the foundation for our response to the rest of the book, then the covers of the Little Golden Books confirm the dominance of white culture over other cultures in the United States, whether the books were published in the 1940s, 1980s, or today ( 49). On cover art alone, not only are African
110 American children noticeably absent from the Li ttle Golden Books catalogue, but children of Asian or Hispanic descent are also marginalized. Eileen Dalys Just Watch Me: Funny Things To Do and Be (1975) shows a montage of children playing. Mixed in with the white children are one African American child who is either singing or yelling, sinc e her hands are around her mouth like a megaphone, and one child who might be As ian American but her ethnic heritage is unclear. Pat Vissers Feelings From A to Z (1979) also shows a montage of children on the cover, one of whom is an Asian American16 girl and another of whom has very black straight hair and cocoa brown skin which means he c ould be Native American, Hispanic, or possibly Indian. On the cover of Margo Lundells My Kindergarten Counting Book (1995) four children parade across a room holding large squares with numbers on them. An Asian American boy with a number two sign marches next to an African Am erican girl who is holding the number three. The remaining two children are wh ite. In all of the above exam ples, African American children and white children are easily identified in Little Golden Books illustrations by their skin color, but the rest of the children, even children w ith almond shaped eyes, tend towards a vaguely indistinct, catchall ethnic ity reminiscent of the models17 featured in todays United Colors of Benetton advertisements. The briefest inclusion of racially diverse chil dren interacting with each other can be most readily found in Little Golden Books publishe d after 1970 where ethnic children speckle the 16 Of note is that in all of these L ittle Golden Books children from Asia ar e drawn with almond shaped eyes, which are distinct from the perfectly round eyes shown on other children, instead of a stereotypical and racist slanting slit often seen in caricatures. 17 In this, the images of the ethnic childrenneither black, nor whiteportrayed in the Little Golden Books coincide with the emergence of a similar idealized beauty standard created by high fashion marketing after the 1970s. As noted by Marilyn Halter in Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity neither the classic blueeyed blonde nor the African queen ar e gracing the covers of fashion mag azines in the United States (178). Accordingly, todays idealized beauty standard is a mlange of off-white features and khaki tones (Halter 178). While the use of khaki tones remains a salient marketing strategy for the beauty and fashion industry, it clearly does not hold the same importance for the Little Golden Books whose audience still consists primarily of the white consumers that make up three-quarters of Americas population.
111 illustrations like chocolate chips in a sugar cookie. While Lets Go, Trucks! (1973) by David Harrison focuses on the importance of trucks and large moving vehicles, illustrator Bill Dugan included an African American girl who is holding hands with a taller, white girl and watching the trash truck [eat] trash w ith a hungry roar (Harrison). Three pages later, white, Asian American, and African American children race to wards the ice cream mans truck that is dinga-linging down the street (Harrison). Here we se e a diverse group of chil dren interacting with each other in public, unlike in the Prayers for Children illustrations. In th e middle of Watsons ABC For Christmas (1974) with illustrations by Sally Augistiny, an Asian family sits in a Catholic or Episcopalian church pew and the text reads N is for Noel. On R is for Rose a Hispanic boy with brownish skin and dark hair offers his mother a rose. A clue as to their ethnicity is the piata lying in the ba ckground of the illustration. Inside Vissers Feelings From A to Z (1979), a variety of children including African American, Asian American and Hispanic children, express what they are feeling in the hope s that, according to a note from the editors, this text will be the start of a very special conversati on (Visser). For example, next to Dd is the sentence Donna feels daring, and the illustration shows a black child balancing on the top of a white, wooden fence while another black child watches her (Visser). Noticeably, in Feelings From A to Z and other Little Golden Books, even children who represent ethnic diversity carry common, nondescript names such as Donna, Julie, Norman, Ruth, Sue, and Vera rather than Julio or So Hee, which evokes images of white, middle class children and fl attens the impact of their diversity. Clearly, the depiction of ethnically diverse children is the exception in the Little Golden Books catalogue, not the norm. Today if we examine a display rack of Little Golden Books, the books based on Dora the Explorer or her cousin Diego might leap out as being both multicultural and inclusive because
112 they are Hispanic and bilingual. But, Dora and Diego do not quite fit the parameters of this discussion about the characteristics of arch etypal innocence since th ey are both cartoon characters. Their faces are styli zed and therefore do not attempt to capture the nuances found in the face of a real child. Like a token person of color on a televisi on show, Dora and Diego are an exception rather than a rule of the faces depicted in the Little Golden Books. This nod towards diversity is a product of cross marketing and ch aracter licensing, not or iginal story lines or illustration choices made by the Little Golden Books If we look to the Little Golden Books as a guide to society, then we see a catalogue of books dominated by white protagonists with the occasional representation of ethnic diversity. By investing and reinvesting in these white images, the Little Golden Books maintain the foundation on which their child rens book industry was first built and continues to grow. The republicat ion of the earliest books from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s as part of the current Classics Little Golden Books catalogue only serves to highlight the supposedly desirable white child who still charms readers by combining an idyllic image of suburban, middle class life w ith an archetypal innocence.
113 CHAPTER 5 THE HAPPY FAMILY: GENDER DIVI DES AND THE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS By focusing prim arily on the image of the wh ite, innocent child and marginalizing ethnic diversity, the Little Golden Books both reinforce and preser ve the patriarchal nuclear family values that dominated white suburban America in the 1940s and 1950s. In this setting, black Americans existed on the fringes of the middle-cl ass family ideal and other races did not exist at all (May 13). As Elaine Tyler May points out in her book Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era even though fertility rates across all of America p eaked during the baby boom regardless of ethnicity, the values of the white middle class shaped the dominant political and economic institutions that affected all Americans (May 13). The American dream of home ownership, underwrit ten by mortgage policies and highway systems, seemingly facilitated the dispersal of the white middle class into the suburb s which contributed to a de facto segregation (May 170). In The Way We Really Are, Stephanie Coontz further explor es how segregation became the default in the suburbs when she argues that th e move to the suburbs was a move away from racial and political tension, a retreat from social activism, and a development of local community through repression or exclusion (Co ontz 39). Essentially in the United States, the white, middle class population avoided extrinsic integration laws, either consciously or inadvertently, by moving to the suburbs and creating homogenous communities that intrinsically excluded African Americans.1 1 Some towns were more obvious in their exclusionary practices since some white communities allowed African Americans and other races to pass throug h town, but only during the day. Passi ng through the same towns after dark invited harassment and possible lynching. For more about this part of Americas history read Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen.
114 The movement of white Americans into the s uburbs also facilitate d the polarization of gender roles since women were more likely to stay home while men traveled farther distances to work. The suburbs did not initially offer women the same social opportunities and freedom of movement they could experience in an urban setting. In her book Suburban Lives, Margaret Marsh makes clear that cities gave women scop e since places like depa rtment stores often provided lounges and dining rooms where they [w omen] could meet their friends for lunch, or rest or read (Marsh 73). Sometimes these larg er department stores even provided childcare which freed mothers from their children for a fe w hours and allowed more leisure time in the store for shopping or meeting casually with other women. Moving to the suburbs also turned men from walkers into commuters who took a train, bus, or car into the city center to work every day. These aspects of white middle-class suburba n American life were mirrored by the children in the Little Golden Books who playacted the bread-winning male (boys only) and the homemaking female (girls only). The world, as presented by the Little Golden Books, can more easily be explained by examining the context in which gender roles, child rearing, and the family became solidified in mid-20th century America. Educating Parents And Educating Children Woven throughout the gendered representati ons of m ommies, daddies, and innocent children in the Little Golden Books is a consta nt anxiety not only about whether the child is being raised properly under the flag of democracy, but also a bout who to go to for parenting advice. In Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children Ann Hulbert explores the high levels of anxiety that plagued mothers and fathers throughout every decade of the 20th Century. Hulbert asserts that n ever has this concern [about raising children] been as intense, as self-conscious, and as publicly debated as during the past hundred years (Hulbert 4). In Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America, Peter Stearns
115 argues that the century of the child2 became a century of anxiety about the child and about parents own adequacy (Stearns 1). Both of th ese texts posit that this parental anxiety is reinforced by the plethora of child rearing pamphlets produced during the 20th Century that caused parents to question their obligation to beli eve the advice of older family members rather than experts in the field. Psychol ogists and educators engendered f ear in parents as early as 1904 when G. Stanley Hall published Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education In this landmark two-volume set, Hall explores facets of American life that he deemed key to understanding adolescents. His findings not only firmly establis hed adolescents as se parate beings from adults, but also helped instigate a widespread social fear of adolescents breaking societys taboos during puberty. To combat this potential of youth gone wild, between 1914 and 1921, the federal Childrens Bureau issued a million and a half Infant Care bulletins in the hopes that a properly raised baby would not turn into an unruly adol escent (Hulbert 11). These regimented Infant Care bulletins curtly prescribed milk formulas, schedules, and not [to] play with the baby (Hulbert 11). Emerging in 1926, Children: The Magazine for Parents soon renamed Parents Magazine, brought child rearing strategies a nd expert advice directly into the American home on a monthly basis. Whether or not parents actually read Parents Magazine is difficult to determine, but the magazines continued subscripti on sales throughout the 1930s and 40s attests to its popularity.3 During the 1930s, parenting advice on how to treat a newborn shifted from adhering to schedules and minimizing interact ions with the child to maxi mizing the amount of time spent 2 In 1909, feminist reformer Ellen Key published The Century of the Child which in that year became a best-selling book and whose title was applied to the dawning 20th Century. 3 According to a chart on the Parents.com web site, in Dece mber 2006 the circulation figures for Parents Magazine reached 2,200,000 subscriptions ( Circulation Leader ).
116 interacting with the child. The leading manual writers on parenti ng started insisting that the vulnerable child, male or female, needed coddling not denial (Stearns 24). These same manuals brought the role of the father into ques tion during this time of shifting American values because mothers and psychologists demanded that th e absentee father was also needed in the home to fully meet the childs various social and psychological needs. As pointed out by Julia Grant in Raising Baby by the Book: The Education of American Mothers whereas mothers willingly accepted personal responsibility for th e well-being of their child, fathers placed the responsibility for raising the child on the commun ity or society as a whol e which had previously allowed fathers the freedom to be absent from their childs life4 (Grant 172). Thus, parenting choices in the 1930s were fueled by behavioris ts who, in the decade before, explored the possibilities of nature versus nurture by observing children inte racting in controlled clinical situations. American psychologists like Dr. Arnold Gesell who published The Mental Growth of the Pre-School Child (1925) and Dr. John B. Watson who published Behaviorism (1925) and Psychological Care of Infant and Child (1928) also examined the vulnerability of a childs psyche as interpreted from the work of Sigmund Freud. By the 1940s, objects like balls, dolls, and bicycles carefully placed in advertisements r eflect[ed] the importance that parents attached to finding the right vehicles a nd objects to encourage their ch ildrens development (Kline 59). Underlying all of these helpful messages and expert advice about proper child rearing was the fear that a child could easily be flawed for life or develop adult psyc hological complexes by a wrong parenting choice. 4 This all changed, of course, when women with children started to carve out their own space for personal time in order to step away from the singular definition of mom and acquire multiple self-definitions based on hobbies, interests, careers, and other personal identities.
117 Relatively soon after the Little Golden Books were first published in 1942, Dr. Spocks The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1945) gained popularity as an important guide for rearing a child. According to Hulbert, one key to Spocks appeal in a Cold War era preoccupied with security and harmony was his ability to find a middle ground in child rearing by offering up options based on multiple circumstan ces (Hulbert 12). Yet, multiple options could lead to more parental anxiety since parents wanted explicit directions to achieve the perfect child. A choice based on multiple circumstances still leaves room for mistakes. For example, in Spocks book, mothers are to ld that they should reduce their childrens fear of being abandoned at nursery school by slowly introducing them into the school environment until they create bonds with the teachers and other students, but how slowly and whether bonds are created is left to the discretion of the parents. Parents are also admonish ed to not push a child too hard especially if they suspect that his or her IQ is not as high as the parent would hope or expect, but exactly how hard is too hard? Even though both of these edicts are meant to easily alleviate pressure placed on the child, in actuality they rais e the anxiety levels of parents who, in order to complete such tasks, must constantly question their own choices. Since information about the importance of educa tion or even reading at home, which is key to this study of the Little Go lden Books, is not addressed in the 1945 edition of Spocks child care manual, todays reader could assume that read ing to children or even teaching children to read was not considered an important part of child rearing at home. But this assumption overlooks Spocks entry on comics. Here, he allays the parental fear that comic books and comic strips will ruin their childr ens taste for good reading (Spoc k 320). Spock argues that comic books and comic strips are the stepping-stones between stories that replicate the grown-up occupations that they see around them and m ore sophisticated reading (Spock 320-21). The
118 Little Golden Books are not comic books, nor are they what Spock would categorize as sophisticated reading for olde r children. Yet, many of the Little Golden Books in the 1940s and today do replicate the grown-up occupations that children see and experience every day in their own parents and in other adults in the neighborhood. As argued by Sharyl Bender Paterson and Mary Alyce Lach in the Gender Stereotypes in Childre ns Books, all picture books provide children with role models and clear images that prescribe for the children what they can and should be like when they grow up (Paterso n). When children in the early Little Golden Books practice being adults, the si tuations they imagine themselv es in primarily reflect gender specific roles that are meant to prepare them for public and private spheres in the 1940s and 1950s. Mothers and Fathers in the 1940s and 1950s During W orld War II, much of the propaganda aimed at women with children concluded that their first priority was to be stellar mothers in the home even if they also worked outside of the home. This expectation was emphasized in 1944 when J. Edgar Hoover placed the onus of responsibility for the home front on women with ch ildren in Mothers Our Only Hope, an article about a womans patriotic duty to her coun try and for her children. In the Little Golden Books from this era, mothers remain in the home ra ther than go to work, are readily available for their children, and only leave the house to r un household errands. The women we see in the Little Golden Books are either moms or wives. They are neither factor y workers nor airplane pilots, and never are they childless. Thus, the child reader only sees the stereotypical limitations placed on women and not the realities of wo men in the working world during the 1940s. Additionally, whoever reads a Lit tle Golden Book to a child is learning the basis of good mothering by seeing representations of what a mother should prim arily be doing for her children. These national images of mothers and wives reve al the naturalization of strict gender divisions
119 by the 1950s. Indeed, images of the happy housewif e and mother were taken as evidence that American housewives were more satisfied than the unfeminine Soviet women, who worked in mens jobs and left their children in institutionalized daycare (Mickenberg 180). Concurrently, the reader of a Little Golden Book in the 1940s and 1950s sees how a mother should also treat her husband, since a woman who is single would not (or should not) have any children in the Little Golden Books world. Established in the early 1940s, these traits both in the Little Golden Books and in American society continue to ch aracterize and sterilize images of the woman as mother because a good mother equals a good wife. According to Anne Kingston in The Meaning of Wife advertisements that encouraged working mothers to return to their homes after World War II e levated [housework] to a gesture of love and support rather than simply chores that needed to be done (K ingston 78). Yet, engaging [a wifes] attention with contests, the latest mod-cons [modern conve niences], and elaborate recipes in order to keep her in the home did not exactly pan out since the 1950s show even more women in the workforce than in previous years (Kingston 78). Thus the image of the mom and wife presented in the Little Golden Books might have reflected the ideal of what white American society wanted or expected, but the Little Golden Books image did not necessarily present the actualities of women in the United States. When families started moving to the suburbs, a type of male domesticity emerged which is also reflected in several family-centered Li ttle Golden Books. In opposition to female domesticity, an image fraught with the drudgery of housework, a man who shows interest in the domestic sphere does not come home from work in order to change the beds, wash a few loads of laundry, and clean the living room. A husband might s how a greater interest in the details of how the entire household operates, but his household pa rticipation primarily cons isted of chores like
120 gardening that took him away from indoor housew ork. In her exploration of suburban families, Marsh describes masculine domesticity as the following: Masculine domesticity is a behavioral model in which fathers agreed to take on increased responsibility for some of the day-to-day tasks of bringing up children and spend their time way from work in playing with their sons and daughters, teaching them, taking them on trips he took a significantly greater intere st in the details of running the household and caring for the children than his father had been expect ed to take. (Marsh 76) A man immersed in this beha vioral model does not want to simply be a father who stands on the side line, he wants to be a daddy who actively participates in his childrens lives as soon as they are old enough to not need a diaper changed or a bottle warmed. In taking a stronger interest in their familys lives, these men regularly spent free time with their own wives rather than their business partners. Moreover, these suburban daddies regularly took their families on vacation, spent more time with their ch ildren, physically maintained their own yards, and manually repaired whatever broke around th eir houses. By spending more time bringing up the children, these dads could openly prevent Momism, a term coined in by Philip Wylie in Generation of Vipers (1942). In this book, Wylie critiques Americas lifestyle complacency and encourages fathers to ensure that their sons w ould not grow up to be effeminate or smothered under their mothers care.5 In the world of Little Golden Books, much like in American society during the 1940s and 1950s, dads are attentive to the exterior portion of their home when something is in need of repair, but the majority of interior domestic work and child rearing falls on the shoulders of moms and wives. 5 In a chapter titled Common Women, Wylie rails against mothers in American culture and establishes the term momism. For example he write that social clubs afford mom an infinite opportunity for nosing into other people's business. Knowing nothing about medicine, art, science, religion, law, sanitation, civics, hygiene, psychology, morals, history, geography, poetry, literature or any other topic except the all consuming one of momism, she seldom has any especial interest in what, ex actly, she is doing as a memb er of any of these endless organizations, so long as it is something (Wylie 203-04).
