Thursday, November 9, 2017

1948 Snow White Little Golden Book

Catalog No. D4

The first Snow White Little Golden Book was published in 1948 by Simon and Schuster (printed by Western Printing and Lithographing Company). Adapted by Ken O'Brien and Al Dempster. Hardcover with golden paper spine. Front cover with blue-tinted background of sky and trees. Color and B&W illustrations. No. D4 in the Disney catalog of Little Golden Books. Dimensions: approx. 8" x 6.5", 42 pages. The original retail price of 25¢ is printed on back cover (not in later editions).

Illustrations and text copyright Disney/Simon & Schuster, 1948. Posted here for historical documentation purposes only.

In the second edition (1949), a "D4" marking is found on the cover in the upper right corner. Some later editions would have this as well while others would not.

On the third edition (and some others), the "D4" marking is in the lower left corner.


Edition Identifiers

The 1948 first edition can be confirmed by locating a letter "A" in the lower right corner of the last page. This release would be followed over the years by a legion of revised editions and reprints. The second edition was marked "B", third edition "C" and so on. The 27th edition started over with "AA". This identification method would continue to be used in the Little Golden Book series until 1970.

The last page of edition A, B, E, F, and H are seen below, plus a much later 1977 release with a full-color illustration, sans the identifying capital letter.


Between 1971-1991, Little Golden Books switched their markings to a series of letters on the copyright page in the front of the book. The letters to the far left indicate the edition. There were reprints during this time that instead simply listed what printing it was along with the year.


Illustration Comparisons

You never know what you might discover when comparing the various editions. Here's Snow White's mother illustrated in three different color schemes. She has a yellow dress in edition B. This was altered in later versions.

In the early 1950s, the total number of pages in the Snow White book was cut down from 42 to 28. This obviously meant reducing the text and number of illustrations that could be included. The Seven Dwarfs build a bed and the Old Witch paddles her boat, seen here before and after this reduction.


White & Blue Backgrounds

The front cover of the 1951 edition (K) was updated to have a solid white background. As a side note, the text on the last page is the same as in earlier editions. However, the illustration is of Snow White with her animal friends rather than in the Prince's arms with the dwarfs dancing around them.

In the mid 1950s, Disney Little Golden Books were marketed as the Mickey Mouse Club Book series. Snow White was published in 1955 (edition N). Solid light blue background on cover; red Mickey paper spine; MMC logo in upper right front corner. No. D4. Price 25¢.

Both the white and light blue backgrounds would continued to be published in later editions.


Western Publishing

In 1958, Simon & Schuster sold Little Golden Books to Western Publishing. The total page count of all future editions was reduced from 28 to 24. A new catalog number was assigned: D66. The price remained 25¢.

1958/D66/25¢ (edition Q)

1962/D66/29¢ (the retail price rose for first time)

1974/D66/39¢ (logo variations: no "gb", yellow-colored square "gb", non-color square "gb")


1977/D66/59¢ (43rd printing)

1979/103-2/69¢ (new catalog numbering system; both white and blue backgrounds)

1984/103-42/89¢ (new square "Golden" logo)

1984/103-58/no list price (softcover; edition MM)

This sampling of the 1948 Snow White Little Golden Book is not complete. More editions and reprints exist.


New Version

In 1984, a brand new Snow White Little Golden Book was published. Hardcover, 24 pages. Illustrated by Bill Lorencz. The first edition is no. 103-58 (same number as the softcover above). This particular copy (below) features the motion picture's Golden Anniversary logo in the upper right corner of the front cover, plus a bar code along the bottom. The book was reprinted many times over. Then in 1999, new cover artwork was added as well as a new catalog no. 98015 (ISBN: 0307162311).

1999 book image courtesy of 1937 Fan at Whistle While We Blog.

See original artwork from the 1948 Little Golden Book in the previous Archive entry, plus a 1961 edition of the book published in Australia. Also check out the Snow White Big Golden Book from 1952 in an earlier post.

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