Top 100 Picturebooks - Almost Nearly No-Brainers
Top 100 Collectible Picturebooks - Overview
A series of articles to select the Top 100 Collectible
Children’s Picturebooks, providing the rationale for each book’s inclusion, with an objective of providing readers with the context
for valuing first editions within the genre.
Almost Nearly No Brainers
In the previous articles I've selected nearly seventy of the Top 100 Collectible American Picturebooks. The first group of books selected was the Marquis 25, landmarks within the genre, so called 'No Brainers' since they would be on nearly everyone's list of classic American picturebooks. Subsequently, a group of 'Nearly No Brainers' was selected, a description that is self-defining.
Another logical step in the process is selecting the books that almost made the group of 'nearly no brainers', which, much to the readers surprise, is fittingly called the 'Almost Nearly No Brainers'.
The 'Almost Nearly No Brainers' have many of the qualities of No Brainers and the Nearly No Brainers, however by comparison, did not have all their brethren's credentials.
The following chart provides a single line summary of the rationale for the book’s selection, along with the estimated market price. The market price is for the first edition book with the corresponding first edition dust jacket, both in Very Good or VG+ condition. The list is sorted in chronological order.
The value of several of the 'Almost Nearly No Brainers' is higher than many of the books previously selected. To reiterate, value was not the penultimate attribute for a book's inclusion in the Top 100 Collectible American Picturebooks.
Some comments on specific books:
Almost Nearly No Brainers, Take Two
Referring to the original article in this series, I rated each book across eight different, but related factors. The chart, above, provides a single line summary of the rational for the book’s selection of the 'Almost Nearly No Brainers', a simple topline synthesis of the ratings.
The following chart provides the 1-to-10 rating I gave each book along each factor. The market price is for the first edition book with the corresponding first edition dust jacket, both in Very Good or VG+ condition. The list is sorted in chronological order.
The First Twelve Little Golden Books
The next group of books to be added to the Top 100 Collectible American Picturebooks are the first twelve Little Golden Books, each simultaneously published in 1942. The following chart provides a single line summary of the rationale for the book’s selection, along with the estimated market price. The market price is for the first edition book with the corresponding first edition dust jacket, both in Very Good or VG+ condition. The list is sorted in chronological order.
Some might be surprised to learn these Little Golden Book were initially published with dust jackets, one of the pre-requisites for the list. LGB's were issued with dust jackets from 1942 to 1947, then transitioned to the now familiar gold foil spine. The LGB's with dust jacket have a blue cloth spine so are easily differentiated from the ones published after 1947.
Why Twelve Little Golden Books?
While Little Golden Books have an avid and passionate collector base, they have been relatively overlooked by general booksellers and book collectors. Many wonder if they are sufficiently credentialed, therefore might ask, "Why include the first twelve Little Golden Books in the list of Top 100 Collectible American Children's Picturebooks?"
To provide the reader with a perspective, from the publisher's website:
From the above, note the many factors which contribute to a book's collectibility:
From my perspective, the selection the Little Golden Books was the most strategic decision when forming the Top 100 Collectible American Picturebooks. It was not a question of whether to include Little Golden Books in the list, but instead which books to include.
Five LGB's made the Publisher's Weekly list of All-Time Bestselling Children's Books, with four books in the top ten (The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, Saggy Baggy Elephant, and Scuffy The Tugboat). I debated whether to include only these five, or instead include only the first twelve. In thinking of the five most popular LGB's, I would rate The Poky Little Puppy higher in collectibility than the other books, since it is the number one All-Time Bestselling Children's Book, topping the list with over 15 million copies sold. Selecting only the five most popular LGB's would leave room for seven other books, precious room since the criteria for making the Top 100 is so competitive.
Finally, after weeks of solitary wrestling, I rationalized the success of the first twelve books, published simultaneously in 1942, laid the foundation for the subsequent success of the other books in the franchise. And added the First Twelve Little Golden Books to the list of Top 100 Collectible American Picturebooks.
The next article in the series, The Late Great Debatable Eight, will complete the list of Top 100 Collectible American Picturebooks.
© Stan Zielinski
© Stan Zielinski. Author of the Children's Picturebook Price Guide
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