121 The delineated domestic space and gender specific roles exemplified in the Little Golden Books during wartime and the 1950s reflected th e dominant perception of prescribed gender roles that formed the basis of childrens popul ar culture through comics, film, and radio. Moreover, these images of popular culture consiste ntly reinforced that it was great to be young and an American (Homme 31). Right before the start of World War II, comic books with overtly masculine heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Hawkman infiltrated childrens reading habits. According to William M. Tuttle in The Homefront Childrens Popular Culture, there were at least different comics books selling 20 million copies each month to a mass readership that did not divide down gender lines (Tuttle 159). Of notable exception in this male dominated field of comic books is Wonder Woman, the Amazonian warrior who honed her skills in trai ning with her sisters on Paradise Island, their home (Tuttle 160). As Tuttle points out, Wonder Woman promoted a feminist message as she fought the Axis spies and proudly wore red, white, and blue. In one particular episode, Wonder Woman teaches the values of self-worth and agency to a woman named Prudence who then declares that she has learned [her] lesson and that from now on, [shell] rely on [herself], not a man (Tuttle 160). In this, Wonder Woman s explicit message worked against dominant popular culture images by aligning itself with th e actualities of women in the work force. In contrast, a super woman image from which to learn self-reliance or independence outside of the home does not exist in the Little Golden Books. Even though World War II brought an increa se in working women who filled in the positions left by men going overseas, at the end of the war, millions of middle-class American families [took] the path towards polarized gender roles with the wife in the home and the husband working outside of the home (May 38). In contrast to films that featured strong,
122 independent, single women who work ed outside of the home, certain romantic movies (attended by both adults and children) such as Since You Went Away (1944) promoted the gender specific imagery of the passive female wife and the active male husband during the war. In this particular film, the woman diligently and longingly waits in her home with their two children for her man to return from the war. Ameri cas women participated in the national defense, but in popular culture the institutions that they defended were their traditional domains: romance and marriage, the family and the home (Tuttle 161). When no t broadcasting news about the war, the radio featured predominantly male action heroes in programs like The Shadow and Jack Armstrong the All American Boy and single female da ytime serial stars in programs like Our Gal Sunday and Portia Faces Life. As with war time films, these radio programs promoted gender divisions through sex-typing. Desp ite the sheer number of wome n who entered the work force and the armed services during World War II, war time popular culture still promoted the imagery of the stay at home mom, of the distressed da msel in need of rescue, and of the womans desperate need for a husband. Mommies and Daddies in the Little Golden Books All of the ex amples of the at-home mother and the at-work father as we ll as other divisions by gender in the Little Golden Books are too numer ous to examine in detail in this space. The following books from the 1940s and 1950s are us ed not only because they contain strong representative examples of gender-based divisions in the Little Golden Books, but also because they have each been republished (and in some cases revised) in the last twelve years: The New Baby (1948) by Ruth and Harold Shane, Guess Who Lives Here (1949) by Louise Woodcock, Susies New Stove: The Little Chefs Cookbook (1950) by Annie North Bedford, Daddies (1954) by Janet Frank, and We Help Mommy (1959) by Jean Cushman. Thus, the images of the at-home
123 mother and the at-work father that the Little Golden Books published in the 1940s and 1950s are still readily available to children today. Even though The New Baby focuses on Mike, a single child who is about to become a big brother, the assumed roles of the father and the mother are clearly delineated in the original version and then subtly revised in the 1978 reprin ting. The first time the reader sees little Mike, he is playing with a red wagon push toy on his fa milys front porch. The front yard, sidewalk, and street stretch out in front of him from the upper left corner of the illustration to the far right side of the second page, which turns a single page illustration into a full two-page spread. Placing Mike in the left foreground of the very first illustration in the book immediately identifies him as the main character since, t he protagonist of many picture books do tend to appear on the left as argued by Perry Nodelman in Words About Pictures (135). Moreover as readers we tend to place ourselves in that posit ion and to identify with the objects or figures located there (Nodelman 135). In The New Baby the reader not only iden tifies Mikes position in the book as the main character, but also empath izes with him as he learns more about the new baby who will soon become a part of his life. Thus, this particular picture book can not only prepare small children for the arrival of a new fa mily member but also guide parents in making the transition smoother for their child. Moving from left to right with the illustration, the reader then arrives at the beginning of the st ory on the bottom half of the second page. If the reader assumes after re ading the title on the front cover that the main character of The New Baby will be the actual baby, then these first two pages of illustration and text work serve to rectify this situation. Mike is clearly a toddl er, not a baby. Moreover, the deliveryman is removing a large package from his big green truc k that has stopped in front of Mikes house, not a new baby (Shane). Here the title of the book, the illustration, and the text on the first page
124 must be continually reinterpreted in order to cl arify the meaning from all three since words and pictures give us different in sights into the same events (Nodelman 243). When the new baby arrives at the end of the book, the illustrations unambiguously reflect what the text says. The sentence Mummy got out of the car, handed the baby to Daddy, and gave Mike a kiss and a hug is under an illustration of th e mother on her knees hugging Mike (Shane). On the right side of the two-page spread is a full-page illustrati on of Daddy holding the baby near Mike while the neighbors and Aunt Pat rush over because ever yone wanted to see lit tle Pat (Shane). The text on the first page also establishes a pattern of questi ons and answers that not only reinforce Mikes curiosity about the events ta king place every time Mike sees the deliveryman, but also indicate the fathers role in their fam ily. What could it be? It wasnt Christmas, so it couldnt be a Christmas present. It wasnt a lawn mower. Daddy had a lawn mower. It wasnt a new tricycle. Mike had a new re d tricycle (Shane). Aligning th e lawn mower with daddy on the opening page is th e first indication in The New Baby that the fathers responsibilities lay outside of the home. This is not to say that Mike s father does not love or pay attention to his child. Rather, the fathers affection towards Mi ke takes a hands-off approach that is subtly reiterated throughout the story. Of the handful of illustrations that include both Mike and his father, the father only interacts directly with Mike in one illustration where the father boosted Mike into the air and then went into the house (Shane). Other than this moment of physical contact between father and son, Mikes father verb ally reinforces his aff ection even if he does not physically do so. The fathers external role in the family is concretely reinforced when he explains to Mike that Aunt Pat is coming to visit because Aunt Pat is going to help you and Mummy feed and bathe the baby [my emphasis] (S hane). Since he does not use a pronoun like us, the father indicates that he will not be helping with the baby, which would not have been
125 expected of him in the late 1940s. Noticeabl y, in the 1975 edition of this book, you and Mummy is changed to us to indicate that he will be helping with the care and feeding of the new baby. Published one year after The New Baby Louise Woodcocks Guess Who Lives Here defines the terms mother and father by provid ing a brief description of each then telling the reader to Guess who it is! (Woodcock). The guessing game itself centers on the people who live in and interact with a tw o-story yellow house depicted on the front cover. Even though the house takes center stag e on the cover of Guess Who Lives Here, a small blond boy named Terry is the first occupant the reader meets. Everyone el se is defined in terms of how Terry, who is still a toddler, perceives her or him. According to a psychological study6 published in 1959 about ch ildren and play, by the time children were four they realized that the primary feminine role is housekeeping, while the primary masculine role is wage-earning (P aterson). The words and illustrations in Guess Who Lives Here jointly describe Terrys mother and fa ther by these same primary roles. When describing the only woman in the picture book, the text on one page indicates that she wears a dress and sometimes an apron. She cooks good things to eat every night, / And she tucks Terry into bed with a kiss (Woodcock). The illustrati ons on the same page show a pink, conservative, womans dress with long sleeves and a high colla r, a blue waist apron, a chocolate cake, and a smattering of chocolate chip cookies. Turning the page reveals that the woman who is busy mixing ingredient in a large bowl while standing in front of a wood Hoosier cabinet is Terrys mother (Woodcock). The facing page describes so meone who is very tall and walks with 6 The full results of the 1959 study are in a Psychological Reports article titled Sex-rol e preferences and the socialization of the male child by R. E. Hartley.
126 long steps when he goes out to work in th e morning, / And sometimes he brings Terry a present when he comes home at night (Woodcock) Since most of these attributes are based on physical appearances rather than material objects, the only illustration on this page is of a present wrapped in blue paper. On the next page, the illustration of Te rrys father shows him rushing across the page in front of several city bu ildings, holding his hat ag ainst the wind. His long, yellow trench coat billows out behind him to drama tically indicate either th e speed at which he is moving or the strength of the wind against which he is walking. Terry s mother is depicted in the kitchen, while his father is on the street. The mo ther is defined by what she wears and bakes, while the father is characterized by what he earn s outside the home and th e presents he brings. Both the mother and father function within narro wly defined spheres that influence the childs perception of them. When Susie gets her own Little Chef Electri c Miniature Stove in Annie North Bedfords Susies New Stove: The Little Chefs Cookbook (1950), she decides that she must learn to cook, and her mother immediately tells her all she need s to know about lining up all the dishes she will need, using pot holders, unpluggi ng the stove, and cleaning up afterwards. Since this book contains easy to assemble recipes that use proces sed foods such as Pixies Delight, (smores with store bought marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers) or a Candle Salad with a half a banana standing upright in a precut pineapple ring7 with a cherry balanced on top, it is primarily a recipe book and co-bra nding advertisement for the L ittle Chef Electric Miniature 7 I distinctly remember learning how to make a dish similar to this one while watching Saturday morning public service announcements on the ABC television network. In the late 1970s and 1980s, ABC ran a series of 30-second to one-minute segments that promoted healthy eating habits and personal hygiene. One in particular titled Make a Saturdae taught children how to place a ha lved banana in a pineapple ring then cover the ring with a little yogurt before adding a grape on top. The only difference between this Saturdae and a Candle Salad is that the Saturdae has yogurt and the Candle Salad has a slice of lettuce undern eath the pineapple ring. Of co urse, the Saturdae replaced the dye-soaked canned cherry with a fresh grape.
127 Stove. The books subtle secondary function, though, is as a conduct book for girls. On the title page a boy and a girl, who the read er will later find out is Mike and Susie respectively, sit at opposite ends of a small table eating something unidentifiable off matc hing plates. Two full glasses of milk and a larger bowl of food occupy the space betw een them as they visually replicate an adult heterosexua l couple enjoying each others company over dinner. Midway through the story, a similar illustration of Susie and Mike sitting at the same little table includes a baby doll in a highchair centered be tween them at the table. Susie and her brother Mike like to play eating games together, but the division of gender in their play is evident throughout the book since Susie prepares all the meals for them to eat, while Mike pretends to be a doctor, a grocer, and a seller of lemonade. Interestingly, in the one hundred years betw een the Victorian Period and the 1950s, very little about female conduct has changed in that gi rls are still being taught to feed and care for their brothers as a preparation for their futures as wives. In The Women of England a highly popular conduct book for women published in 1838, Sarah Stickney Ellis admonishes her reader by stating that no woman in the enjoyment of health should a llow her brother to prepare his own meals at any time of the day, if it were possible for her to do it for him (84). Moreover, a young man should expect his sister to keep him socially manicured and polished just like his future wife will since his sister is a substitute for what he afterwards ensures more permanently in a wife (Ellis 84).8 Although Susies New Stove does not literally define Susie in terms of her 8 Sarah Stickney Ellis goes on to write in The Women of England (1838) that Victorian sist ers should also take care of their brothers clothing, keep the house neat for his guests, and offer him refreshments. No woman should allow her brother to put on linen in a state of dilapidation, to wear gloves or stockings in want of mending, or to return home without finding a neat parlour, a pl ace to sit down without asking for it, an d a cheerful invitation to partake of necessary refreshment (Ellis 84). The expectations placed on suburban hous ewives in the 1950s parallel these Victorian conduct rules in that a wife should clean the house and prepare dinner daily then change into a pretty dress before her husband returns from work. Ideally, his favorite chair and cocktail should also be waiting for him.
