Kerlan Features: The Poky Little Puppy

Process art of the cover of The Poky Little Puppy

Illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren, 1942

The Poky Little Puppy

Written by Janette Sebring Lowrey

Illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren

New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1942

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

In the fall of 1942, the first 12 Little Golden Books, including The Poky Little Puppy, went on sale for 25 cents each and revolutionized children's-book publishing in America. Picture books had until then typically retailed for $1.50 and could rarely be purchased outside major cities. The new venture—a partnership between a state-of-the-art printing company and an upstart publisher with mass-market savvy—rewrote the rules. Sold in five-and-dimes, drugstores, and, later, supermarkets, Little Golden Books were the illustrated gift books everybody could afford. The Poky Little Puppy proved to be a special favorite from the start and is thought to be the best-selling picture book of all time.

Click on any image to enlarge

How Children Get Their Books
Kerlan Features: The Poky Little Puppy