Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ray's Reviews: Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow

Here's a quick look at an unusual best-selling small volume that's going to make most Baby Boomers smile with fond memories of childhood.

Younger generations will likely grin, too -- particularly if they came from a family of readers, where doting relatives gave their growing children shiny new illustrated books.

"Everything I Need To Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book", by Diane Muldrow (Little Golden Books, $9.99), is a warm and humorous look at many of the important positive guidelines provided by the memorable children's books.

In the brief two-page introduction, Muldrow reminisces about the influence of Little Golden Books, Big Golden Books and Giant Golden Books.

She succinctly discusses many memorable images of childhood, including pride of ownership -- like printing your name on the area of the inside front cover that said "This Little Golden Book Belongs To: ______".

Muldrow, a longtime editorial director for the publication, is also a prolific author of children's books. She notes, "We at Golden Books think there's a good chance that many of us learned pretty much everything that really matters about life from what we read between those stylish gilt-bound cardboard covers. It's true!"

This colorful book is filled with many bright, almost glowing images from childhood classics such as The Poky Little PuppyThe Shy Little KittenScruffy The TugboatThe Saggy, Baggy Elephant, and Chicken Little.

Striking images abound, including great graphics by well-known illustrators such as Richard Scarry, Eloise Wilkin, Garth Williams, Gustav Tenggren, and Tibor Gergley.

This highly entertaining book contains drawings primarily from the 1940s through the 1950s, with some as late as 1963.

They are arranged by relevance, not chronologically, with short bold-faced captions relating to behavior accompanying the pictures.

In teeny tiny type at the bottom of most pages, astute readers will notice information regarding the book's title, author, illustrator and year of publication. Bifocals may be useful!

This is a delightful trip down memory lane that's ideal for those trying to escape the many depressing pressures of contemporary times.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, 
grew up with Little Golden Books and has reviewed books regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on Sunday, December 29, 2013.

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