128 potential future role as wife, her interest in cooking for her brother parallels her own mothers role in the book as a housewife who has di nner ready when her husband returns home from work. The opening paragraph on the first page of th e story establishes Susies preparation for her future as a homemaker, and the accompanying illustr ation solidifies the tex t: Susie likes to play house. She has a family of dolls. She has a little table and chairs. She has a set of little dishes. And she has a really-truly little electric stove, wi th a set of little pots and pans! (Bedford). As readers, we tend to assume that pictures show characters and scenes in a typical state which allows us to read the rooms and furnishi ngs for information about their owners personalities (Nodelman 117). On the top half of th e page is an illustration of Susie opening her new ovens door while she turns to talk to someone over her shoulder. Her slight distraction from the potentially hot oven is of little consequence to her well being, since the illustration shows that the oven is not plugged in to the electrical outlet. Behind Susie, her family of dolls consisting of a baby doll in a high chair and an olde r doll in a child-size chair sit in front of their little dishes at the same tabl e shown on the title page (Bedford). Susies preparation for her future as a wife is further fixe d at the end of the book when her mo ther entrusts her with cooking on the big stove just this once for Daddys birthday since Susie has already spent multiple days cooking small meals like canned soup, boiled fra nkfurters, and chocolate pudding for her brother Mike (Bedford). Mikes future role as a bread-winning fa ther is seen in illustrations throughout Susies New Stove as he watches Susie cook, sits at her little table waiting to be served, and playacts being a working adult. Nodelman argues that illustrations place tremendous emphasis on the moments we do see which makes those moments become t he most significant moments out of all the
129 possible one we might have seen (244). Even th ough the text occasionally indicates that Mike helps Susie cook, the illustrations contradict th is assertion by neglecting to illustrate those moments in the story. When Susi es doll baby was sick she cal led Dr. Mike who quickly set the babys arm in a splint (Bedford). The illustra tion shows Mike with a first aid kit crouching on the right side of the doll babys bed. Since Mike is facing left on the page, his position guides the readers attention back towards Susie who looks like a concerned pa rent as she carefully watches Mikes actions. When she invites Dr. Mike to st ay for cocoa, he suggests that she make him a snack as well because he is a little hungry, too (Bedford). The next illustration of both Mike and Susie shows him sitting at the little table accepting a plate of scrambled eggs from Susie, who now wears an apron that is the same color as her mothers in an earlier illustration. For Mikes next business venture he is a grocer in the play-store where he sells Susie the ingredients for Pixies Delight (Bedford). In th is illustration, Mike eagerly leans over the counter next to a little green cash regi ster. Little details like the pencil tucked behind Mikes ear and the products lined up in several boxes underneath the register accentuat es the seriousness with which these two children playact. The only time that Mike cooks for himself is when he makes lemonade to sell at a stand. Here, again, Mikes ab ility to earn money is promoted as he markets his own lemonade. Moreover, his production of lemonade does not require any use of Susies stove, so Mike still remains separated from do mestic chores in the kitchen. Thus, throughout Susies New Stove, Mike learns to expect women to pr ovide him with nourishment after a hard day at work, while at the same time Susi e practices her role as a good future Suzy Homemaker. At the same time that Susies New Stove and the Little Chef oven tied women and girls to the domestic space of the kitchen, female factory workers in Tacoma, Washington, who worked
130 for Tacoma Metal Products, assembled the Little Chef Miniature Electric Stove. Unlike todays Easy Bake Oven, which is only an oven, a deluxe version of the Little Chef Electric Miniature Stove contained both a working stovetop and an oven for heating or baking. On the non-deluxe version of the Little Chef, only the stovetop wo rked. The Tacoma Public Librarys Photography Archive contains twelve photogra phs of the Little Chef bei ng assembled as well as being advertised with Campbell's Soup and Susies New Stove In one black and white photographs from 1946, a single female worker uses a spray gun to paint the front panel of the oven, while in another photograph, a single female worker assemb les the ovens parts. Two other photographs, one in 1946 and the other in 1954, show an assembly line of female factory workers with the Little Chef oven parts in front of them. Again, the juxtapositi on of these factory photographs with the message presented in Susies New Stove shows the great disparity between what women were actually doing and what women were perceived to be doing during the 1950s. Over forty years before the publication of Mommies, a Little Golden Book that details the lives of mothers who also hold jobs outside of the home, the Little Golden Books published Janet Franks Daddies (1954), a picture book that most singularly captures the image of the commuter lifestyle of the suburban father Based on the assumption that th e average child reader of the Little Golden Books might wonder what her or hi s father does all day when he leaves the house, Daddies is an extended poem that answers this cu riosity by stating that daddies work while children play (Frank). The poem then focuses on a series of jobs that daddies perform on a daily basis when they are not at home.9 According to the book, daddies are tailors (Daddies fix the clothes we wear), factory wo rkers (Dads put food in cans and jars), and bakers (They 9 Throughout Daddies only two women are depicted. In one illustration a mother waits patiently while her children are fitted for new clothing by a couple of tailors. In another illustration, a female nurse guides a line of children towards the male doctor who is examining them.
131 make buns and cakes and bread) among other mi ddle or working class job options (Frank). Even though women comprised the majority of th e authors writing childrens books in the 1950s and Frank is a female childrens book author herself, Franks poem also states that daddies sit at desks and write / the books we read in bed each night (Frank). Most importantly, though, to help define the image of the suburban dad in the 1950s, all of the daddies travel straight home to their families after a full day at work. By taxi train, by car and bus, / Daddy rushes home to us! (Frank). The quickness with which fathers ru sh home to their children is punctuated in an illustration showing a sea of men crowding onto a train while other men pour onto some waiting buses and into several taxi cabs. Here in Daddies daddy is an important member of the larger community who not only works hard to earn his wa ges but also spends time at home with his children as long as he is not pr imarily responsible for them. Even though Jean Cushmans We Help Mommy (1959) is about how two children help their mother around the house, the actual mother is rarely seen. Instead, the role of mommy is defined through a series of domestic tasks. In the illustrations, the reader on ly sees an illustration of the childrens mother when she buckles her daughters shoes, vacuums the living room, and loads the washing machine. Throughout the text, the mothers voice guides and praises her son and daughter through their activities, but the moth er does not narrate the story. That job belongs to Martha, the younger of the two children. Then the father appears at the end of the book to tuck the children into bed and praise them for being a big help to mommy (Cushman). Rather than simply help her mother with the domestic chores around the house, Martha constantly mimics what her mother does as the da y progresses in order to practice for or playact in her future role as wife and mother. When Mommy uses a carpet sweeper to clean the living room rug in one illustration, Martha uses a dust mop to clean under the chai rs. The figures of the
132 mother on the left page and the daughter on the right page mirro r each other as both people bend over to grasp each cleaning tools handle. Bobby, in contrast, stands very tall while dusting the top of a wooden side table. His body visually occ upies more space than his mother or his sister; yet, he is not the center of attention. In this tw o-page spread, the illustration bleeds off the edge of the pages and the text is framed in two smaller boxes located near the top of each page. Together, all three people form a triangle that qui ckly moves the readers eye from Bobby on the bottom left to Mommy near the back center and then on the bottom right to Martha, whose dust mop coaxes the reader to turn th e page since it is pointing to the right. Moreover, the reader must fight against this strong visual arc in order to pause long enou gh to read the text that seemingly blends into the background. According to Nodelman, pictures seem much more like confirmation of what we know already than like additional information when the pictures follow the same narrative flow as the text (259). Yet neither the te xt nor the illustration on this page of We Help Mommy adds a secondary layer of meaning to each other since both reemphasizes the cleaning activities that are already taking place. Turning the page reveals that when la undry time approaches, Bobby puts his daddys clothes in the front loading washing machine, but Martha gathers up her do llys clothes to wash. Again, this illustration reaffirms that Martha is learning to be a good mother herself since she washes and dries her dolls clot hes in the same manner that he r own mother is washing and drying the familys clothes. Once the washing is finished, Martha hangs her dolls dress, hat, and socks out to dry on an umbrella cl othes dryer that isnt high lik e Mommys but is just right for her (Cushman). In combination, the text and i llustration even show the most effective way to hang clothes to dry by using one clothespin for each sock clipped at the top and not the toe, one clothespin for the hat which is hanging by its rib bon ties, and two clothespins for the dolls dress
133 once it is shaken to remove some wrinkles. On th is page, the illustration fills the entire page, and the gutter provides a break between this page and the next in a way that provides a visual pause for the reader. Martha is also facing left as she hangs her doll s dress, which further emphasizes the visual pause and allows the reader to openly study he r physical char acteristics of innocence.10 Martha is pretending to be like Mommy even when Mommy is not around to mimic. A third illustration of Martha baking a pie fo r Daddy further visually reinforces the gender specificity of who belongs in the kitchen. While Ma rtha and her mother bake pies in the kitchen, Bobby disappears. Bobby might help out around the house by dusting or setting the table, but actual cooking belongs to mothers and potential mothers in training. Martha, though, make[s] a treat for Daddy, who will later thank her for b eing such a big help to Mommy and me even though he was away at work all day (Frank). The fath ers inclusion of me in this final sentence indicates that by helping her moth er, Martha is in turn helping her father. Thus, through this simple sentence the small female child receives the kind of positive feedback she needs in order to continue preparing for a future role as mother, homemaker, and helpmate.11 In the Little Golden Books, the dawning of a new decade or even cultural changes in America did not minimize these standard roles that define the idealized mother and father. All of the above examples reinforce the image of m ommy as a person who cooks, cleans, and takes care of the children while daddy is a person who provides limited affection since he is away at 10 As is discussed in the previous chapter, the physical characteristics in a Little Golden Book that imply innocence in a child include chubby pink cheeks, a round face, and fair hair. 11 Unlike in We Help Mommy where the mother is absent from most of the illustrations, in Mini Steins We Help Daddy (1962) the father is consistently in each illustration. The mother is only seen when she is baking cookies in the kitchen, placing dinner on the table, and tucking the children into bed.
134 work all day.12 The lack of variation on the theme of the woman as mommy or the man as daddy in the Little Golden Books reinforces suburban limitations of movement and occupation placed on women and men with children. All of these images of the homemaking mother and the bread-winning father culminate to set the standards and boundaries within which ch ildren in the Little Golden Books imagine themselves when playacting adult roles. The adult reader also catches glimpses of her or his own adult roles and the contrived boundari es of those roles. Every time Ji mmy or his little sister Polly accidentally breaks something like a plate or a wagon wheel in Fix It, Please! (1947), they run to their Mother or Daddy to fix it for them. Th roughout the story, if Jimmy cries or feels sick, then Polly cries or feels sick, too, even if she is no t hurt or ill. Polly contin ually reacts to or joins in with Jimmys actions. Both of the children ar e so impressed with an adults ability to fix anything broken that Jimmy declares he wants to be the fix-it man when he grows up, to which Polly replies that she will be the fix-it mommy (Mitch ell). Thus Polly is not choosing a career, but rather expanding her future role as a mother A collection of poems about playing house with titles like Visiting, House Cleaning, and The Postman equates a womans management of household chores to her ability to love and support her family in Come Play House (1948). Moreover, the illustrations for each poem delineat e domestic spaces by featuring boys primarily in outside activities like deliver ing the mail, and girls inside the house washing dishes, cleaning clothes, inviting people over, and answering the telephone properly. When five-year-old Christopher imagines what he want s to be when he grows up in When I Grow Up (1950) by Kay and Harry Mace, he pictures himself in variou s gender specific adult male roles such as a 12 During the late 1990s, the confin ing space women with children occupied in the Little Golden Books expanded slightly with the publication of Mommies: All About the Work They Do (1997) in which mothers are show in careers outside of the home. In this particular picture book, the reader sees that mommies have other options outside of the home, yet the women are still in a position of caring for and helping others.
