15 Most Valuable Little Golden Books: Complete Price Guide

When the Western Publishing Company debuted the first Little Golden Books in 1942, success was immediate. The books were affordable to make, consumed minimal paper, and were durable. What’s more, Little Golden Books were inexpensive to buy – this was a very popular feature given the frugality of the World War II years.

Today, fans of Little Golden Books include kids, young adults, the young-at-heart, and collectors. As you would expect, with growing demand, the Little Golden Books value has gone up.

Today, the cheapest Little Golden Book will have a value of $5. The most valuable Little Golden Books, however, can cost over $200.

In this detailed guide, we will focus on the price to expect for the most valuable Little Golden Books. What’s more, we will answer frequently asked questions about Little Golden Books.

15 Most Expensive Little Golden Books

No.
Little Golden Book Title 
Author
Year 
Price (USD)
1.    
Just Imagine: A Book of Fairyland Rhymes
Guy Gilchrist
1990
$199.95
2.    
Tales from Walt Disney
Walt Disney
1974
$181.16 to $217.40
3.    
Pain D’Epice Pat A Cake
Contes de Nourrice
1948
$179.99
4.    
Tammy
Kathleen Daly
1963
$100
5.    
Baby’s Day Out
John Hughes
1994
$88.57
6.    
Betsy McCall
Selma Robinson
1973
$81.89
7.    
The Lively Little Rabbit
Ariane
1946
$80
8.    
Fun with Decals
Elsa Ruth Nast
1952
$74.95
9.    
Mother Goose
Violet LaMont
1957
$66.40
10.  
Linda and Her Little Sister
Esther Burns Wilkin
1954
$65
11.  
Little Black Sambo
Violet LaMont
1948
$64.46
12.  
Albert’s Zoo
Jane Werner
1951
$60
13.  
Uncle Mistletoe
Jane Werner
1953
$60
14.  
The New House in the Forest
Lucy Sprague Mitchell
1946
$58.50
15.  
Charlie
Diane Fox Downs
1970
$56

1.  Just Imagine: A Book of Fairyland Rhymes

Author: Guy Gilchrist
Price: 1990
Year: $199.95
Just Imagine A Book of Fairyland Rhymes
Just Imagine A Book of Fairyland Rhymes Image Source: ebay

Published in 1990 by Guy Gilchrist, Just Imagine: A Book of Fairyland Rhymes is one of the most valuable Little Golden Books. Currently listed on eBay, the Little Golden Book has a price tag of $199.95 attached to it.

The book tells its stories in English and is designed for preschool children. According to the seller, the Little Golden book only features some minor wearing around the corners and edges.

2.  Tales from Walt Disney

Author: Walt Disney
Price: 1974
Year: $181.16 to $217.40
Tales from Walt Disney
Tales from Walt Disney Image Source: ebay

Published in 1974, Tales from Walt Disney was written for children between the ages of 4 and 8 years. Written by Walt Disney, the Little Golden Book tells its stories in English.

When we checked online for the Little Golden Books value, we found two different listings on eBay. The cheapest listing was selling the Little Golden Book at $181.16 while the more expensive listing was selling the same book at $217.40.

3.  Pain D’Epice Pat A Cake

Author: Contes de Nourrice
Price: 1948
Year: $179.99
Pain D'Epice Pat A Cake
Pain D’Epice Pat A Cake Image Source: ebay

Published in 1948 by Contes de Nourrice, Pain D’Epice Pat A Cake tells its story in French. According to the seller, the vintage children’s book is currently in good condition with no tears or marks. Currently listed on eBay, the first edition Little Golden Book is selling at $179.99.

4.  Tammy

Author: Kathleen Daly
Price: 1963
Year: $100
Tammy
Tammy Image Source:ebay

Tammy dates back to 1963 and was authored by Kathleen Daly. The first edition Little Golden Book tells its stories to children in the English language and is available in hardcover format.

According to the seller, the Little Golden Book is in excellent condition and does not show any signs of damage, tears, or creases. Tammy has a Little Golden Books value of $100.

5.  Baby’s Day Out

Author: John Hughes
Price: 1994
Year: $88.57
Baby’s Day Out
Baby’s Day Out Image Source: ebay

Dating back to 1994, Baby’s Day Out was written by John Hughes. The illustrated Little Golden Book was designed to tell its stories in English to children between the ages of 2 and 8 years.

