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Big Little Books 

The Big Little Books, first published during 1932 by the Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin, were small, compact books designed with a captioned illustration opposite each page of text. Other publishers, notably Saalfield, adopted this format after Whitman achieved success with its early titles, priced initially at 10¢ each (later 15¢).
   A Big Little Book was typically 3 3/4" wide and 4 1/2" high, with 212 to 432 pages making an approximate thickness of 1 1/2". The interior book design usually displayed full-page black-and-white illustrations on the right side, facing the pages of text on the left. Stories were often related to radio programs (The Shadow), comic strips (The Gumps), children's books (Uncle Wiggily), novels (John Carter of Mars) and movies (Bambi). Later books of the series had interior color illustrations.
   After the first Big Little Book, The Adventures of Dick Tracy, was published (December 1932), numerous titles were sold through Woolworth's and other retail store systems during the 1930s. With a name change to Better Little Books during 1938, the series continued into the 1960s. Variations such as Dime Action Books were produced by other publishers, as noted by the Collecting Channel's Andy Hooper:
    While the format was pioneered by Whitman Publishing, other firms including Van Wiseman, Saalfield, Goldsmith, Lynn and World Syndicate Publishing all produced big little books between 1934 and 1960. Whitman was also the last to abandon the form, publishing big little books about boomer characters like Major Matt Mason into the mid-1960s. Not all big little books adhered to the original format of text on the left side and a large graphic on the right of each page spread, and the earlier, more heavily illustrated books are more valuable as a result. Dick Tracy was the hero of the first big little book, and he was followed by almost every major cartoon, comic and radio character of the 1930s, including Alley Oop, Buck Rogers, Blondie and Dagwood, Li'l Abner, Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Captain Midnight, Tarzan and dozens more. There were also numerous books published that featured original characters created particularly for the Big Little series, and those are now little remembered, usually selling for $10 or less each in any condition. A few titles were ostensibly non-fiction works about famous people, as with Whitman’s Billy The Kid (1935) and The Story of Jackie Cooper (1933), which proves that biographies of child movie stars are no recent phenomenon.

1937 Big Little Book Little Orphan Annie in The Movies $30
Click Here for Product Details! 1937 Big Little Book Little Orphan Annie in The Movies. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition. Inside pages good. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 1/2".
1932 Big Little Book ’Orphan Annie and Sandy’ $20.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1932 Big Little Book ’Orphan Annie and Sandy’ by Harold Gray. Whitman Publishing. Good used condition with wear to cover edges and slight tear at spine. Inside good with previous owner’s name inside front cover.
1945 Big Little Book ’Little Orphan Annie and the Underground Hide-out’ $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1945 Big Little Book ’Little Orphan Annie and the Underground Hide-out’. A Whitman Publishing Co. book in poor condition with spine separation and first 4 pages torn out. (See images)
1937 Better Little Book King of the Royal Mounted and the Great Jewel Mystery by Zane Grey $10
Click Here for Product Details! 1937 Better Little Book King of the Royal Mounted and the Great Jewel Mystery by Zane Grey. A Whitman Publishing book in good used condition. Slight separation of front and rear covers. Pages after 382 missing. Based on the newspaper comic strip. Almost every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 383 pages 4 1/2" by 3 1/2".
1946 Big Little Book ’Uncle Wiggily’s Adventures’ by Howard R. Garis. $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1946 Big Little Book ’Uncle Wiggily’s Adventures’ by Howard R. Garis. A Whitman Publishing Company book in poor condition with spine missing, scribbling on some pages and some tears to corners.
1934 Big Little Book Â’Buffalo Bill and the Pony ExpressÂ’ by Leon Morgan $20.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1934 Big Little Book Â’Buffalo Bill and the Pony ExpressÂ’ by Leon Morgan. A Whitman Publishing Company book in good used condition with wear and small tears to covers and spine.
