While not the first Little Golden Book to feature Barbie, this 1977 book tells of Barbie’s adventures as a fairy princess. Photo by A. Glenn Mandeville, book from A. Glenn Mandeville’s collection.
Little Golden Books were released featuring Ideal’s Tammy from 1963 and Cosmopolitan’s Ginger from 1957. Standing next to the paper doll books are the actual dolls.

By A. Glenn Mandeville
Photos by Robi Blute, except where indicated
Little Golden Books pictured are from the collection of Ann Tardie, except where indicated.

To this day, Little Golden Books hold a special place in the memories of adults and children alike, and many can still recall their first Little Golden Book. With characters like the Poky Little Puppy, Doctor Dan (who came with a real Band-Aid), and Roy Rogers, as well as numerous activity books, the fun never seemed to end.

The inexpensive books were available with paper dolls to play with, stamps to collect, and holiday ornaments. Finding a Little Golden Book in the department store, a variety store, the drug store, or even the grocery store made every shopping trip an ad­venture. The story of how these enchanting books came about is almost as exciting as the books themselves.

Published in 1960, this book gives children the opportunity to act as Cinderella’s fairy godmother by changing her outfits.
The fairy tale series of Little Golden Books proved to be one of the best-selling series. The 1961 book pictured here includes Hansel and Gretel paper dolls.
This charming Little Red Riding Hood Little Golden Book was released in 1959.
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