The seller notes that the book is in good condition, with only minor wear to its corners and edges.  Currently listed on eBay, the Little Golden Books value is $88.57.

6.  Betsy McCall

Author: Selma Robinson
Price: 1973
Year: $81.89
Betsy McCall
Betsy McCall Image Source: ebay

Written by Selma Robinson, Betsy McCall was published in 1973. Designed for children aged 4 to 8 years, the Little Golden Book tells its stories in English and focuses on dolls.

The seller notes that the Little Golden Book has a hardcover format and its spine is still steady. With tidy and intact pages and no written notes inside, the Little Golden Books value is $81.89.

7.  The Lively Little Rabbit

Author: Ariane
Price: 1946
Year: $80
The Lively Little Rabbit
The Lively Little Rabbit Image Source: ebay

The Lively Little Rabit was written by Ariane in 1946 and published by Simon and Schuster in the same year. The Little Golden Book is marketed as rare, with the seller indicating that it does not have any tears or rips.

Written in English, the children’s book features a hardcover binding. Currently listed on eBay, the Little Good Book is selling at $80.

8.  Fun with Decals

Author: Elsa Ruth Nast
Price: 1952
Year: $74.95
Fun with Decals
Fun with Decals Image Source: ebay

Published in 1952, this Little Golden Book was authored by Elsa Ruth Nast and illustrated by Corinne Malvern. Funny with Decals was published by Simon and Schuster and is written in English.

According to the seller, the Little Golden Book shows some corner and cover wear. Although some of its pages have some slight spotting, the book is in good condition. Currently listed on eBay, the Little Golden Books value is $74.95.

9.  Mother Goose

Author: Violet LaMont
Price: 1957
Year: $66.40
Mother Goose
Mother Goose Image Source: ebay

Written and illustrated by Violet LaMont, Mother Goose was published by Simon and Schuster in 1957. The English book features a hardcover binding and is written for children under the age of 8 years.

One of the few 1st editions currently available in the market, the Little Golden Book is in good condition. Currently listed on eBay, the Little Golden Books value is $66.40.

10. Linda and Her Little Sister

Author: Esther Burns Wilkin
Price: 1954
Year: $65
Linda and Her Little Sister
Linda and Her Little Sister Image Source: ebay

Written in English and designed for kids between the ages of 2 to 8 years, Linda and Her Little Sister was published by Simon & Schuster in 1954. Written by Esther Burns Wilkin, this Little Golden Book is a first edition in the genre of bedtime stories and nursery rhymes.

The Little Golden Book does not have any tears or holes. The seller notes that it has very minimal damage to the cover and the inside pages have minimal pencil underlining. The Little Golden Books value is currently set at $65 on eBay.

11. Little Black Sambo

Author: Violet LaMont
Price: 1948
Year: $64.46
Little Black Sambo
Little Black Sambo Image Source: ebay

The Little Black Sambo dates back to 1948. Written by Violet LaMont in English, the Little Golden Book is perfect for children under the age of eight.

The seller notes that the book is missing a foil spine and has small tears on the pages. However, the Little Golden Book is still in good condition and is not missing any pages. Currently, on sale on eBay, Little Black Sambo has a price tag of $64.46 attached to it.

12. Albert’s Zoo

Author: Jane Werner
Price: 1951
Year: $60
Albert’s Zoo
Albert’s Zoo Image Source: ebay

Written by Jane Werner, Albert’s Zoo was published in 1951. The hardcover book tells its stories to kids under the age of 8 in English.

Currently, on sale on eBay, the Little Golden Book is in excellent condition and does not feature obvious cover damage. With zero missing or damaged pages, Albert’s Zoo is selling at $60.

13. Uncle Mistletoe

Author: Jane Werner
Price: 1953
Year: $60
Uncle Mistletoe
Uncle Mistletoe Image Source:  ebay

Written by Jane Werner, Uncle Mistletoe is an English book with illustrations designed by Corinne Malvern. Published by Simon & Schuster, this Little Golden Book entered the market for the first time in 1953.

Currently, on sale on eBay, Uncle Mistletoe is listed as a first edition book. One of the collectibles with an affordable Little Golden Books value, Uncle Mistletoe is currently selling at $60.

