University of Arizona

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Big Little Books collection

The Whitman Publishing Company in Racine, Wisconsin published Big Little Books from 1932 to 1949. These books were small in size, usually around 3.5 by 4.5 inches, but promised big entertainment for only a dime. Each book featured full-page illustrations opposite each page of text, with material mostly drawn from radio, comic strips, books, and movies. Over time, Whitman began producing variations of this format, including Better Little Books, Big Big Books, Penny Books, and various premiums in partnership with stores, radio shows, and brands. Other publishing companies sold books in styles similar to the Big Little Books, including Saalfield's Little Big Books and Jumbo Books, Dell's Fast-Action Books, and Engel-van Wiseman's Five Star Library Books.

The Big Little Books collection contains hundreds of illustrated books published between 1927 and 1945. Books are arranged alphabetically by title. author, publisher; book numbers are also listed for each book.