First, I would check the condition of the Book. Is the title page written in? Are the pages torn and dirty, or clean and crisp? Are there any crayon or ink marks throughout the book? Is the Book Spine damaged or intact? Are the colors still clear and vibrant or are they faded?
Once I determine if the book is in good condition. I look at the age of the book. One thing to look at when determining the age is the color of the outside binding. The very first Vintage Little Golden Books had a blue binding.
September 19, 1942, was the date the first ad was placed in Publisher’s Weekly. Twelve Little Golden books were issued first. The titles of the first 12 books were The Poky Little Puppy, The Alphabet A-Z, The Animals of Farmer Jones, Three Little Kittens, Bedtime Stories, This Little Piggy, Mother Goose, The Golden book of Fairy Tales, Nursery Songs, The Little Red Hen, Prayers for Children, and Baby’s Book.
Some of you may remember these books fondly and probably have childhood memories of your mom and dad reading you these books. They are great books and are still being sold today. The older books have become quite collectible and some are really valuable.
There are several ways to date these books. One of the easiest ways to date the Vintage Little Golden Books is by the Spine Design and color of the binding.
From 1942-1947, the majority of the first 35 book titles had blue bindings and were published with dust jackets. Then the bindings changed to gold spines, from 1947-1949 and had a pattern of flowers, leaves and animals. In 1949-1969 there was an Antique Gold spine with varied patterns of leaves, plants, and flowers.
From 1955-1959 The Christmas books had a Christmas spine design for the Christmas stories. Then my favorite spine design came out in 1954-1956, this was the Mickey Mouse Club Edition, they had red spines with portraits. I have only had a few of these books, but they all had Mickey Mouse heads on the red spines. From 1969 through the present the Little Golden Books have a Gold Spine with elephants, chickens, and crickets in the design.
I hope this helped to explain the very basics of what to look for when collecting Little Golden Books.
Click on the images below to check out the Vintage Little Golden Books I have for sale at my OLA Stubsinc Store.