A new book celebrates the 25 cent book

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Quick! What is the best-selling children’s picture book of all time? You might be surprised to learn it’s “The Poky Little Puppy,” by Janette Sebring Lowrey, originally published in 1942. One of the first 12 Little Golden Books, it has sold more than 15 million copies and is still in print. For her efforts, Lowrey was paid a fee of $75. This and many other delightfully entertaining nuggets of information are included in Leonard S. Marcus’s enthusiastic history of Golden Books.

Marcus, a highly regarded children’s-book historian, tells the story of the pioneering collaboration between Western Publishing and Simon & Schuster to introduce a series of books priced at 25 cents. The idea behind the venture, as Marcus explains, was that “the populist conviction, far from universally shared by publishers, that the known book-buying market represented only a fraction of the market’s potential” and that less well-off Americans would buy books if they were cheaper.
Read entire article at NYT Book Review

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