Are you thinking of The Rolling Stones? Or Gloria Gaynor? (You know this is the 30th anniversary of her fabulous disco hit 'I Will Survive'?) Here's a hint: he was loved by millions of young people and he's on the small side and rather hairy. At the risk of going down an entirely wrong road in trying to work that out, I'll just tell you. It's the Poky Little Puppy!!
That's right, everyone's favorite Little Golden Book character is coming to a town near you! At least his picture is coming - as part of a traveling exhibit celebrating 65 years of Little Golden Book art. What makes Little Golden Books so popular?
When they were first published in the 1940s, they were amazingly affordable - just 25¢. (Compare this to other children's books that sold for $2 and up!) But, children didn't love them because they were inexpensive - they loved them for the marvelous illustrations that brought the characters to life.
The publishers of Little Golden Books had revolutionary ideas about publishing and marketing books for children that made these instant best-sellers (three printings within months of the release of the original 12 books). The real genius, however, was in printing the books in full color and hiring top-notch illustrators - including several Disney studio artists, a young Richard Scarry, Garth Williams (of 'Little House on the Prairie' fame), and many immigrant artists who brought an exotic flair to their drawings (think of the Three Bears as drawn by Feodor Rojankovsky). What was your favorite Little Golden Book or character? If it was the Poky Little Puppy you're not alone - it's the best-selling children's book ever. My favorite, Scuffy the Tugboat, comes in at number 8. But, he does have his own Facebook page!
The vintage books are very collectible and are easy to find in antique stores and on eBay. But, if you want to see 60 pieces of the original artwork - check out the exhibit. Currently it's at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. In 2010 it will be in two Illinois locations: Lake County Discovery Museum and the Chicago Public Library. Check the schedule for 2011 and beyond - and note that you can get the exhibit for your library or museum as well!