Thursday, April 28, 2011

Big Little Books

Before there were comic books (by one year), there were Big Little Books. I don’t recall ever owning a Big Little Book until I discovered four of them in a box lot of books I bought a few years ago.

These compact cuties were first published in 1932 by the Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, WI. They offered the reader a BIG amount of reading material in a LITTLE sized book. Though the dimensions have varied slightly over the years, the early ones measured 3-5/8” x 4-1/2” x 1-1/2” thick with over 400 pages and sold for 10 cents. The first BLB, The Adventures of Dick Tracy, was published just before Christmas in 1932. Production of Big Little Books spanned more than 50 years and spawned a number of similar-sized books by other publishers. Titles and content were influenced by motion pictures, radio, and comic strips. Source:

My oldest BLB is Donald Duck in Volcano Valley and was published in 1949. It’s a mere 286 pages in length and there is a black and white illustration opposite EVERY page of text. That 1:1 ratio of picture to text was one of the outstanding features that made the books so popular.

My 1967 Donald Duck – The Fabulous Diamond Fountain, is 249 pages in length. I actually have a hardcover and a soft cover version of this one. The hardcover is illustrated in color, the soft cover in black and white.

I’m sure my last book was inspired by the Space Race of the 60s. Major Matt Mason – Moon Mission was published in 1968 and told of his adventures with Moon Worms, Underground Caverns and Mysterious Explosions (according to the back cover of the book)!

It's ironic that one of the characters in the book was named Kirk!

Do you remember Big Little Books?

I’ll be linking to the following parties:

Vintage Thingie Thursday at The Coloradolady
Time Travel Thursday at Brambleberry Cottage
Treasure Hunt Thursday at Blue Creek Home
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense


  1. I love old children's books! They bring back such memories!~Ames

  2. What a great collection you have! I love that there's an illustration on every page.

    Have a great day!

  3. I also love children's books. These look perfect to fit into young readers hands.

  4. Yes I remember having some of these as a child. Occasionally see them at flea markets. You have some good ones.

  5. I don't remember if it was my brother or me with the BLB's. These are fabulous!


  6. These are really cool! I don't remember them although I was old enough for some of the books you have. My brother was more into cartoons then I was so maybe he had some. hugs, Linda

  7. I have one or two of these Little Big Books. I enjoyed them back in their day.

  8. I love these, my dad had tons of them, and I still have a few of his. Thanks so much for linking up with VIF! xo Debra

  9. I don't remember having any of these as a child, but that was a long time ago:) I see them around a the antique shows these days, so sweet.

  10. Oh my, I remember. Your post takes me back. Happy VTT!

  11. How neat are those?!! I was thinking how much of a kick my son would get out of them since he seems to gravitate towards more "vintage" feeling books. Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday this week! :-)

  12. What wonderful books and I love the illustrations too!

    Susan and Bentley

  13. "I've always LOVED those little books"...They are too cute! I remember "YEARS AGO" seeing one at an antique mall that I REALLY wanted but could not afford. I don't remember what the name was BUT I'll have to dig for it on EBAY...If I find it I'll pass it by you to see if you have one for me!

  14. My kids love looking at old books that belonged to my husband and I. I still have some of my Sally, Dick and Jane books. I've never come across any like these. The illustrations are interesting. You have a great collection! :) ~M

  15. Love the books...I really enjoy your educational give such great information...blessings, Tiff

  16. My parents read Big Little Books as kids and got them for me when they reissued them. Seeing them always brings a smile - like a visit to your blog!

  17. What great books. I love to find old children't books. I have never seen these before but, they look wonderful. Thanks for joining TTF. Have a great weekend!

  18. I really enjoy little books like your's and always glad to find them at sales. Now I have so many old books I am selling them

    First at a yard sale then an open air flea market in May

  19. i don't recollect little big books, but i do adore vintage children's books and these are delightful...thanks for sharing at fridays unfolded!


    stuff and nonsense

  20. I don't remember those, but they are pretty cool! Heading out to a few estate sales tomorrow morning...can't wait!

  21. I haven't heard of the big little books - but aren't they sweet? I love your collection.
    I have always wanted some old Dick and Jane books.


  22. Hi Sherry!
    I just thought I would let you know that this pst will be featured in this week's Thrifty Things Friday party!

  23. Thanks for that tidbit of research. More than I knew about them...I just pick them up and add them to my shelf.


Your comments make me smile....!!!