1936 Big Little Book G-Man vs. The Red X $20
Click Here for Product Details! 1936 Big Little Book G-Man vs. The Red X . A Whitman Publishing book in good condition with some damage to top and bottom corners of front cover. Illustrated by Erwin L. Hess. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
1937 Big Little Book G-Man and The Radio Bank Robberies by Allen Dale $25
Click Here for Product Details! 1937 Big Little Book G-Man and The Radio Bank Robberies by Allen Dale. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
1939 Better Little Book Tom Beatty Ace Of The Service and the Big Brain Gang by Rex Loomis $15
Click Here for Product Details! 1939 Better Little Book Tom Beatty Ace Of The Service and the Big Brain Gang by Rex Loomis. A Whitman Publishing book in used condition with blackening of front cover and ownerÂ’s name inside front pages. Illustrated by William Mark Young. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 422 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
1938 Big Little Book Captain Frank Hawks Air Ace and the League of Twelve $20
Click Here for Product Details! 1938 Big Little Book Captain Frank Hawks Air Ace and the League of Twelve. A Whitman Publishing book in good used condition. Wear to spine edges, Owner’s name in front pages and some staining. Based on the Radio adventure series. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 1/2".
1934 Big Little Book ’Eric Noble and the Forty Niners’ by Lloyd E. Smith $20.00
1934 Big Little Book ’Eric Noble and the Forty Niners’ by Lloyd E. Smith. A Whitman Publishing Company book in good used condition with wear and small tears to covers.
1948 Better Little Book Gene Autry and the Land Grab Mystery $25
Click Here for Product Details! 1948 Better Little Book Gene Autry and the Land Grab Mystery. A Whitman Publishing book in good condition. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 286 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4". I also have this story in a bigger book.
1930s Better Little Book Kayo and Moon Mullins and the One Man Gang $20
Click Here for Product Details! 1930s Better Little Book Kayo and Moon Mullins and the One Man Gang. A Whitman Publishing book in used condition. Wear to covers inside and out. Inside pages good. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 1/2".
1934 Big Little Book Bobby Benson on the H-Bar-O Ranch by Peter Dixon $20.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1934 Big Little Book Bobby Benson on the H-Bar-O Ranch by Peter Dixon. Standard hard cover Big Little book in good condition with minor wear to covers a number (9-3) on title page. 292 pages.
Big Little Book ’Andy Panda’s Vacation’ $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! Big Little Book ’Andy Panda’s Vacation’. Probably 1930s. A Whitman Publishing Company book in poor condition with front and rear cover pages missing also various scribbling and minor stains. (See images)
1946 Better Little Book Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle by Edgar Rice Burroughs $20
Click Here for Product Details! 1946 Better Little Book Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle by Edgar Rice Burroughs. A Whitman Publishing book in good condition but has first text page missing and some warping of covers. Inside pages good. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 346 pages 4 1/2" by 3 1/2".
1942 Better Big Little Book The Return Of The Phantom by Lee Falk $15
Click Here for Product Details! 1942 Better Big Little Book The Return Of The Phantom by Lee Falk. A Whitman Publishing book in used condition.Damaged spine, some ink blackening on front cover, front cover page missing and creasing in last 5 pages. Illustrated by Erwin L. Hess. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
1968 Big Little Book ’The Lone Ranger Outwits Crazy Cougar’ $10
Click Here for Product Details! 1968 Big Little Book ’The Lone Ranger Outwits Crazy Cougar’ by George S. Elrick. A Whitman Book by Western Publishing in good used condition. Some creasing and minor stains
1939 Better Little Book Zip Saunders King Of The Speedway by Rex Loomis $15
Click Here for Product Details! 1939 Better Little Book Zip Saunders King Of The Speedway by Rex Loomis. A Whitman Publishing book in good condition with ink blackened on front cover and some damage to spine. Illustrated by Robert R. Weisman. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
1967 Donald Duck and the Fabulous Diamond Fountain Big Little Book by Carl Fallberg $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1967 Donald Duck and the Fabulous Diamond Fountain Big Little Book by Carl Fallberg. Hard cover in good condition with minor wear to cover corners. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.