14. The New House in the Forest

Author: Lucy Sprague Mitchell
Price: 1946
Year: $58.50
The New House in the Forest
The New House in the Forest Image Source: ebay

One of the oldest Little Golden Books, The New House in the Forest was published in 1946 by Simon and Schuster. Written by Lucy Sprague Mitchell and illustrated by Eloise Wilkin, the Little Golden Book tells stories to children in English.

The Little Golden Book is in good condition, with all pages intact and very minimal wear on its cover. Currently listed on eBay, the Little Golden Book is valued at $58.50.

15. Charlie

Author: Diane Fox Downs
Price: 1970
Year: $56
Charlie
Charlie Image Source; ebay

Published in 1970, Charlie tells a story written by Diane Fox Downs. Illustrated by Lilian Obligado, the book is in English and is considered rare since it is one of the few first editions that are still in good condition.

The Little Golden Book does not have missing pages and only has minor signs of wear on its cover. Currently listed on eBay, the Little Golden Book has a price tag of $56 attached to it.

How Many Little Golden Books Are There?

Today, thousands of Little Golden Books exist. However, when most people ask ‘how many Little Golden Books are there?’ their goal is to learn about the first 12 books published in 1942. Below, we have outlined the titles of the first 12 Golden Little Books that went on sale in 1942:

  • This Little Piggy
  • The Animals of Farmer Jones
  • Baby’s Book
  • The Golden Book of Fairy Tales
  • The Poky Little Puppy
  • Nursery Songs
  • The Little Red Hen
  • Prayers for Children
  • The Alphabet A – Z
  • Bedtime Stories
  • Three Little Kittens
  • Mother Goose

How Can I Determine Little Golden Books Value?

The Little Golden Books value varies depending on several factors. Below, we will look at the factors that can raise or decrease the value of Little Golden Books:

Age

As you may have guessed, the earliest Little Golden Books are generally more valuable than more recent copies. Little Golden Books published between 1940 and 1960 are some of the most sought-after by collectors. Featuring a higher demand, these older books often have a higher value.

Condition

Little Golden Books in good condition have a higher value than similar books that are showing signs of wear and tear. The Little Golden Book Collectors’ site indicates that books are rated as 1 of 5 conditions;

  • Mint – These are in a ’straight from the store’ condition and have the highest Little Golden Books value.
  • Fine – Although these books have been read, they have a ‘like-new’ appearance.
  • Good – Good books often feature signs of wear.
  • Poor – A poor book may have torn pages and writing on the pages.
  • Junk – Junk books are often missing pages and may have significant cover damage. These have the lowest Little Golden Books value.

Rarity

The term ‘rarity’ generally refers to the current supply of a specific Little Golden Book. The fewer copies there are, the rarer the book is, and the higher its value.

Where Can I Buy Little Golden Books?

If you are a collector, some of the best places to purchase Little Golden Books include:

  • Resale shops
  • Antique malls
  • Online sellers like eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and Biblio.com

Which is the Most Popular Little Golden Book?

Written by Janette Sebring Lowrey, The Poky Little Puppy is the most popular Little Golden Book. The book’s popularity turned it into one of the best-selling children’s books in the 20th century. The Little Golden Book sold a total of 14,898,341 copies.

How Can I Determine the Edition of Little Golden Books?

The way you determine the edition of Little Golden Books changes depending on the publication years:

  • 1942 to 1946 – You will find the edition number on the 1st or 2nd
  • 1947 to 1970 – You will find the edition number on the last page, on the book’s lower right-hand corner. Each letter, A – Z corresponds with a specific edition. An ‘A’ was used for the first editions while Z was used for the 26th
  • 1971 to 1991 – You will find the edition letter on the left bottom corner of the 1st or 2nd
  • 1991 to 2001 – These Little Golden Books feature a printing date and copyright date in Roman numerals.

Conclusion

Colorful and bright and produced with varied characters and topics to appeal to any child, Little Golden Books have been putting smiles on people’s faces since 1942. Today, however, vintage Little Golden Books are more interesting to collectors than they are to children.

Although Little Golden Books were designed to be affordable, their value has increased over the years. Today, the most valuable Little Golden Books sell at prices as high as $200.

In this detailed guide, we have taken a deeper look at some of the most expensive Little Golden Books. We have also answered the questions that often bother new collectors. If you feel there is a question we have not answered, please leave it in the comment section.

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