135 fireman, ringmaster, contractor, or mechanic. Although both males and females currently fill all of these roles, during the 1950s a female in a ny of these positions was not common. Even Nurse Nancy in Kathryn Jacksons Nurse Nancy (1952), who uses Band-Aid Adhesive Bandages to patch up the boys when they scrape themselves, is playacting her future adu lt role as an assistant and a comforter, a potential mother and nurse. In capturing the image of th e innocent child in the midst of a family, Little Golden Books provide clear manifestations of the mythic nuclear family with clearly defined gender boundari es to which current adults and children can return albeit a Caucasian, middle-class version of the myth. 1960s and Beyond During the 1960s as the num ber of women who worked outside of the home and the number of men who stayed home w ith the children rose, Little Golden Books continued to divide children into gender specific roles when they play acted as adults. Through a series of rhymes, Little Mommy (1967) by Sharon Kane sings the praises of a little girl who pretends to be a mommy to her three dollies. The unnamed little girl bathes, dresses, feeds, and plays with the three dolls. She even calls Doctor Dan when the dollies are sick. Her constant watchfulness and attention makes her almost, but not quite, smothe ring. While playing dress up with an assortment of clothes in Ilse-Margret Vogels When I Grow Up (1968), a boy and a girl discuss what careers they want to pursue when they grow up in orde r to be responsible adu lts. Even though Vogels version provides options for both boys and girls unlike Kay and Harry Maces version of When I Grow Up (1950) that centers around a boy named Christopher, the girl always chooses future careers that are only he lpful in conjunction with what ever career the boy dreams of following. If he imagines being a doctor, she pretends to be his nurse. When he is a policeman, a deep-sea diver, or an astronaut, she is a po licemans helper, a mermaid, or the owner of a Moonburger stand. She might own her own business selling burgers, but sh e is in business to
136 feed the boy who is also on the moon. The ear ly rumblings of the Womens Rights Movement might have promoted a womans equality outside of and inside the home, but the Little Golden Books still based a womans importance in direct response to her abilities as a mother, provider, and dependent. How to be a good mother is doubly reinforced to a female toddler who is given a new baby doll in Esther Wilkins Baby Dear (1962) with illustrations by he r sister Eloise Wilkin. When Daddy brings Mommy and their new baby home from the hospital, he also brings home a Baby Dear lifelike doll for his daughter, who remains nameless throughout the story. Immediately after setting up this situation where hi s wife will take care of the new baby and his daughter will play with her new doll, the father disappears from the entire book. He is neither seen in the illustrations nor mentioned in conjunction with the care and feeding of his new family member. The child, though, simulates her moth ers daily activities caring for the new baby. If the mother feeds, bubbles, changes, bathes, walks, or sings to the new baby, then her daughter does the same with her Baby Dear. They even both have books in which to collected information about their growing babies like height, weight, and first foods. By impersonating her mother, this little girl is preparing for the days when she, too, will take care of a baby without a mans help, which, if she grows up in the 1960s and marries in the 1970s, might just as easil y occur due to divorce or an unplanned pregnancy. Moreover, since Baby D ear is a trademark doll designed by Eloise Wilkin and manufactured by Vogue Dolls, Inc., this book reads like a promotional advertisement warning parents to buy their female child a doll to keep her occupied so she will not be mad at the new baby. In the 1960s, the Little Golden Books remained constant in their depiction of the child as an innocent component of the larger nuclear fa mily even while the makeup of the family unit
137 blurred the line between what distinguishes a child from a parent. A ccording to Anne Scott MacLeod in her book American Childhood: Essays on Children s Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries the 1960s in America mark a change in childrens literatures depiction of the family from a space in which a parent prov ides stability and safety to a space in which a parent is either irresponsibl e or vocally unhappy about being a parent. MacLeod examines novels in childrens literature such as Louise Fitzhughs Harriet the Spy (1964), which introduces adults who openly admit to the benefits of lying. In ch ildrens fiction, as th e protective veil between parent (or adult) and child was tattered, children read about the chaotic reality of adulthood that they may or may not have caught glimpses of in real life. During the course of her survey, MacLeod concludes that the tr aditional hierarchy of parents and children has been dismantled [after the 1960s], along with, emphatically, the syst em of mutual respect and affection that once bound fictional parent and child to each othe r in peace and contentment (MacLeod 199). In these stories that disassemble the traditional hi erarchy of parents and children, the parent functions more as a child (or adol escent) with insecuriti es and a dismissal of responsibility, while the child becomes more knowledgeable and is fo rced into performing as a semi-responsible adult. The role reversal between parent and chil d is clearly seen in books like Robert Cormiers The Chocolate War (1974) where the father is in a walking trance after his wifes death and the son faces adult and teen tormenters daily. Traces of role reversal are even found in Dr. Seusss Green Eggs and Ham (1960) when Sam-I-Am, a childlike charac ter, takes on the role of a parent convincing a child to try just one small bite of green eggs and ham. Be fore the 1960s, childrens literature predominately upheld a family unit in which the parent provided a moral definition by which the child should, could, and would make d ecisions, and a nuclear family unit in which the parent is a source of security. As MacLeod ar gues, during the 1960s, an element of instability
138 and suspicion started to infiltrat e the family unit in childrens literature through role reversals and images of independent adolescents. In contrast with this trend in childrens literature, the Little Golden Books remained constant in their depiction of the family unit because they had already built a book megalith on the rhetoric of nostalgia for the nuclear family. To introduce a significant change in format or content was to possibly alienate the very thing th at audiences had grown to love and expect. On a larger scale, the Golden Press imprint, which included the Little Golden Books in the 1960s, was clearly hesitant about confronti ng the serious social issues that permeated the United States. In Julia Mickenbergs examination of the correspondence surrounding the Kathy Martin nurse series spanning from 1959 to 1965, which was printed through the Golden Press imprint, she concludes that the editors and the writers di d not always see eye to eye about what was appropriate material for the books (Mickenberg 161). While both Emma Gelders Sterne and her daughter Barbara Lindsay, primary authors of the series, were politically active and would have created an equally active character in Kathy Mar tin, editors Carrie Lynch and Pete Borden were determined to keep the books wholesome si nce consumers buy the books expecting to be entertained. If these two editors are representative of the desires of the Golden Press imprint to keep their books wholesome, th en it is understandable that th e Little Golden Books also eschewed representing family instability or social upheaval in their picture books. In the Little Golden Books published after the 1960s, parents are not alcoholics, selfabsorbed, money-oriented, or unloving towards their children. Rather, the family unit remains intact with children who explore their surrounding s under the vigilant eye of a protective parent or two. When little Carol returns home from ki ndergarten, she knows that her mother will be waiting for her in Clara Cassidys We Like Kindergarten (1965). Young Mary Ann shows no fear
139 when going to the hospital to have her tonsils removed in Anne Welsh Guys Good-bye, Tonsils (1966) because her parents are with her. In both of these stories, helpful, protective, trustworthy adults (dentists, doctors, nurses) who are not their parents surround the two girls. In New Brother, New Sister (1966) by Jean Fiedler, Paul still r eceives all the positive attention he needs or deserves from both of his pa rents without having to act out wh en a new baby sister is brought into the house. When not actually surrounded by parents, Little Golden Books children playact the positive roles they see in their parents such as in Little Mommy (1967) and When I Grow Up (1968). Since the Little Golden B ooks were not broken, they di d not need to be fixed or strive to be trendy with the introduction of new subjects that might indicate cultural or familial upheavals. Rather, in relation to the previous decade with its ge nder specific imagery, the Little Golden Books of the 1960s remained a quiet co nstant in the childrens literature market. Todays America still struggles with war involvement, class pove rty, political unrest, child hunger, and social tensions that are both remi niscent of and strikingly different from the preceding conflicts of the 1940s, 50s, 60s or 70s. Ye t, throughout all of these marked events and changes in the social climate of America, the L ittle Golden Books have remained constant in their depiction of the nuclear family and in their popularity on the la ndscape of childrens literature. Their illustrations of middle class Amer ica provide images of happy, clever children in a strong nuclear family setting. The republicatio n of popular Little Golden Books through the Classics line further emphasizes the ideals of inno cence and security currently attached to glossy images of 1940s and 50s white, middle class America. At the same time these middle class America images as seen on television shows like Leave It To Beaver or in current fashion and culinary trends where tattooed women dre ss in 1950s style dresses while baking vegan cupcakes neglect the problematic of that same time period such as segregation or the chasms
140 between social classes and gender roles. For th e people who imagine that life in the 1940s and 1950s upheld core American values to which toda ys America should return, the Little Golden Books preserve a sweeter, more innocent, myth ically all-American time to which readers can return over and over again with hearts full of nos talgia and eyes blinded by the smiling faces of a happy family. Still, teeming underneath that veneer of core family values in the Little Golden Books is the social unrest brought on by the minimi zation of the varieties of human experience in order to breed conformity and acculturate younger generations of readers.
141 CHAPTER 6 TRANSPORTING NOSTALGIA: SOUVEN IRS OF CHILDHOOD AND THE LITTLE GOLDEN B OOKS A central part of American popular culture, with its current revitaliza tion of pop references pulled variously and seemingly randomly from the 1940s to the 1990s, is a postmodern macronostalgia where there is no space which we au thentically occupy, so popular culture fills the gaps by manufacturing images of home and r ootedness (Chase and Shaw 15). The current definition of nostalgia in a postmodern society is further complicated by Svetlana Boym in The Future of Nostalgia when she defines nostalgia as a binary that either evokes a national past and future (restorative) or concentrates on individu al and cultural memory (reflective). One way that America fills the gap with home and rootedness is the commercial repackaging of childrens books for adult consumers and the manufacturing of images from those same childrens books as tattoos, t-shirt decals, stickers, collectables, or tchotchkes. These are the types of items that can draw energy from individual and cultural memory or promote a national past and future. A prime example of the macro-nostalgia-infused repackaging of childrens books is clearly seen in the marketing, collecting, and recycli ng of todays Little Golden Books. Mentioning the Little Golden Books in ge neral conversation often elicits pleasant childhood memories of the gold-foil spine and the little puppy that eats al l the desserts or the tugboat that saves the day. These memories are usually followed by a look of surprise mixed with disbelief when the hearer discovers the lo ngevity of the Little Golden Books publication history. They have remained a consistent and, according to sales reco rds, popular part of American childrens literature and culture si nce their inception in 1942, which makes them unique in the American pi cture book market. By 1992, Janette Sebring Lowerys The Poky Little Puppy had sold over 14 million copies. In 2000, the Poky Little Puppy maintained the number one position on the Publishers Weekly All-Time Best-Selling Childrens Books list for
142 hardcover childrens books (All-Time). The top ten slots on this list include three additional Little Golden Books: at #3 is Tootle (1945) by Gertrude Crampton, at #7 is Saggy Baggy Elephant (1947) by Kathryn and Byron Jackson, and at #8 is Scuffy the Tugboat (1955) also by Crampton. The adults who read Little Golden Books as children often continue to buy them for their own children, grandchildren, and friends children, or even for themselves as collectors items. Since first editions of the Little Gold en Books are more often than not marred or destroyed by a child reader, pristi ne versions of origin al Little Golden Books from the 1940s and 1950s are highly prized among childrens book colle ctors. Moreover, the continuing popularity of the Little Golden Books is reemphasized at every ten-year milestone when newspaper articles diligently recount their origins; yet, the exchange of influences between nostalgia and the Little Golden Books that leads to collecting and recycling the books images remains largely unexplored. Nostalgia, Souvenirs, and Little Golden Books Nostalgia sells, especially when tied to chil dhood. As noted by Jean Starobinski in T he Idea of Nostalgia, nostalgias narrative is one of decline from use value to commodity, from immanence to instrumentality, from the observing tr aveler to the possessive tourist, and from the world as being to the world as simulacrum (Sta robinski 87). The satiatio n of nostalgia produces the inevitable decline of an object through (re)produc ing, (re)marketing, and (re)purchasing. As object upon object is slightly modified and placed within a consumers reach, each new replica contains a semblance of the original from which it was produced. In tourism, the take-home relic or souvenir holds much significan ce for the person who travels, but little significance for the people at home to whom the traveler returns. Yet, collecting such souve nirs evokes a nostalgic remembrance for the time, place, and situation of the treasured find that completes or adds to a growing set of objects. Within the context of childhood memorabilia, a found object such as a
143 favorite Little Golden Book functions in much the same way as the relic or the souvenir by providing significance for the person who l ongs for the past invoked by the object. Despite todays marketable transference of nostalgia and meaning onto collectable childhood objects such as the Li ttle Golden Books, the word nostalgia has not always been closely tied to the word childhood Nostalgia, the word and the concept, has a winding history that twists its way through wa r, separation, psychology, tourism, and collection. Through all of these, longing is an inseparable component. During the 1700s, nostalgia was medically equated with an acute homesickness that stood as a direct connection between a physical separation from home and a visceral longing to re turn. According to Fred Davis in Yearning for Yesterday: a Sociology of Nostalgia the term nostalgia was first coined by Johannes Hofer, a Swiss physician, in 1688. He combined the Greek word nostos (to return home) with algia (a painful condition) to establish a term that referred to a malady involving an acute yearning to return home among soldiers in the Swiss milita ry. While at first the disease known as nostalgia suggested a particularly strong sens e of patriotism and national spirit in afflicted soldiers because they loved their motherland so much that they never wanted to leave it, or for that matter die [somewhere else] for it, several centuries later in the United States the positive connotations of the term changed (Boym 5). By the nineteenth cent ury, doctors believed that an idle use of time led to homesickness and that homesickness revea led a lack of manlin ess and unprogressive attitudes (Boym 6). Ever being reshaped, nostalgias meaning expanded over the centuries to encompass a longing for a better time and a better place that is not occupied in the present. Not surprisingly, the home we miss is no longer a ge ographically defined place, but rather a state of mind (Chase and Shaw 1). Since individual Li ttle Golden Books from decades past are still
144 being marketed to todays consumer, these books provide a tangible, familiar piece of the past from which a consumer can recreate memori es from a better time and a better place. Indeed, in the exact same moment that nos talgia evokes a longing for the past, it simultaneously suppresses unwanted memories and em otions. Nostalgia obliterates all that may have been painful or unattractive about the past (Harper 14). Even though the first twelve Little Golden Books were published during a time of war rationing and shortages in 1942, those specific Little Golden Books do not connote th e hardships of war for those people who now collect or fondly recollect th em. Moreover, as noted by Davis, even where adversity and anguish are known not to have been present, nost algia still retains the cap acity to impart charm and goodness to what at the time may have been experienced as ordinary and uneventful (38). This transformation of nostalgi as denotation from a military di sease to the connotative longing in the midst of loss amplifies its ability to smooth over a painful or unattractive past while at the same time impart charm and goodness when bringing that past to the present. As the definition of nostalgia evolved through the centuries, nostalgic yearnings no longer cause a person to want to return to a physical past location; rather, these same nostalgic yearnings now influence a person to gather the p hysical reminders of a past memory and move the cheerful bits into a presen t context. In the words initial denotation, the longing for a past, familiar location require a person to return to that past location or to what was already familiar by returning to a specific home, a specific landscape, a specific comfort. Yet as this longing shifted its focus from a familiar past location (suc h as home) to a specific memory that could not be returned to through travel (such as a favored Little Golden Book), those affected by a nostalgia started bringing reminders of the past to the present.
145 Analyzed by both cultural critics and market ers, the commodification of nostalgia ties directly in with the consumptive transportation of a visi ted site to a place on the mantel through photograph, souvenir, or relic. In The Imagined Past a 1998 collection of articles examining nostalgia as tied to Englands hi story, David Lowenthal notes not hing nowadays sells so well as the past (22). Furthermore, so automatically are nostalgia and money equated that governments assume heritage will yield profits (Lowenthal 22). The marketing forces in America follow similar guidelines for the marketing of nostalgia by convincing the public that kitschy copies are historically authentic (Lowenthal 23). Ev en though Lowenthal is writing directly about Americas tourism exchange, his statements also ring true when applied to the merchandizing techniques that drive the Little Golden Books Cl assic line, a subsection of Little Golden Books that are reissued as classics and draw on the purchasers nostalgia for the books as a memorabilia of childhood. Since, according to Lo wenthal, nostalgia is expressed for recent pasts including lost childhood and lost childhood scenes, the Little Golden Books, in this context, function as snapshots, souvenirs, or re lics of an imagined id eal of childhood carefully placed in a continuously viewab le location like a bookshelf or a mantel or a coffee table (Lowenthal 20). Through this added layer of meaning, a childs book, toy, or other object escapes the restrictive confines of a child-only u tilization and transports the adult back to the imaged past of childhood while at the same time hauling articles of that imagined childhood into the center of now and keeping th e adult grounded in th e presents context. Not only can adults demonstrate their grown-up success by purchasing domestic goods, but they can also define their childhood success by gathering objects from that time period. The concept of the souvenir, as framed by Susan Stewart in On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection is key in defining the transporting power of
146 the Little Golden Books and associated Little Golden Book memorabilia. By specifically focusing on the narrative of the souvenir, which magically transports us to the scene of acquisition, Stewart explores the connections between nostalgia and tourism in chapter five, Objects of Desire (165). In th is particular chapter, Stewart posits that mechanical modes of production create meaning-saturated objects by re plicating or miniaturizing the greater, immovable objects that lie outside of the bodys experience. For exam ple, replicated versions of the Mona Lisa or the Great Wall of China carry a trace of the authenticity of its original no matter how many times the replic ation is produced. Souvenirs me tonymically and nostalgically convey the souvenir's point of orig in even though the souvenir itself more than likely carries no explicit aesthetic or use value. Ra ther, the value of the souvenir lies in its implicit ability to carry a trace of the original along with personal meaning. Since the replica is movable, it can suppress the longing created through nostalgia. Stewart writes: the souvenir speaks to a context or origin through a language of longing, for it is not an object arising out of n eed or of use value; it is an object arising out of the nece ssarily insatiable demands of nostalgia (Stewart 135). While these demands do drive the marketing fo rce and purchasing value of the souvenir, they do not solely reside in nosta lgia attached to tourism. The n ecessarily insatiable demands of nostalgia firmly grasp all object s through which the transference of memory occurs. Generally speaking, the adult consumer does not have a personal need for a specific Little Golden Book, since the childrens book does not provide any use value for an accomplished adult reader (Stewart 135). Instead, an orig inal or reissued Little Golden Booklike other childhood relics from a personal pastfills a nostalgic adult cons umers desire to eith er transfer personal memories of childhood to a younger reader, with whom the book is shared, or to reclaim personal memories by collecting a tangible piece of the past.