1969 Woody Woodpecker The Sinister Signal by Vic Lockman Big Little Book $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1969 Woody Woodpecker The Sinister Signal by Vic Lockman Big Little Book. Hard cover in good condition with minor wear to cover corners. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.
1968 Goofy in Giant Trouble by Don Christensen $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1968 Goofy in Giant Trouble by Don Christensen. Soft cover in good used condition with some damage to front cover where a label was removed, some staining, bent corners and small tears.OwnerÂ’s name inside front cover in pencil. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with B & W illustrations.
1968 The Road Runner The Super Beep-Catcher Big Little Book by Carl Fallberg $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1968 The Road Runner The Super Beep-Catcher Big Little Book by Carl Fallberg. Hard cover in good condition with minor wear to cover corners, slight damage to front cover and creasing. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.
1968 Mickey Mouse Adventure in Outer Space by George E. Davie $5.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1968 Mickey Mouse Adventure in Outer Space by George E. Davie. Hard cover in good used condition with creasing to front cover and wear to cover corners. Page 121 - 122 is loose. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.
1968 Fantastic Four in the House of Horrors Big Little Book by William Johnston $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1968 Fantastic Four in the House of Horrors Big Little Book by William Johnston. Soft cover in good condition with some damage to front cover where possibly labels were removed. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with B & W illustrations.
1967 Better Big Little Book The Man From U.N.C.L.E The Calcutta Affair by George S. Elrick $15
Click Here for Product Details! 1967 Better Big Little Book The Man From U.N.C.L.E The Calcutta Affair by George S. Elrick. A Whitman Publishing book in good condition. Front and rear cover pages missing. Color illustratrations. 248 pages.
1968 Shazzan The Glass Princess by Don Christensen $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1968 Shazzan The Glass Princess Road Big Little Book by Don Christensen. Hard cover in good used condition with minor wear to cover corners and first 2 cover pages with torn corners. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.
1967 Big Little Book Popeye by Paul S. Newman $15.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1967 Big Little Book Popeye by Paul S. Newman. A Whitman book by Western Publishing containing 248 pages with colour illustrations of this famous spinach eating sailor and his cronies. Good condition with a label on front cover. This book has been covered by a plastic dust cover. (See images)
1980 Big Little Book Popeye in Deep Sea Danger by Paul S. Newman $15.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1980 Big Little Book Popeye in Deep Sea Danger by Paul S. Newman. A Whitman book by Western Publishing containing 248 pages with illustrations of this famous spinach eating sailor and his cronies. Good condition. This book has been covered by a plastic dust cover. (See images)
1969 Big Little Book Popeye Danger, Ahoy! by Paul S. Newman $15.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1969 Big Little Book Popeye Danger, Ahoy! by Paul S. Newman. A Whitman book by Western Publishing containing 248 pages with colour illustrations of this famous spinach eating sailor and his cronies. Very good condition. This book has been covered by a plastic dust cover. (See images)
1969 Tom and Jerry The Astro Nots Big Little Book by William Johnston $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1969 Tom and Jerry The Astro Nots Big Little Book by William Johnston. Hard cover in good condition with minor wear to cover corners, slight creasing and cover page slightly loose. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.
1973 Big Little Book Popeye and Queen Olive Oyl by Paul S. Newman $15.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1973 Big Little Book Popeye and Queen Olive Oyl by Paul S. Newman. A Whitman book by Western Publishing containing 248 pages with illustrations of this famous spinach eating sailor and his cronies. Good condition. This book has been covered by a plastic dust cover. (See images)
1980 Popeye in Deep-Sea Danger Big Little Book by Paul S. Newman $6.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1980 Popeye in Deep-Sea Danger Big Little Book by Paul S. Newman. Soft cover in good used condition with some water staining to back cover and last few pages. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with B & W illustrations.
