Friendly Tales: Little Golden Book Collection

Overview

A MUST-HAVE COLLECTION of the most cherished Golden Books written by Margaret Wise Brown. Beautifully bound with 224 gilded pages, it includes The Color Kittens, Home for a Bunny, and 18 other bestselling stories and poems—some of which are available only in this collection!

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Overview

A MUST-HAVE COLLECTION of the most cherished Golden Books written by Margaret Wise Brown. Beautifully bound with 224 gilded pages, it includes The Color Kittens, Home for a Bunny, and 18 other bestselling stories and poems—some of which are available only in this collection!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
This is a wonderful compilation of the "Little Golden Book" stories and poems written by the incomparable Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by several of the many artists who worked with "Little Golden Books" authors at the time. "Little Golden Books" launched the careers of many illustrators represented in this collection such as Garth Williams, Leonard Weisgard, and the Provensons. The stories in the volume include favorites such as "Seven Little Postmen" and "The Train to Timbuctoo" as well as selections from others. The stories are all written for the young reader or pre-reader whose parent or other adult reads aloud to him or her. They have child-friendly adventures and comforting endings. Had she lived, Margaret Wise Brown's contribution to children's literature of the twentieth century could well have exceeded several hundred books. Despite her early death, her output is remarkable and her influence immeasurable. This volume is a delightful tribute to her unrivaled ability to create characters and stories that children love. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375874956
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/9/2008
  • Series: Little Golden Book Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 300,542
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Wise Brown—probably most famous for writing Good Night Moon and The Runaway Bunny—was also a prolific and bestselling Golden Books author. Her Golden Egg Book, Home for a Bunny, The Color Kittens, and The Sailor Dog count among the most popular storybooks for children of the last 60 years.

Biography

When Margaret Wise Brown began to write for young children, most picture books were written by illustrators, whose training and talents lay mainly in the visual arts. Brown, the author of Goodnight Moon, was the first picture-book author to achieve recognition as a writer, and the first, according to historian Barbara Bader, "to make the writing of picture books an art."

After graduating college in 1932, Brown's first ambition was to write literature for adults; but when she entered a program for student teachers in New York, she was thrilled by the experience of working with young children, and inspired by the program's progressive leader, the education reformer Lucy Sprague Mitchell. Mitchell held that stories for very young children should be grounded in "the here and now" rather than nonsense or fantasy. For children aged two to five, she thought, real experience was magical enough without embellishments.

Few children's authors had attempted to write specifically for so young an audience, but Brown quickly proved herself gifted at the task. She was appointed editor of a new publishing firm devoted to children's books, where she cultivated promising new writers and illustrators, helped develop innovations like the board book, and became, as her biographer Leonard S. Marcus notes, "one of the central figures of a period now considered the golden age of the American picture book."

Though Brown was intensely interested in modernist writers like Gertrude Stein (whom she persuaded to write a children's book, The World Is Round), it was a medieval ballad that provided the inspiration for The Runaway Bunny (1942), illustrated by Clement Hurd. The Runaway Bunny was Brown's first departure from the here-and-now style of writing, and became one of her most popular books.

Goodnight Moon, another collaboration with Hurd, appeared in 1947. The story of a little rabbit's bedtime ritual, its rhythmic litany of familiar objects placed it somewhere between the nursery rhyme and the here-and-now story. At first it was only moderately successful, but its popularity gradually climbed, and by 2000, it was among the top 40 best-selling children's books of all time.

The postwar baby boom helped propel sales of Brown's many picture books, including Two Little Trains (1949) and The Important Book (1949). After the author died in 1952, at the age of 42, many of her unpublished manuscripts were illustrated and made into books, but Brown remains best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

More people recognize those titles than recognize the name of their author, but Margaret Wise Brown wouldn't have minded. "It didn't seem important that anyone wrote them," she once said of the books she read as a child. "And it still doesn't seem important. I wish I didn't have ever to sign my long name on the cover of a book and I wish I could write a story that would seem absolutely true to the child who hears it and to myself." For millions of children who have settled down to hear her stories, she did just that.

Good To Know

When Goodnight Moon first appeared, the New York Public Library declined to buy it (an internal reviewer dismissed it as too sentimental). The book sold fairly well until 1953, when sales began to climb, perhaps because of word-of-mouth recommendations by parents. More than 4 million copies have now been sold. The New York Public Library finally placed its first order for the book in 1973.

If you look closely at the bookshelves illustrated in Goodnight Moon, you'll see that one of the little rabbit's books is The Runaway Bunny. One of three framed pictures on the walls shows a scene from the same book.

Brown's death was a stunning and sad surprise. The author had had an emergency appendectomy in France while on a book tour, which was successful; but when she did a can-can kick days later to demonstrate her good health to her doctor, it caused a fatal embolism.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Golden MacDonald, Juniper Sage, Timothy Hay
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 23, 1910
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, N.Y.
    1. Date of Death:
      November 13, 1952
    2. Place of Death:
      Nice, France

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2011

    CHILDRENS' LIBRARY ESSENTIAL

    Iconic stories and illustrations from Margaret Wise Brown. Beware:You will find yourself reading it without a chld on your lap.

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    Posted July 9, 2010

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    Posted June 13, 2009

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