147 Todays Little Golden Books are marketed to both children and adults so that an adult American consumer might take home her or hi s own piece of childhood to keep in a private collection or to share with others. If, as Bruno Vanobbergen points out in Wanted: Real Children an article about childhood innocence a nd nostalgia, all people with a history have a paradise, a state of innocence, a golden age, th en these recollected or re-collected childhood souvenirs exist in a space that draws the consumer back towards paradise while at the same time creating a new paradise in which the cons umer can continue to exist on a daily basis (Vanobbergen 171). Access to the Internet, te levision, and other sources of electronic information enables a person to fulfill the yearnings of nostalgia and to recreate a paradise by obtaining Little Golden Books that already hold meaning or might ha ve been a previously denied part of childhood. Antique and Classic versions of the Little Golden Books, along with newly printed titles, are readily available to adults who long for souvenirs of their childhood and have access to the internet. Acquisition of Little Golden Books The W eb provides both an open space for stumbling upon long forgotten childhood relics and access to a large base of Little Golden B ooks knowledge. On the About.com web site, writer Elizabeth Kennedy briefly informs readers in the Childrens Books section about the history of Little Golden Books as well as the collecting and locating of them. As an additional help to her readers about these points, she directs people to visit collector Steve Santis web site. Kennedy also emphasizes the new Classic Little Go lden Books line and prompts people to post information about their favorite Little Golden Books memories. Despite Kennedys assertion that most people collect Little Golden Books in order to ensure [tha t] our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to enjoy them as we did, collecting in and of itself generally connotes a lack of use since the collected items are primarily for display only and not for being chewed on,
148 dragged around, or written in by children and gr andchildren (Kennedy). Kennedys other remark about collecting Little Golden Books strikes more to the point: Others collect them out of a sense of nostalgia and/or as an investment (K ennedy). Here, again, the use value of the Little Golden Books is not of importance; rather, the fu lfilling of nostalgic desire and/or the potential increase in the objects worth drives the collecto r to search out more Little Golden Books titles. In this instance, the monetary value of the colle ctable Little Golden Book easily legitimizes the buyers nostalgic desire even though very few Little Golden Books significantly increase in monetary value. Through any number of on-line forums, a singl e person with only a few vague memories of a toy or book can post a question in the hopes that someone somewhere out there in cyberspace will be able to fill in the missing ga ps. In an on-line forum for collecting Little Golden Books, hosted by collector Steve Santi, over 219 inquiry threads and 465 reply posts have been registered in the Whats That Ti tle section since the forum started in August 2003. While these numbers might seem small in compar ison to the number of inquiry threads started by television fans on similar forums, in ear ly 2006 the number of questions and replies overloaded Santis servers so that he had to completely erase these particular forums and start over again. Questions about titles are also fielde d in a section of the forum called Collecting Little Golden Books that is about collecting the books themselves and tr acing their worth. In the Whats That Title section, peopl e are encouraged to tell us what you remember about your lost memory and maybe someone will recognize the story. If you mention when you owned it, it may help (Santi Whats That Title). In this open forum for discussion, using the word us further adds to the sense of co mmunity created with this space that is primarily occupied by Little Golden Books lovers or collectors, and Sa nti proves his collectors expertise by answering
149 the majority of the questions being posted. When the number of posts in the Whats That Title forum is balanced against the number of posts in the Stories secti on, which contained only three topic threads before Santi completely remove d this section from his site, the contrast in numbers underscores the participants interest in filling in her or his own memory gaps rather than sharing these memories with other people w ho have similar interests (Santi Stories). This community of collectors remains more intent on gathering the Little Golden Books, than on posting the personal stories attached to each boo k. Quite conveniently, antique or previously owned Little Golden Books are easily consumable through Santis on-line store. Since its early stages, the Internet has provide d a space in which a community of collectors can work their way through a tangle of information in order to gath er objects that fill out their collections. Rather than simply wanting to expe rience a general feeling of nostalgia or sharing memories complicated by nostalgia with other people, collectors who gather the Little Golden Books as souvenirs of childhood want to experience the particular kind of nostalgia created by bringing specific objects from the past into the present. On Auctionbytes.com, writer Michele Alice directly ties the act of co llecting Little Golden Books to nostalgia by pulling heavily from Santis web site in order to info rm readers about the collectiblity of Little Golden Books. In the articles opening paragraph, Alice highlights the books high visibility in the home and throughout several generations of memories as well as their ability to garner high prices at an auction: Like many people I know, I have one or tw o Little Golden Books (LGBs) around the house that I remember enjoying as a child. I'm certa in that many of you ha ve also saved these mementos of your childhood, and you most certainly ha ve seen them at yard, church, and estate sales, crammed into boxes along with baby clothes, plastic toys, and Candyland games. But did
150 you know that LGBs are highly collectible, with some titles commanding prices as high as $100+? Not bad for books that originally reta iled for as little as 25 cents! (Alice) Here, nostalgia coupled with a si gnificant increase in the objects monetary value acts as a viable collecting point for childhood memorabilia and products when presented to a primarily adult audience. These Little Golden Books car elessly crammed into boxes along with other bits of childhood such as clothes, plastic to ys, and Candyland games are commanding prices of a hundred dollars or more (Alice). While concentrating heavily on the age and rarity of the more collectable Little Golden B ooks, Alice barely touches on the importance of the condition of the book other than to send readers to San tis web site and to his collectors book on Amazon.com. But the condition of a Little Golden Book plays a large part in determining the books value as a collectable. Sin ce the Little Golden Books are meant to provide educational, inexpensive reading materials for a primarily preschool audience, both the rarity and the condition of these books is determined by whet her or not the books were used accordingly. Therefore, the child owner more than the adult collector paradoxically es tablishes the monetary value of todays Little Golden Book when it is up for auction because the condition of the book depends on how it was treated by its first owner. If an adult is ga thering Little Golden Books in response to a nostalgic longing to collect souvenirs from the past, then the Little Golden Books move from the dominion of the child to the propr ietary space of an adult. Yet, Little Golden Books that are part of an adults collection could still be placed into the hands of a child if the collector chooses to mediate the nostalgic gap between chil dhood and adulthood by sharing her or his memories. Collecting and Little Golden Books Clearly todays cultural and m arketing trends are trying to capitalize on Americas interest in reliving and revitalizing the pa st by appealing to a wide spect rum of adults who nostalgically
151 remember the relics of their childhood and have the financial means to acquire those relics as souvenirs. By bringing bygone mementos to the present, producers spur on nostalgia-driven consumption and further enable the culture of collecting in the United States. The finding and keeping of these objects creates a presence built on what was (childhood, memories, vagaries, notions) rather than what is (adulthood, facts, reality, essentiall y whatever is not childhood). This seeing and remembering creates a loss of and a longing for displaced items, which in turn feeds the product consumption of those items th rough an adults power to purchase items indiscriminately. Additionally, th e easy-click purchasing power of on-line auctions and shopping sites adds heightened accessibili ty when searching out the childhood items needed to fill out or even start a collection. In the wake of Americas nostalgia for childhood and all its affiliated mass-produced merchandise, the Random House Childrens Book s division started republishing books during the late 1990s from the original lineup of the Little Golden B ooks collection first published as early as 1942. Once again, copies of Doctor Dan, the Bandage Man (1950) complete with two real Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandagesdown from six real bandages in the originalsits proudly on display next to newer, less white, male-dominated Little Golden Book titles like Its Fiesta Time! featuring Dora the Explorer. On the cover of Doctor Dan, a brown-headed Dan still applies a Band-Aid Brand Bandage to his little sisters doll while thei r dog Spotty watches. Inside the book, Dan still nicks his finger and cries while playing cowboys with the neighborhood kids, cleans up and band-aids an old scratch on the back of his sisters leg, and earns his nickname of Doctor Dan after bandagin g up a cut on his own fathers finger. Since the more recent publication of Doctor Dan, the Bandage Man is not updated, it continues to uphold the family values of 1950s suburbia where men went off to work and women stayed home while
152 children played cowboys and Indians in the front yard, reenacting Mani fest Destiny. The only marked difference between the Doctor Dan of the 1950s and the Doctor Dan of today is that todays cover carries the addi tional imprint of being a L ittle Golden Book Classic. On the back cover of the 1999 Little Golden Book Classic reissue of Doctor Dan the Bandage Man (1950), Editor Diane Muldrow addresses th e Dear Reader in a short letter in which the rhetoric underlines th e nostalgic underpinnings of the Little Golden Book Classics, while furthering the buyers need to collect more than just a single Classic title at the same time: Dear Reader, Each of us remembers our own favorite Little Golden Book. Ive searched our archives for the best Little Golden Books ever published to bring back as keepsake editions Youve just selected one! Im sure this cherished classic will deli ght parents and grandp arents as well as todays fun-loving kids. Afte r all, lively, satisfying stor ies never go out of style. Look for your favorite Little Golden Book Classic! Sincerely, Diane Muldrow, Editor (Muldrow) The letter, in a centered text, is framed by a circle of classi c Little Golden Book characters ranging from the Poky Little Puppy to the chicken and duck from The Animals of Farmer Jones. At the top of the circle is the current Little Golden Books logo that depicts a lower-case g reading a golden-spined Little Golden Book. Movi ng clockwise, the circle also contains the following characters: the Poky Little Puppy, a rabbit from the Golden Sleepy book, the Shy Little Kitten, the chicken and duck from The Animals of Farmer Jones, Tootle, the Tawny Scrawny Lion, Scuffy the Tugboat, and the Saggy Baggy Elephant alongside various colorful flowers and vines. Even though Muldrows letter addresses the general Reader which could include adults or children, in the first line she invites the read er to remember her or his favorite Little Golden Book, and in the last line she prompts the reader to again look for [her or his] favorite
153 Little Golden Book published as part of the Classic line (Muldrow). In evoking the Dear Readers memories, Muldrow is indicating that the Readerwho is also, more than likely, the purchasermust be old enough to have had previ ous contact with the earlier Little Golden Books in order to appreciate or even have a favorite book to look fo r among the Classic line. An additional layer of importance shrouds the Little Golden Book Cla ssic since it has been retrieved from the archives, an unenterable spa ce in which collected objects of importance are stored, and is being presented as a keepsake edition, which stresses the books value as a treasure worth protecting. The underlying intent of th ese Classic reprints is to reel in adult buyers by tugging on heart and/or wallet st rings connected to both nostalgi a and the collectable. Rather than hand a Classic reprint over to be consumed by a potentially raucous child, these books are meant as keepsake editions that will delight parents and gra ndparents primarily and todays fun-loving kids secondarily. Even though Muldrows letter to the Reader attempts to indicate that parents, grandparents, and children will all find the same le vel of delight in the Little Golden Books Classics, the child reader beco mes secondary to the adult collector who can remember a favorite book that is worthy of functioning as a keepsake. Since their inception, the phrase L ittle Golden Book has connoted a distinct level of cost efficiency because one of the major selling points of the line is that they are easily replaced after a full day of being treated poorly by children. Co st wise, these books are obtainable for almost nothing (25-cents in the 1940s, $2.99 today); yet, they provide hours of seemingly educational entertainment. Nonetheless, the simple addition of the word classic to the Little Golden Book cover changes its cost efficien t connotation by creating a seconda ry level of importance. Not only have classics been around for generations, but a classic book should also be treated with a respect, dignity, and reve rence that is not often afforded to a childs toy. A classic book
154 should be kept on a shelf out of reach so as to be admired from afar. Despite the fact that the Classic line of Little Golden Books is identical to the not-classic line, through the addition of this classic connotation, the L ittle Golden Book imprint aligns these affordable childrens books with other classic leather-bound b ooks that are generally sold as part of a series and designed for formal, not daily, use. This is not to say that children are not or will not read a Little Golden Book that is physically labeled as a classic. Rather, identifying certain Littl e Golden Books as classic solidifies the histori cal and cultural importance of the books themselves and induces nostalgic memories. To further capitalize on this classic connot ation, Random House also debuted a new line of treasuries in 2004 and 20051 consisting of three faux-leather Little Golden Book collections titled Animal Tales, Sleepytime Tales and Farm Tales that are oddly large (10.4 x 8.0 x 1.0 inches) when compared to original Little Gold en Books (7.9 x 6.7 x 0.2 inches), yet not terribly out of place next to a coffee table book or large format picture books. Even though these collections contain childhood favorites such as Sailor Dog The Animals of Farmer Jones or I Can Fly the sheer size and bulkiness of each co llection (2.6 pounds as opposed to the approximately 4.0 ounce singular story book) ne gates a childs ability to drag the book2 around and make the book her or his own. Clearly these ove rsized collections are meant to be kept on a shelf as treasured keepsakes3 and only read through in the pr esence of an adult who can easily 1 In late 2006, perhaps in response to customer comments, Random House released smaller (8.1 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches), lighter (1.4 pounds) editions of these keepsake treasuries that contain fewer stories per book (down from twelve to nine) and now sport the signature gold-foil spine. 2 On Amazon.com, some on-line reviewers also point out th at these three debut books ar e too large for a child to wield successfully on their own. 3 This connection between oversized editions of Little Gold en Books and the treasured keepsake is reiterated in customer reviews on Amazon.com.
155 share4 such a large text with the child. Rather th an capitalize on the recognizable gold-foil spine that marks original Little Gold en Books, a gold-leafed vine frames the picture on the front cover of these oversized texts, thus providing an outside border that further mimics the look of a classic, canonical text. Even the outside edges of the books pages are brushed in gold. By stepping away from the recognizab le design of the orig inal series that evokes images of childrens playrooms and messy books helves, these newer larger-siz ed collections step towards the preconceived imagery of a stuffy, darkened, smoke-filled home library where similarly designed collectable books exist to be seen but not read. This stepping away also moves these copies of the Little Golden Books further away from the presumably grimy hands of a child audience and into the cleaner hands of the classic collecting adult. This particular marketing of Little Golden B ooks Classics to an adult consumer further supports the rumored disappearance of childrens lit erature. As pointed out by Jerry Griswold in The Disappearance of Childrens Literature (or Ch ildrens Literature as Nostalgia) in the United States in the Late Twentieth Century, the stal wart boundaries between literature for adults and literature for children is and has been eroding. No longer are children the primary consumers of childrens literature. Current sales data shows that betw een 1982 and 1990 [the] sales of childrens books quadrupled even though the sheer number of small children and births in the United States fell (Griswold 37). C oncurrently, childrens literature enjoys a significantly greater prestige and acceptance in the realm of higher ed ucation with an increas e in university-level childrens literature courses and in literary schol arship. What all of this suggests, then, is a 4 Buying a book to give to a child is distinctly differen t than buying a keepsake quality book that must be shared with the child, since a child can only prove ownership by maintaining personal control of the book. Even the oversized, attractive gift-books traditionally given by parent s or grandparents to children in the early 19th Century more often than not remained under the jurisdiction of the adult who controlled where and when the gift-book could be viewed by the young child.
156 considerable adult interest in childrens books (Griswold 38). Clearly, as the adult interest in childrens books grows, so will the adult intere st in other personally significant bits of memorabilia based on and culled from childhoodref lecting nostalgia for both the actual object itself and for the products connected to that same object. In trying to recapture cherished memories of childhood, adults will buy both an actual Little Golden Book and spin-off products with Little Golden Book images such as t-shirts or stuffed an imals that look like the Poky Little Puppy or the Shy Little Kitten. Recycling Little Go lden Book Images Even as Little Golden Books are sought as souvenirs of childhood or gathered into a collection, their high visibility in American culture provides a starting point for the replication of specific characters and the mimicr y of the books overall design. A consumer culture that thrives on the collection of physical objects is driven by the same nostalgic underpinnings that stimulate the recycling of fashion, film, and other consumab le mass products. Whether ironic or sincere in its intent, the recycling of images and motifs springing from th e Little Golden Books line further generates an appeal across multiple generations. Two separate flash-generated cartoons on th e Homestar Runner (H*R) web site feature parodies of a recurring character interacting with a L ittle Golden Books re plica. Rather than place the low price that Little Golden Books ar e known for in the upper left-hand corner, these two replicas include the phrase Cheap as Free, an indication of the books low cost and easy replacement value (Brothers Chaps sbemail84). In the first cartoon, a child-like character named Strong Bad revamps the contents of his brothers book5 Everyone is Different by drawing 5 Viewers know that this particular book actually belongs to a character named Strong Sad who is Strong Bads brother because he signed his name in the This Book Belongs To emblem on the inside front cover, which is another highly recognizable characteris tic of the Little Golden Books line.