1976 Tweety and Sylvester The Magic Voice by Laura French and Rita Ritchie Big Little Book $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1976 Tweety and Sylvester The Magic Voice by Laura French and Rita Ritchie Big Little Book. Soft cover in good condition with some staining to front cover where possibly labels were removed and minor wear and tear to vover corners. A Western Publication. 248 pages with B & W illustrations.
.....SOLD.....1938 Big Little Book Chuck Malloy Railroad Detective on the Streamliner by Thorp McClusky $25
Click Here for Product Details! 1938 Big Little Book Chuck Malloy Railroad Detective on the Streamliner by Thorp McClusky. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition. Illustrated by Joseph R. Kress. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 292 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
.....SOLD.....1937 Big Little Book In The Name Of The Law by William Engle $25
Click Here for Product Details! 1937 Big Little Book In The Name Of The Law by William Engle. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition with ownerÂ’s name inside front and rear covers. Illustrated by Henry E. Vallely. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
.....SOLD.....1938 Big Little Book Junior Nebb on the Diamond Bar Ranch by Sol Hess $25
Click Here for Product Details! 1938 Big Little Book Junior Nebb on the Diamond Bar Ranch by Sol Hess. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition. Illustrated by Erwin L. Hess. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 294 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
1968 The Flintstones The Case of the Many Missing Things by Paul S. Newman $10.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1968 The Flintstones The Case of the Many Missing Things by Paul S. Newman. Hard cover in good condition with minor wear to cover corners and some scuffs. A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.
.....SOLD.....1941 Better Little Book Pilot Pete and His Dive Bomber by Gaylord Du Bois $15
Click Here for Product Details! 1941 Better Little Book Pilot Pete and His Dive Bomber by Gaylord Du Bois. A Whitman Publishing book in good condition. A few small tears in later pages minor staining and slight separation of front cover. Last page of advertising is missing. Illustrated by Robert L. Jenney. Every other page has a picture and a miniature picture in the top corner to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 1/2".
.....SOLD.....1933 Big Little Book Â’RegÂ’lar FellersÂ’ by Gene Byrnes $20.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1933 Big Little Book Â’RegÂ’lar FellersÂ’ by Gene Byrnes. A Whitman Publishing Company book in good used condition with wear and small tears to cover edges.
.....SOLD.....1936 Big Little Book Flying The Sky Clipper With Winsie Atkins by Dougal Lee $25
Click Here for Product Details! 1936 Big Little Book Flying The Sky Clipper With Winsie Atkins by Dougal Lee. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
.....SOLD.....1936 Big Little Book Tailspin Tommy in the Great Air Mystery $25
Click Here for Product Details! 1936 Big Little Book Tailspin Tommy in the Great Air Mystery. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition. Based on the Universal Picture which was adapted from the newspaper comic strip by Hal Forrest. Every other page has a photo from the movie. 236 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
.....SOLD.....1935 Big Little Book Â’Buck Rogers and the Doom CometÂ’ by Phil Nolan $25.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1935 Big Little Book Â’Buck Rogers and the Doom CometÂ’ by Phil Nolan. A Whitman Publishing Company in very good used condition. Minor wear to covers.
.....SOLD.....1942 Better Little Book Convoy Patrol by R.R. Winterbotham $20
Click Here for Product Details! 1942 Better Little Book Convoy Patrol by R.R. Winterbotham. A Whitman Publishing book in very good condition. Illustrated by Erwin L. Hess. Every other page has a picture to give a motion effect when flipping pages rapidly. 424 pages 4 1/2" by 3 3/4".
.....SOLD.....1969 Donald Duck Luck of the Ducks Big Little Book by Carl Fallberg $8.00
Click Here for Product Details! 1969 Donald Duck Luck of the Ducks Big Little Book by Carl Fallberg. Hard cover in good used condition with front cover wrinkles and top of spine taped (to hold a posible tear). A Whitman Publication. 248 pages with colour illustrations.