Ellen Radel

Ellen Radel is a retired professor from Southwest Minnesota State University. She grew up with Little Golden Books as a child and is now using them to encourage more parents to read to their children.

Alexandria — The woman known as the Golden Book Girl will be speaking in Alexandria next Monday.  

Ellen Radel is a retired professor from Southwest Minnesota State University. She grew up with Little Golden Books as a child and is now using them to encourage more parents to read to their children. Little Golden Books were first published in 1942. The idea was to sell books for 25 cents so every family could afford to buy them. The initial offering of 12 titles has been followed by hundreds of additional books written by dozens of authors. The titles include The Poky Little Puppy, The Lively Little Rabbit, Three Little Kittens and Scuffy the Tugboat.

Radel remembers her mother reading them to her. She grew up, got married, had children (read to them of course), and had a wonderful career. Then she retired and, like all women with time on their hands, she started cleaning her closets. That’s when she found the box of Little Golden Books and took a trip down memory lane.

“I looked at them and thought these are great.” She said, “What I remember is sitting next to my mom while she was reading to us. I remember the feelings of being close to my mother and my sisters. Also, these stories are hilarious. They have great morals, and they teach us about being good people and being kind. That’s great stuff.”

Radel now wants to rekindle similar memories for others so she gives presentations. She’ll tell you a bit about herself and then she’ll open her box of Little Golden Books to get everyone’s senses going. She knows seeing and feeling the lovely little books with the golden spines will stir memories. Then, she’ll get auditory senses going with a reading. For those who’ve never owned a Little Golden Book she will also have some used ones with her for sale.

Radel will be speaking at the Douglas County Library Monday, October 21, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Ellen talked with VOA's Joe Korkowski in the following One on One conversation (Audio Below):