157 over the pictures and the text with a thick black marker. As Strong Bad turns the pages, he edits the storys lesson, built on the accep tance of other peoples differen ces, into a horrifying tale of mayhem where some people are squirrel-handed, some people are being fangoriously eaten by a gelatinous monster, and no two people are not on fire (Brothers Chaps sbemail84). In the second cartoon, Strong Bad edits a Little Golden Books replica commemorating Decemberween, a holiday celebrated specifically by characters on the Homestar Runner web site. Much like the first manipulated text, Strong Bad introduces gross elements into an innocuous story by writing phrases such as now a million eyeballs fall from de bove. The boy gets financial advice from the rat king or t he store is crowed with robots bursting out of people. Oh the humanity on the pages of the book (Brothers Chaps dween_kidsbook). Replicating a childs knack for writing or colori ng over her or his own book, in both of these examples, the easily recognizable cuteness of ch ildhood is transformed to entertain a primarily adult audience through the manipulation of thes e childhood themes. The interaction of Strong Bad with the Little Golden Books replica not only plays with the various uses of a Little Golden Book in the hands of a child, but also nostalg ically recalls common childhood actions for an adult viewing audience. Initially, these cartoons might appear to be anti-nostalgic and maybe even antiLittle Golden Books because the replicas are mangled by a child rather than cherished by an adult. Since Strong Bad is in the midst of his childhoo d, he is not filled with a nostalgic longing for pristine souvenirs of the past, nor does he care about preserving the books immediate spotlessness. But the primary audience for the Homest ar Runner web site consists of adults with computers, therefore much of the humorous s ubtext of these cartoons is based an adult audiences remembrances of the past. By defacing a Little Golden Books replica, these two flash
158 animations bring into question the idealized in nocence of childhood that c lings to the Little Golden Books and mock the style seen most often in Little Golden Books coproduced with Sesame Street during the 1970s which advocated in clusiveness despite physical differences. By layering one story over the other, Strong Bad bri ngs childhoods dark, though not evil, side to the surface. No longer just cute, these flash animati ons make the defacing of Little Golden Books cool by subtly playing on how the viewers pe rception of nostalgia and of the souvenirs of childhood changes as the viewer moves away from childhood. The docile, innocent, and cherubic Little Golden Books child is further mocked in another on-line manipulation of an actual Little Gold en Book written by Jane Werner Watson and illustrated by Eloise Wilkin: My Little Golden Book about God. On his web site, Jason Yungbluth takes this book and grap hically manipulates it into a bi ting satire that challenges the saccharine sweetness of children by changing the text but leaving the illustrations intact. In this, My Little Golden Book about God becomes My Little Golden Book about Zogg a translation of the baby powder scented Final Solution that has been distributed among the human race from our extraterrestrial enem ies from beyond (Yungbluth). My Little Golden Book about Zogg is a guidebook that informs aliens masked as children about how to manipulate and destroy the adult population, thereby taking control of the entire planet for the use of Zogg. Comparing My Little Golden Book about God to My Little Golden Book about Zogg6 reveals Yungbluths implicit argument against the docile, uncalculating nature of children proposed in Wilkins illustrations. On one illustration-filled page, a young white gi rl is depicted playing by the ocean, hanging Christmas stockings, and being generally groomed for domestic situations by holding a baby doll 6 The inclusion of African American children along with white children in the illustrations indicates that the template book being used by Yungbluth is not the initial 1950s publication, but instead is a copy that was rep ublished after the Civil Rights Movement. After printing the initial edition, a scattering of nonwhite children replaced the previously all white cast of children in My Little Golden Book about God
159 or watching mom care for an infa nt brother. Under these images are two simple sentences: Mimic human infant traits until gametogene sis begins. Devour any competitor spawn (Yungbluth). Rather than simply accept and conform to the domestic role of women as it is shown in the illustrations, Yungbluths two sentences indicate the need for these alien children to mimic motherhood in order to destroy all other human children. Most startling is the image of a small white girl hugging a man in order to unders tand that God is the warm, strong hug of our daddys arms (Watson). The reader can only see the father from behind, but the childs empty, blue, glassy-eyed, stare is devoid of any emotion and underw ritten in Yungbluths manipulated version by the sentence, The hum ans are weak (Yungbluth). Whether or not a reader is familiar with Watsons original text, the Yungbluth version highlights a childs ability to manipulate adults with a look of wide-eyed innocence, which is a strong contrast to the image of the pure, feckless child drawn by Wilkin. The ultimate example of cute childhood memories repackaged as adult cool culminates in Hot Topic, a clothing store that features designers such as Dickies, Morbid Threads, and T.U.K., while also focusing on music, fashion and pop-punk trends that commodify rebellion in childhood. Hot Topic carries everything from Care Bears t-shirts and M ade in the 80s air fresheners to vinyl bustiers and chain wallets. In 2003, Hot Topic marketed three different Little Golden Books formfitting t-shirts to their female clientele. One shirt f eatured the Poky Little Puppy; another shirt featured the Shy Little Kitten. A third shirt reproduced the highly recognizable This Book Belongs To emblem from inside a Little Golden Books front cover surrounded by various characters including the Tawny Scrawny Lion and the Little Engine That Could. This same ring of characters a ppears on the back of the 1999 reprint of Doctor Dan the Bandage Man and other books in the Classics line. In addition to these designs available through
160 Hot Topic, the clothing manufacturing company Passing 4 Sane printed a nother shirt featuring the Fuzzy Duckling. This particular iron-on transf er and the other transfers featuring Little Golden Books characters were all printed on two di stinct subcategories of t-shirt that evoke the nostalgia of both childhood and past styles: the solid baby-doll a nd the ringer t. Joan Jacobs Brumbergs The Body Project part of which recounts the blurring of the line between adult and juvenile clothing, critiques this current trend wh ere the age homogeneity of the contemporary wardrobe helps adult women feel less matronly and children are unwittingly marked as sexual objects (118). Similarly, screen-printing an image as cute and innocent as the Shy Little Kitten onto the front of a clingy, curve-enhancing tshirt introduces sexiness overlaid with childhood innocence on the teenage or adult female body. The recycling of thes e Little Golden Books images on t-shirts sold at Hot Topic highlig hts their continued signi ficance among white, middle class, suburban shoppers with a penchant for rebelling against the nos talgic souvenirs of childhood. These Little Golden Books and replicated im ages can then, in turn, be passed down from one generation to the next as ad ults grow nostalgic for a piece of their own childhood and search for more products. The Little Golden Books thri ve because they can tap into and even be manipulated by both restorative and re flective nostalgia as defined in The Future of Nostalgia By recycling image from the L ittle Golden Books on t-shirts or through tchotckes, the Little Golden Books represent aspects of reflective nost algia which cherishes shattered fragments or memory and temporalizes space while being bo th ironic and humorous in its reflection (Boym 49). In order to market th em as collectors items, the L ittle Golden Books must rely on their ability to stimulate memories of both an Am erican national past and an individual adults childhood through their idealized images of the 1940s and s. Undeniably, a key component of
161 the continued success and longevity of the Little Golden Books is tied to the American consumers reliance on material objects that will fill in the gaps crea ted by nostalgic longing.
162 CHAPTER 7 FOR THE MASSES, NOT THE CL ASSES: AN EPILOGUE In 1992, the Little Golden Books celebrated their golden 50th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, Western Publishing produced a commemorative box set of the original twelve Little Golden Books that capitalized on consumer nosta lgia and included titles that are still popular today, like The Poky Little Puppy Prayers for Children and The Little Red Hen Through a book donation from Western, the Smithsonian Institute also established a permanent exhibit in 1992 titled Little Golden Books and American Culture, 1942-1992 in the National Museum of American History. Most interest ingly, though, the Chair of Wester n Richard Berstein essentially declared that the Little Golden Books would last forever as an American icon because they are for the masses, not the classe s (Goddard 28). This single lilting phrase, recorded by Publishers Weekly captures all that the Little Golden Books have stood for since their inception: quality picture books at an affordable price. By trying to make their picture books readily available to all consumers in the United St ates regardless of financial status, the Little Golden Books in the 1940s committed themselves, purposefully or not, to helping disseminate the middlebrow concept of cu lturally raising oneself thr ough reading. Clearly, the early influences of middlebrow culture still permeat e the rhetoric surrounding todays Little Golden Book since Berstein places the m asses in direct contrast to the classes. A lthough, whether or not children benefit from readi ng the Little Golden Books was s till up for debate in 1992 since, as Berstein quips, children are as likely to eat their [Little Golden] books as read them (Goddard 28). Six years before the Little Golden Books 50th anniversary, the one billionth Little Golden Book rolled off Western Publishings printing presses in Racine, Wisconsin, on 20 November 1986. The moment was celebrated by the staff in R acine before the book itself was rushed to the
163 New York Public Librarys Cent ral Childrens Room at the Donne ll Library Center. Settled into an oversized reading chair provided by Western Publishing, act or Tony Randall read the one billionth Little Golden Book printed The Poky Little Puppy to a crowd of children in attendance. As quipped by Leonard Marcus in Golden Legacy, few of those present were old enough to appreciate the ex treme irony of the setting since the Little Golden Books have a history of being eschewed by librarians (210). The celebratory act of reading The Poky Little Puppy out loud in the New York Public Library no t only exemplified the c ontinued popularity of one of the twelve original titl es from 1942, but also showcased the extent to which the Little Golden Books have been accepted as an integral part of American childrens culture since the setting of the reading mocks the historical notion that librarian s hate the Little Golden Book. As Western celebrated the one-billionth book to roll of the presses in 1986 and their 50year anniversary in 1992, few could have foreseen the trouble that laid ahead for the parent company of the Little Golden Books named Golden Books Family Entertainment, Inc.1 Between 1993 and 1996, Western lost more than $140 million due to excess inventories and alleged financial mismanagement (Bianco). The Little Golden Books, a seemingly magical institution that survived wartime rations, shaped the pr oduction of childrens picture books, and spanned multiple decades, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy twice in the late 1990s. The general public feared that the Little Golden Books were about to sing their swan song until Random House Inc. and Classic Media Inc. jointly bought out the company in 2001 for $84.4 million and the assumption of most of the company's liabil ities (Kirkpatrick). Random House not only bought the licensing rights previously owned by Golden Books but they also restored good faith in the 1 In 1996, Western Publishing changed its name to Golden Books Family Entertainment, Inc. when a new investment group gained controlling interest in the company.
164 Little Golden Books name by setting aside money to continue providing dental and health care benefits to retirees, a move that went against current bankruptcy settlement trends (Rovito). By creating picture books of mer it that were not only beautifu l and well-written, but also affordable, Western has over the years built an iconi c name in American childrens literature and reached a nation-wide audience of young read ers who range from nameless working class children in daycare centers to ce lebrity icons. In 1996, Richard S nyder, former owner of Western Publishing and the Little Napoleon of publishing, readily declares that the name Golden Books is priceless because no one buys an S.&S [Simon and Schuster] book or a Random House book because of the name (Rosenblatt 1). S nyder goes on to argue, speaking in delighted hyperbole, that every mother al ive has read Golden Books as a child and will buy them for her children (Rosenblatt 1). For example, Jacque line and John F. Kennedys daughter Caroline is quite famously pictured sitting next to her mother while holding a copy of her favorite book Ruth Krausss I Can Fly with illustrations by Mary Blair (Canemaker 72). Prior to Random Houses purchase of the Little Golden Books in 2001, a bidding war ensued for the company because, as noted by Steven Zeitchik in Publishers Weekly, theres something appealing about what Golden does (Zeitchik). Moreover, the a bility to license characters to TV and movie studios is what makes the purchase of Little Golden Books an important (not to mention cuddly) way to keep revenues hi gh for the new owners (Zeitchi k). Clearly, the Little Golden Books were, are, and will continue to be designed to delight children from all class structures, which might be the reason why their name carries such cultural currency in the United States. The currency of the Little Golden Books doe s not end with their name, though; over the decades they have also inspired the work of award-winning writers and illustrators. In his 2003 Newbery acceptance speech for Crispin: The Cross of Lead Avi states that his life long love of
165 reading perhaps began with The Poky Little Puppy when at the age of five [he] breathlessly announced I can read! I can read !(Avi). Author and illustra tor of Little Golden Books The Red Lemon (named one of the 10 Best Illustrated Childrens Books in 2006), Bob Staake notes that the Little Golden Books from his childhood in the 1960s inspires his current work which is why he enjoys seeing that trademark gold spine hugging [his] artwork (St aake). In particular, Staake admire[s] the work of Aurelius Battaglia who illustrated Little Boy with a Big Horn with a wonderful less-is-more approach (Marcus 220). Craig McCracken, creator the Powerpuff Girls states that the Little Golden Books were big influences on a lot of us at CalArts, where everybody discovered the grea t design from those books (Loyd 2). Certainly, the influence of the Little Golden Books has reached beyond the nursery room door. As a matter of fact, the allure of the Little Golden Books does not end at either shore of the United States. According to an article in the Racine Journal-Times in 1950, Western Printing signed a contract with the Toppan Printing Company in Japan to publish in the in the Far East the same line of Little Golden Books that have gained fame in this country [the United States] (Japanese Publishers 4). Additionally, an exhibition of Garth Williams illustrations titled The Picture Book World of Garth Williams and featuring his work in the Little Golden Books traveled the country between 2002 and 2003. Also in 2003, a Little Golden Books exhibition in the Netherlands marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Little Golden Books first appearance in that country (Mar cus 218). Some Little Golden Books that have been out of print for years in the United States like Bobby and His Airplanes, first published in 1949, continue to be reissued in Dutch in the Netherlands by the Rubinstein publishing house (Strom). Every ten years, the Little Golden Book annive rsary is greeted with much fanfare in the childrens book publishing world, the recycling of Little Golden Book titles based on a mix of
166 consumer-driven nostalgia and popularity, and the addition of new, unique titles to the Little Golden Books catalogue. In 2002 Random Hous e marked the Little Golden Books 60th anniversary by producing another boxed set of books culled from the Little Golden Books Classic line, which had launched one year earlier. This Classic line of Little Golden Books brought back popular vintage Little Golden B ooks titles based on consumer demand and the availability of the original artwork (timeline). According to Random House, several of the first six books reissued as part of the Classic line sold over 200,000 copies in their first year. These first six books include Richard Scarrys Good Night Little Bear, Jane Werner Watsons The Lions Paw with illustrations by Gustaf Tenggren, J. P. Millers The Little Red Hen and three titles illustrated by Tibor Gergely Ilo Orleanss Animal Orchestra, The Fire Engine Book, and The Good Humor Man More recent reissues through the Classic line include Gergely's The Happy Man and His Dump Truck (2005), Miriam Nortons The Kitten Who Thought He Was A Mouse (2008), and two more of Scarrys books titled Chipmunks ABC (2007) and The Bunny Book (2005). During an email exchange, Diane Muldrow, the current Little Golden Books editor, pointed out to me that th e availability of original artwork is a strong factor in determining which Little Golden Books will be reis sued as Classics. Artwork that is already in the Little Golden Books archives or that can be borrowed from an artists family for digi tal scanning is always ideal because a high quality visual that captures th e textures and details of the original artwork can be produced from it. In contrast, scanning illustrations from an actual book or from a film image produces a poor quality visual. Thus, when Muldrow writes on the back covers of Classic Little Golden Books like Dr. Dan the Bandage Man that she has searched our archives for the best Little Golden Books ever published, she is literally unveiling part of her decision making
167 process since which older books can be reissued is determined by what artwork is in the archives (Muldrow). Unfortunately for Little Golden B ook collectors, Muldrow will not divulge which Little Golden Books, if any, cannot be reissued due to a disintegration of the original artwork. Today, Muldrow picks new titles to publish that contain classic subjects in line with the existing catalogue. She has found that people's tast es for their children do n't change that much (Muldrow 16 Nov.). Whether peoples tastes influence the new Little Golden Books or the Little Golden Books themselves have influenced peoples tastes over the decades is a circular chicken or the egg question that could spark many speculations but few definitive answers. Yet, the word classic and all that it connotes seems to be the current driving force behind both new and reissued Little Golden Books. When discus sing which Little Golden Books are worthy of reissuing, Muldrow notes that the book must be well written, cont ain content [that] is classic enough for the kids of today to relate to, and incorporate art work w ith a classic sort of flair or charm (Muldrow 18 Nov.). Here, Muldrows use of the word classic indicates her beliefand quite possibly the companys long standing convi ctionthat certain ch ildhood interests about the world never have and never will go out of st yle. Moreover, artwork wi th a classic sort of flair is generally derived from Little Gold en Books first published during the 1940s when middlebrow culture was on the rise and then from books published during the 1950s and 1960s. Muldrow readily admits that she rarely reissue[ s] anything from the 1970s because that style of art has not dated well (Muldrow 18 Nov.). While reissued titles must be classic enough for todays child, new titles like Dennis Shealys Im a Truck and Trish Hollands Lasso the Moon have the potential to become the cla ssics of tomorrow (Muldrow 16 Nov.). Over the past 65 years, the Little Golden B ooks have worked their way into public library systems, remained consistent with the ideals of middlebrow culture, and repeatedly influenced a
168 cadre of writers and illustrators, which is why this epilogue is a continuation rather than a conclusion. If the Little Golden Books flourish fo r another 40 years, they will celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2042. Considering the consistent popularity of the Little Golden Books in the United States, reaching a century milestone do es not seem completely impossible. We should all look forward to seeing how the Little Golden Books continue to grow in numbers, respond to socio-cultural changes, and shape American ch ildrens literature in the years to come.
