by Carol Lewis
Reading to your children is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, and your local library is a reliable source for children’s classics as well as the latest bestsellers. My father was the designated bedtime reader in my family, and some of my fondest early-life memories are being tucked in and read to by him, before I fell asleep each night. And usually my plea of “Read it again, Daddy!” was heeded, as he was a very kind man.
A lot of those books from my early childhood were Little Golden Books from the local dime store. Only 25¢, these colorful little books with the cardboard covers and distinctive gold patterned spines brightened my life. I had quite a collection. As I looked around on the internet today for the bestselling children’s books of all time, I was surprised to find several of the Little Golden Books on the list and still in print. In fact, the top-selling children’s picture book of all time is a Little Golden Book!
Discovering that fact made me wonder what other picture books are on that list of bestsellers. Are they the ones that I still remember from my childhood, or are they new books that I missed out on over the years? Here’s the only list of actual sales numbers that I could find, from #10 to #1.
10. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, published in 1960; 6,164,454 copies sold (no surprise to see Dr. Seuss on the list, is it?)
9. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, published in 1974; 6,228,042 copies sold (this one is actually a book of funny and eccentric children’s poems, but it has lots of pictures, so we’ll allow it on this list)
8. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, published in 1957; 7,220,982 copies sold
7. Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton, published in 1955; 7,366,073 copies sold (this is another of the original Little Golden Books that has remained a classic)
6. Saggy, Baggy Elephant by Kathryn and Byron Jackson, published in 1947; 7,476,395 copies sold (yet another Little Golden Book still on the bestseller list!)
5. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt, published in 1940; 7,562,710 copies sold (yes, another Golden on the list—can you believe this??)
4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, published in 1960; 8,143,088 copies sold
3. Tootle by Gertrude Crampton, published in 1945; 8,560,277 copies sold (yes, another Golden one!)
2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, first published in 1902; 9,380,274 copies sold
1. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey, first published in 1942; 15,000,000+ copies sold! Another Little Golden Book, and the bestselling hardcover children’s picture book of all time.
I’m sure many of these classics can be found in the Craig County Public Library, along with lots of other award-winning and entertaining children’s picture books, old and new. Why not stop in and check out their collection?
•For Valentine’s day, come by the library for a special treat!
•Come by and shop the book barns! We have thousands of books for sale, all to benefit friends of the library. Pick up a book for your favorite sweetheart.
•While you’re in the library pick up a copy of the latest newsletter or a copy of the Expansion committee report.
•We appreciate each and every patron. Happy Valentine’s Day!