169 APPENDIX A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK ADVERTISEMENTS From 1956 to 1964, Golden Book products were advertised on the back of Little Golden Books. The following is a listing of the books an d/or subjects arranged by the heading under which they were advertised: Big Golden Books for Growing Minds 1. Astronomy 2. Science 3. Natural History 4. History of the World 5. Geography 6. Encyclopedia Craft and Hobby Books 1. Camping 2. Indian Crafts 3. Crafts and Hobbies 4. Make-It (Do-it) Book 5. Chemistry Experiments 6. Wild Animal Pets 7. Nature Crafts 8. Gardening De Lux Golden Books 1. The World We Live In 2. The Human Body 3. The Golden Book of America 4. The Sea Around Us 5. Walt Disney's World of Nature 6. The Golden Book of the American Revolution 7. The Golden Treasury of Myths and Legends Fiction for Boys and Girls For girls: 1. Vicky Loring A Career for Vicky 2. Penny of Paintrock Trouble at Paintrock 3. Kathy Martin Junior Nurse For boys: 1. Dig Allen Journey to Jupiter 2. Ellery Queen, Jr. Mystery o f the Vanished Victim 3. Brains Benton* Case of the Painted Dragon *(Lots of girls can hardly wait for the newest Brains Benton title.) Giant Golden Books for Growing Minds 1. The Story of Flight 2. Science 3. Astronomy 4. Bible Atlas 5. Geography 6. Encyclopedia 7. The Fairy Tale Book
170 Giant Little Golden Books 1. 5 Bedtime Stories 2. My Christmas Treasury 3. Favorite Stories 4. Donald Duck Treasury 5. Dogs 6. Animal Stories 7. Wild Animals 8. Mother Goose 9. Nursery Tales 10. Birds 11. Dictionary 12. Adventures of Lassie Golden Beginning Readers 1. Little Black Puppy 2. Where Do You Live? 3. The King Who Learned to Smile 4. Belling the Cat and Other Stories 5. The Wonderful House 6. Round Round World 7. Just for Fun 8. Too many Bozos 9. Where's Willie? 10. The Large and Growly Bear 11. Pear-Shaped Hill 12. Sylvester the Mouse with the Musical Ear 13. George the Gentle Giant 14. A Pickle for a Nickel 15. Jonathan and the Dragon 16. The Whale Hunt Golden Books for the Very Young 1. Wonders of Nature 2. Three Bedtime Stories 3. Animal ABC 4. The Color Kittens 5. Baby Farm Animals 6. Birds 7. My Big Golden Counting Books Golden Capitol Adventure Kits 1. Rocks 2. Sea Shells 3. Insects 4. Birds 5. Stars 6. Weather 7. Plants Golden Guides 1. Southwest 2. Southeast 3. Northwest 4. Photography 5. Weather 6. Stars 7. Zoology 8. Mammals 9. Flowers 10. Fishes 11. Trees 12. Birds 13. Seashores 14. Reptiles and Amphibians 15. Insects 16. Rocks and Minerals Golden Library of Knowledge 1. Prehistoric Animals 2. Walt Disney's White Wilderness 3. Indians and the Old West 4. Famous American Ships 5. Birds of the World 6. W alt Disney's Wildlife of the West 7. Butterflies and Moths 8. The Sea
171 Golden Nature Guides 1. Birds 2. Flowers 3. Insects 4. Stars 5. Reptiles and Amphibians 6. Fishes 7. Weather 8. Mammals 9. Seashores 10. Trees Golden Q&A Adventure Books 1. Birds 2. Insects 3. Coins 4. Stars 5. Weather 6. Underwater Life 7. Nature Crafts 8. Human Biology 9. Chemistry 10. The Human Mind 11. Magnetism 12. Rocks 13. Growing Plants 14. Shells Golden Quiz-Me Books 1. Snakes 2. Planes and Pilots 3. Indians 4. Birds 5. Cats 6. Dogs 7. Wonders of the World 8. Dinosaurs Golden Sta mp Books 1. Dog Stamps 2. Flag Stamps 3. Science and Inventions 4. Birds of the World 5. Disney's Secrets of Life 6. Animal Stamps 7. United States: a Geography Book 8. Disney's Sleeping Beauty 9. Snakes, Turtles, and Lizards 10. American history 11. Indians 12. Insects 13. Trucks 14. Animals of the Past 15. Boats and Ships 16. Animals of the Sea 17. Automobiles 18. Bible Stories 19. Wonders of the World 20. Disney True-Life Adventures New Golden Activity Books 1. Molly and Mike 2. Nature Stamps 3. Animal Punch Out 4. Giant Punch-Out 5. Puppet Playhouse 6. Boy Mechanic 7. Boy Engineer 8. Boy Scientist Walt Disney Big Golden Books 1. Uncle Remus 2. Peter Pan 3. Treasury 4. Bambi 5. Dumbo 6. Cinderella 7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Pinocchio
172 APPENDIX B LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK FABRICS The following inform ation about the Little Golden Books fabric comes courtesy of an interview with Holly Everson, a Little Golden B ook collector. For other information about Little Golden Books, her web site address is . As of this mom ent, Everson has found 11 Little Golden Book designs on multiple background colors. She believes the fabric was produ ced in the early 1950s, since the characters depicted are from books published between 1946 and 1956. Moreover the bolt length is 36inches as opposed to the more common and recent width of 45-inches. The selvage, which is not present on all of Eversons pieces, provides copy write information that resembles the following format: [copyright symbol] S&S, A&W M ADE IN U.S.A. "A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK" FABRIC "THE CIRCUS ABC" BY J. P. MILLER Here, S&S indicates Simon and Schuster and A&W refers to the Artists and Writers Guil d. The selvage also indicates the book title and author from which the fabric is designed. The 11 designs owned by Everson are as follows: 1. The Animal Fair designs from the books end papers on both cream and white backgrounds. 2. The Circus ABC designs from the title page on both pink and white backgrounds. 3. The Color Kittens the kittens variously posed on a white background. 4. The Little Fat Policeman depicts different char acters on yellow and blue backgrounds. 5. The Five Little Firemen one design shows ladder s on an aqua background; another design shows ropes and firemen holding safety nets on green, pink, and yellow backgrounds. 6. Pirates, Ships, and Sailors images from the book on a cream background. 7. Scuffy the Tugboat the tugboat is randomly re peated on a yellow background. 8. Seven Little Postmen letters and mailmen on a pink background.
173 9. Mr. Noah images from the book on an aqua background and a yellow background (seersucker fabric). 10. The Three Bears images from the book on a pale pink background. 11. A Golden Book Fabric the alph abet on a pink or blue background. Everson also owns some fabric that is designed to look like the end papers of the Little Golden Books on a yellow or blue background. Since the selvage is unmarked and the fabric design does not exactly match the Little Golden Book design, Everson believes this particular fabric design could be pirated.
174 LIST OF REFERENCES All-Tim e Best-Selling Childrens Books (Har dcover). InfoPlease: Al l the Knowledge You Need. 19 July 2006. < http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0203049.html >. Alice, Michele. Collectors Corner: Little Golden Books. Auctionbytes.com 11 August 2002. 26 March 2005. < http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y202/m 08/abu0076/s07 >. Avi. Newbery Medal Acceptance. Hyperion: Books for Children 6 Dec. 2007. < http://www.hyperionbooksforchildren.com/avi_newbery.html >. Azum a, Ann. This Bombed With My Boys. Amazon.com: Reviews for My Little Golden Book About God (Little Golden Treasures): B ooks: Jane Werner Watson, Eloise Wilkin 11 June 2001. 27 August 2007. < http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customerreviews/0307203123>. Bader, Barbara. American Picture Books: from N oah's Ark to the Beast Within. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1976. Baldwin Library of Historical Childrens Literature 23 July 2007. U of Florida. 27 July 2007. < http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/sp ec/bald win/baldwin.html >. Bank Street School for Children. History. About the School 18 July 2006. < http://www.bankstreet.edu/sfc/history.html >. Basbanes, Nicholas A. A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, B ibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995. Bechtel, Louise Seaman. Books in Search of Children Ed. Virginia Haviland. New York: Macmillan Company, 1969. Bedford, Annie North. Susies New Stove: The Little Chefs Cookbook New York: Simon and Schuster, 1950. Bianco, David. Golden Books Family Entertainment, Inc. Answers.com Business and Finance 6 Dec. 2007. < http://www.answers.com/topic/golden-books-family-entertainmentinc ?cat=biz-fin >. Billingsley, Becky. Tiny People Participate in Tom Thumb Weddings: Wedding Fund-raiser Tradition Started in the 1800s. Associated Content. 28 Mar. 2007. 6 Sept. 2007. < http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/ 1851 33/tiny_people_participate_in_tom_thumb .html >. Billington, Elizabeth, Ed. The Randolph Caldecott Treasury New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Inc., 1978. Bob Staake. Weblog Posting. DesignInspiration.com 5 Aug. 2007. 6 Dec. 2007. < http://designinspiration.blogspot.com/2007/08/bob-staake.html >.
175 Boym, Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia New York: Basic Books, 2001. Brophy, John. The Human Face. 1946. New York: Prentice Hall, Inc., 2005. The Brothers Chaps. dween_kidsbook. Home star Runner (H*R) Flash Animation Site. 9 March 2005. < http://www.homestarrunner.com/dween_kidsbook.html >. ___. sbem ail84. Homestar Runner (H*R ) Flash Animation Site. 9 March 2005. < http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail84.html >. Brum berg, Joan Jacobs. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls NewYork: Random House, 1997. Canemaker, John. The Art and Flair of Mary Blair: An Appreciation New York: Disney Enterprises, Inc. 2003. Carpenter, Humphrey. Secret Gardens: The Golden Age of Childrens Literature Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985. Chase, Malcolm and Christopher Shaw. The Dimensions of Nostalgia. The Imagined Past: History and Nostalgia Eds. Malcolm Chase and Christopher Straw. New York: Manchester University Press, 1989: 1-17. Cherry Ripe By Sir John Everett Millais at Sothebys. sGallery Art News Archive. 9 June 2004. 11 Aug. 2007. < http://www.sgallery.net/news/06_2004/09.html >. Circulation Leader: Strength and Vitality. Chart. Parents Media Kit. Dec. 2006. 11 Sept. 2007 < http://www.meredith.com/mediakit/parents/print/circulation.html >. Clark, Beverly Lyon. Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Childrens Literatu re in America Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Come Into a Beauty Conference with 10,000,000 Babies. Advertisement. Saturday Evening Post. 5 Apr. 1930. Ivory Soap Advertising Collection, 1883-1998. Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS). 15 Jan. 2007. < http://sirisarchiv es.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=all >. Conger, Marion. All Aboard! Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1952. Coontz, Stephanie. The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with Americas Changing Families New York: Basic Books, 1997. ___. The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap New York: Basic Books, 1992. Crampon, Gertrude. Scuffy the Tugboat and his Adventures Down the River York: Simon & Schuster, 1946. Cushman (Burger), Jean. We Help Mommy. Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1959.
176 Davis, Fred. Yearning for Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia. New York: Free Press, 1979. Dear Parents of America: Little Golden Books. Advertisement. New York Times 9 December 1942: 31. Dempsey, David. In and Out of Books. New York Times 21 December 1952: BR8. Diversity: A Key to the Strength and Success of Western Publishing Company During 75 years of Printing and Publishing. The Westerner 3.2 (Winter 1982): 3-17. Dr. Mary Reed, 89, Education Adviser. New York Times 30 November 1960: 37. Egoff, Sheila A. Thursdays Child: Trends and Patterns in Contemporary Childrens Literature Chicago: American Library Association, 1981. Ellis, Sarah Stickney. from The Women of England Victorian Lite rature 1830-1900. Ed. Dorothy Mermin and Herbert F. Tucker. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers, 2002, 83-5. Evans, Edmund. The Reminiscences of Edmund Evans Ed. Ruari McLean. London: Oxford UP, 1967. Evans, Greg. Luann. Comic Strip. Comics.com 31 Dec. 2007. 4 Jan 2008. < http://www.comics.com/comics/luann/archive/luann-20071231.html >. ___. Luann. Com ic Strip. Comics.com 1 Jan. 2007. 4 Jan 2008. < http://www.comics.com/comics/luann/archive/luann-20080101.html >. ___. Luann. Com ic Strip. Comics.com 2 Jan. 2007. 4 Jan 2008. < http://www.comics.com/comics/luann/archive/luann-20080102.html >. ___. Luann. Com ic Strip. Comics.com 3 Jan. 2007. 4 Jan 2008. < http://www.comics.com/comics/luann/archive/luann-20080103.html >. Evans, Janet. Whats in the Picture? Responding to Illustrations in Picture Books London: Paul Chapm an Publishing Ltd., 1998. Everson, Holly. Personal Interview. 26 August 2003. Feaver, William. When We Were Young: Two Centurie s of Childrens Book Illustrations New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1977. Flynn, Richard. RE: [child_lit] MLA--dissing childrens literature. Email to the author. 18 Jan. 2006. For the Home: Holiday Additions to Brighten a Childs Room. New York Times 28 November 1950: 38. Frank, Janet. Daddies. Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1954.
177 From the Inner Sanctum of Simon and Schuster. Advertisement. New York Times 27 April 1949: 25. From the Inner Sanctum of Simon and Schuster. Advertisement. New York Times 6 November 1950: 25. Gale, Leah. Nursery Songs Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1942. Goddard, Connie. Fifty Years of Books For the Masses. Publishers Weekly. 22 June 1992. The Golden Books: The Story of an Idea w ith Seven League Boots. Advertisement. New York Times 31 December 1944: BR13. Golden Library. New B ooks for Younger Readers. New York Times 14 February 1943: BR25. Grant, Julia. Raising Baby by the Book:The Education of American Mothers. Connecticut: Yale UP, 1998. Griswold, Jerry. The Disappearance of Childre ns Literature (or Childrens Literature as Nostalgia) in the United States in the Late Twentieth Century. Reflections of Change: Childrens Literature Since 1945 Ed. Sandra L. Beckett. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1997: 35-41. Hajewski, Doris. Hats off to Stormy; Fabled headgear finds new life with a Michigan manufacturer. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 17 November 2002: 1A. Halter, Marilyn Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity New York: Schocken Books, 2000. Harper, Ralph. Nostalgia: An Existential Exploration of Longing and Fulfillment in the Modern Age Cleveland: Press of West ern Reserve University, 1966. Harrison, David L. Lets Go, Trucks! Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1973. Hazen, Barbara Shook. Ookpik the Arctic Owl. New York: Golden Press, 1968. Higonnet, Anne. Picture of Innocence: The Hist ory and Crisis of Ideal Childhood New York: Thames and Hudson Inc., 1998. Hill, Monica. Rin Tin Tin and Rusty Wisconsin: Golden Press, 1955. Hillman, James. Abandoning the Child. Loose Ends: Primary Papers in Archetypal Psychology. Dallas: Spring Publications, 1975: 5-48. Homme, Joseph, and Cheryl Homme. The Art of Popular Childrens Books Portland: Collectors Press, Inc., 2002. Hulbert, Ann. Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 2003.
178 Hutchins, Michael. Randolph Caldecott & Ed mund Evans: A Partnership of Equals. The Randolph Caldecott Treasury Ed. Elizabeth T. Billington. New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Inc., 1978. Jackson, Kathryn. Nurse Nancy Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1952. ___. Puss in Boots. Wisconsin: Golden Press, 1959. Japanese Publishers Reproduce Racine Firms Child Books. Racine Journal-Times 27 March 1950: 4. Jenkins, Henry, Tara McPherson, and Jane Shattuc, eds. Hop on Pop: the Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. Jones, Dolores B. Bibliography of the L ittle Golden Books New York: Greenwood Press, 1987. Jung, Carl, and C. Kerenyi. Essays on a Science of Mythology: The Myths of the Divine Child and the Divine Maiden Trans. R.F.C. Hull. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1949. Kennedy, Elizabeth. Little Golden Books: A Treasury of Childrens Literature. About.com 26 March 2005. < http://childrensbooks.about.com/c s/publishers/a/goldenbooks.htm >. Key, Ellen. The Century of the Child New York: G.P. Putnam s Sons, 1909. Kingston, Anne. The Meaning of Wife New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. Kirkpatrick, David. Companies Pa y $84 Million for Golden Books. New York Times 16 Aug. 2001. Kline, Stephen. Out of the Garden: Toys, TV, and Childrens Culture New York: Verso, 1993. Knizeski, Henry. Annotated Introduction to th e Entomological Literature. 13 July 2006. < http://www.mercy.edu/faculty/knizeski/nybg biblio.html >. Lanes, Selma G. Down t he Rabbit Hole: Adventures and Misadventures in the Realm of Childrens Literature New York: Atheneum, 1971. Lelyveld, Joseph. Now Little White Squibba Joins Sambo in Facing Jungle Perils. New York Times 4 Aug. 1966: 34. Levine, Lawrence. Highbrow/Lowbrow: the Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1988. Loewen, James. Sundown Towns: a Hidden Dime nsion of American Racism New York: New Press, 2005. Long, Tom. Elizabeth Orton Jones; Brought Whimsy, Vibrancy to Pages. The Boston Globe 13 May 2005.
179 Lowenthal, David. Nostalgia Tells It Like It Wasnt. The Imagined Past: History and Nostalgia Eds. Malcolm Chase and Christopher Stra w. New York: Manchester University Press, 1989: 18-32. Lowrey, Janette Sebring. The Poky Little Puppy Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1942. Loyd, Robert. Beyond Good and Evil: To the utterly adorable ass-kicking superheroics of the Powerpuff Girls! LA Weekly 21 Nov. 2000. 16 Oct. 2007. < http://www.laweekly.com/news/features/beyond-good-and-evil/5240/ >. Mackenzie, Catherine. The Childrens Books are Booming. New York Times 20 August 1944: BR 2. ___. Suggestions for Long Motor Trips. New York Times 17 July 1949: SM27. MacLeod, Anne Scott. American Childhood: Essays of Children s Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994. Marcus, Leonard S. Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1998. ___. Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Childrens Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way. New York: Golden Books, 2007. ___. Introduction. A Family Treasury of Little Golden Books: 46 Best-Loved Stories. By Ellen Lewis Buell. New York: Golden Books P ublishing Company, Inc., 1998. xiii-xiv. Marsh, Margaret. Suburban Lives. New Jersey: Rutgers UP, 1990. Martin, Michelle H. Brown Gold: Milestones of Africa n-American Childrens Picture Books 1845-2002. New York: Routledge, 2004. May, Elaine Tyler. Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era New York: Basic Books, 1988. McCormick, Edith. Anatomy of a Paradox: Librarians Hate Us But the Public Loves Golden Books. American Libraries. May 1981: 251-57. McNeill, Daniel. The Face Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1998. Meigs, Cornelia, ed. A Critical History of Childrens Literature New York: The MacMillan Company, 1953: 427-604. Memling, Carl. Our Flags. New York: Golden Press, 1960. Mickenberg, Julia L. Learning From the Left: Childrens Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006.
180 Mitchell, Lucy Sprague. Fix-it, Please! Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1947. Mortons Cashway Wonder Values. Advertisement. The Washington Post and Times Herald 11 December 1955: F30. Muldrow, Diane. Dear Reader. Dr. Dan the Bandage Man 1950. By Helen Gaspard. New York: Random House, 1999. ___. RE: lgb question. E-mail to Julie Sinn Cassidy. 16 Nov. 2007. ___. RE: lgb question. E-mail to Julie Sinn Cassidy. 18 Nov. 2007. Nast, Elsa Ruth. Fun with Decals Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1952. Nodelman, Perry. Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Childrens Picture Books Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988. A Note From the Publishers. Fun with Decals By Elsa Ruth Nast. Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1952. Paterson, Sharyl Bender and Mary Alyce Lach. G ender Stereotypes in Childrens Books: Their Prevalence and Influence on Cognitive and Affective Development. Gender and Education 2.2 (1990): 185-97. EBSCO. 19 Nov. 2003 < http://80search.epnet.com .lp.hscl.ufl.e du/direct.asp?an=9707085363&db=aph>. Peters, John. Personal Interview. 16 November 2007. Porter, William. In the campaign for the hearts and minds and stomachs of consumers, the fastfood industry has learned that food isnt the only way to entice customers through the doorway Toys are the Ticket. Denver Post 21 December 1997: E01. Postle, Martin. Tate Collection | The Age of Innocence by Sir Joshua Reynolds Texts. Tate Online Nov. 2000. Tate National Gallery. 10 August 2007. Prayers for Children Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1942. Prayers for Children Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, 1952. Presents Suggested for the Very Young. New York Times 18 December 1951: 51. Reisman, David. The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character Connecticut: Yale UP, 1950. Rosenblatt, Roger. See Dick Run, Again. NYTimes.com 1 Oct. 1995. 10 Dec. 2007. < http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9401E3D81439F932A35753C1A963958 260>.
181 Rovito, Rich. Golden Books reti rees get reprieve from buyer. The Business Journal of Milwaukee 21 Aug. 2001. 6 Dec. 2007. < http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2001/09/03/story8.html?page=1 >. Rubin, Joan Shelley. The Making of Middlebrow Culture North Carolina: University of North Carolina P ress, 1992. Santi, Steve. The History of Little Golden Books. Collecting Little Golden Books: a Collectors Identification and Price Guide, 4th Edition Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2000: 7. ___. Personal Interview. 22 May 2003. ___. Stories. Collecting Little Golden B ooks: A Forum for Collecting Little Golden Books and Similar Childrens Books 12 March 2005. < http://thesantis.com/phpBB2/index.php >. ___.Whats that Title? Collecting Little Golden Books: A Forum for Collecting Little Golden Books and Similar Childrens Books 12 March 2005.< http://thesantis. com /phpBB2/index.php >. Shane, Ruth and Harold Shane. The New Baby 1948. New York: A Golden Book, 1975. Sollors, Werner. Neither Black Not White Yet Both New York: Oxford U. Press, 1997. Spencer, Isobel. Walter Crane. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc., 1975. Sperber, A. M. and Eric Lax. Bogart New York: William Morrow & Co., 1997. Spock, Benjamin. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearse, 1945. Springett, Deborah Wilkin. Introduction. Eloise Wilkin Stories. New York: Random House, Inc. 2005. Starobinski, Jean. The Idea of Nostalgia. Diogenes 54 (Summer 1966): 81-103. Stearns, Peter N. Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America New York: New York UP, 2003. Stein, Joyce. Personal Interview. 5 March 2004. Stewart, Susan. On Longing: Narratives of the Miniat ure, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection Durham: Duke University Press, 1993. Strom, Kellie. Some Childrens Books by Other Authors. sadiethepilot.com. July 2006. 10 Dec. 2007. < http://sadiethepilot.com/sadie/trygold.htm >. Tebbel, John. Between the Covers: The Rise an d Transform ation of Book Publishing in America. New York: Oxford UP, 1987.
182 ___. A History of Book Publishing in the United States: The Great Change Vol. 4. New York: RR. Bowker, 1972. 4 vols. Three Little Kittens Wisconsin: Western Publishing Company, Inc. 1942. Timeline. Little Golden Books Random House Childrens Books. 3 Dec. 2007. < http://www.randomhouse.com/golden/lgb/timeline.html >. To the Babies W ho Chose January. Advertisement. Literary Digest 4 Jan. 1930. Ivory Soap Advertising Collection, 1883-1998. Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS). 15 Jan. 2007. < http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=all >. Truitt, Warren. Personal Interview. 15 November 2007. Trumble, Angus. A Brief History of the Smile New York: Basic Books, 2004. Tuttle Jr., William M. The Homefront Childre ns Popular Culture: Radio, Movies, Comics Adventure, Patriotism, and Sex-Typing. Small Worlds: Children & Adolescents in America, 1850-1950 Eds. Elliot West and Paula Petrik. Kansas: UP of Kansas, 1992: 14363. Vanobbergen, Bruno. Wanted; Real Childre n. About Innocence and Nostalgia in a Commodified Childhood. Studies in Philosophy and Education 23.2-3 (2004): 161-76. Viguers, Ruth Hill. The Golden Age:1920 1950. A Critical History of Childrens Literature Ed. Cornelia Meigs. New York: Th e MacMillan Company, 1953: 427-604. ___. Introduction. Kate Greenaway Treasury. Ed. Edward Ernest. New York: The William Collins + World Publishing Company, Inc., 1967: 13-23. Visser, Pat. Feelings From A to Z New York: Golden Press, 1979. Watson, Jane Werner. My Little Golden Book About God (1956) New York: Random House, Inc., 1975. ___. My Little Golden Book about God New York: Western P ublishing Company, 1956. Whimsical Figures Roam Among Plastic Draperies. New York Times 23 July 1951: 28. White, Colin. The World of the Nursery New York: E. P. Dutton, Inc., 1984. Witman, Mabel. The Golden Book of Flowers New York: Simon & Schuster, 1943. Woodcock, Louise. Guess Who Lives Here! 1949. Eloise Wilkin Stories New York: Random House, Inc. 2005. Wright, Ed. Orchid Books. 24 July 1996. OrchidSafari Archives 13 July 2006. < http://www.geocities.com/~marylois/archiv17.html >.
183 Wyler, Rose. Exploring Space: A True Story About the Rockets of Today and a Glimpse of the Rockets That Are To Come New York: Simon and Schuster, 1958. Wylie, Philip. "Common Women." Generation of Vipers. 1942. New York: Pocket Books, 1955. 184-196. Yungbluth, Jason. The Cuddly Menace. What is Deep Fried 26 March 2005. < http://www.whatisdeepfried.com/zogg/zogg1.html >. Zeitchik, Steven. Random House La nds Golden B ooks Assets: Despite a Push from Harper and Employee Objections, RH Wins Co urt Approval for the Purchase. Publishers Weekly. 20 Aug. 2001. 10 Dec. 2007. < http://www.publishersweekly.com/artic le/CA152753.htm l?pubdate=8/20/2001&display= archive&q="golden+books"+2001 >.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Julie Sinn Cassidy started her academic career at the community college in her hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas. She continued her undergra duate education at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and majored in Secondary Education with a minor in English and journalism. During this time, she also spent a semester in Cork, Ireland, studying Irish folklore, fairy tales, and material cu lture. After graduating from KState in 1997, Cassidy crossed the border into Missouri where she taught eighth grade and s ophomore English, coached JV volleyball, organized the junior-senior prom, a nd advised the yearbook staff in a small town named Archie. Motivated by her growing intere st in childrens and young adult literature, Cassidy packed her life into her little red truck an d returned to school full -time at the University of Florida in 1999. Over the years, she has taugh t various undergraduate and graduate English courses on topics including fair y tales, picture books, adolesce nt novels, methodologies research, and Victorian childrens literature in computer-based and traditional classrooms. In preparation for her dissertation, Cassidy read over 600 Little Golden Books, 72 of which already sat on her childhood bookshelf.