What Ever Happened to Green Tiger Press?

shapeimage_2-1Green Tiger Press was a publishing company well known for its high quality, vintage-styled children’s books. They have since been acquired by Laughing Elephant, a publishing company which strives for the same values and quality.

If you are aware of the book series Good Dog Carl, you’ve seen the publishing company Green Tiger Press. When I was growing up, my shelves were stocked full of Green Tiger’s books, from Hansel and Gretel to The Rising of the Wind. A common theme through all of their books was the artistry that went into the publication––the art was complex and imaginative; I remember staring at a single page for over twenty minutes as a little girl, just memorizing the warm and intricate strokes of the brush.

My father has a bit of a hobby regarding Green Tiger Press. Ever since they were acquired by Laughing Elephant, a company that tries to maintain the original feel of the books and preserve their one-of-a-kind presence, he has been collecting as many of their old titles as he can. Participating vicariously through him, I am able to re-experience the stories that fostered my imagination as a child, and long desperately for that sort of love and care to be returned to the children’s book industry of this generation.

Of course, there are still some of those precious books that come out every couple of years, but in an industry now controlled mostly by its bottom line, I feel that the precious intimacy that a book can have, as taught to me by Green Tiger Press’s books, has been set to the sidelines.

Green Tiger Press recently has become a player in the newly-vintage styled book market, which I think caters more towards the aesthetics of parents, than children, and has released a whole new line of children’s book titles, including one I simply couldn’t pass up, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. This is a story especially important to me for various reasons, so I was thrilled to find it (oddly) in my parents’ favorite hardware store.

What are your favorite publishing companies? Is there a reason you prefer them over others?

18 thoughts on “What Ever Happened to Green Tiger Press?

  1. S dot Love says:

    The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse! Oh my gosh, it’s definitely been years. You’ve really taken me back!

    Penguin Books USA has always been one of my favorite publishers, especially because of Eric Carle. I will definitely be reading all of my childhood favorites to my future children.

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      Penguin is good, as is Puffin. My favorite early reader was Mr. Poppin’s Penguins. I’m not having any children (probably), but that’s not stopping me from keeping them on my shelf. 😉

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  2. i002537 says:

    To remember this much information regarding your youth, is a blessing and I would imagine: a curse. I remember favorite books (House at Pooh Corner, Stuart Little), but that would be the extent of my knowledge.
    Since I was in a rather extreme late night winter house fire where all, including nearly myself and my parents, was lost, I have frequently wondered if not only the tangible went up in smoke, but I lost the intangible as well.
    I have little to no memory as to events that took place before the fire. Reading of our early memories of certain publishers of your youth, reminds me of this gap in my own memory.

    Just a thought.

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      Wow, Stuart. That must have been terrifying! I’m glad you and your family were okay, possessions aside. Regarding my own memory, I’ve been known to have a pretty good one, but that could change in the next decade. I think it comes down to how often I replay the events of the past in my downtime.

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      • i002537 says:

        The Fire took possessions but I am pretty sure it also burnt away any memories of the time before that night. I am always a bit jealous when someone recalls their 1st or 2nd grade teacher or when you get asked the security question at your bank (to retrieve your password someday) “What was the name of your earliest friend?”
        Gone…just gone.
        Happens. I don’t have enough room for all I have up there anyway.

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  3. Martha Kennedy says:

    I loved them — they were a San Diego press and made the most beautiful, beautiful books. I bought The Rising of the Wind soon after I moved here and it explained the ocean to me. I still have it. Did you ever see the adventures of the little mouse that was trapped in a book by Monique Felix? And Green Tiger’s version of the Monkey King is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen — including in China. Thanks for reminding me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christina Rossetti Darling says:

      Hello Everyone,
      Green Tiger Press & Laughing Elephant here!

      I just stumbled across your blog and saw this mention. Thank you so much for the lovely article and kind words about our books!

      So glad we still have fans from what seems like another lifetime ago.
      We thought you may be interested in a bit of detail on the back story of Green Tiger Press.

      To clarify, The Laughing Elephant didn’t exactly “acquire” the Green Tiger Press.

      The Green Tiger Press was in fact the original, our publishing company located in downtown San Diego during the late 70’s through late 80’s. At a certain point, we sold the Green Tiger Press (not exactly our dream, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do) to a business person, who then sold the name to Simon and Schuster.

      Much to our delight, they never actually did anything with the Green Tiger name, therefore when the agreed period of time had passed we were able to get back the name and fold it into our current publishing company The Laughing Elephant ( We were also able to get back our beloved Carousel Green Tiger we had custom made from the oldest, in 1985, manufacturer of original Carousel Animals still left in the U.S.) and have been slowly breathing new life into it.

      The Green Tiger was founded by Harold and Sandra Darling (often known by the pen names Welleran Poltarnees and Alexandra Day) and has gone on to become a multi generational family publishing company, with 4 of their 7 children actively involved, as well as Harold and Sandra still creating and working daily in the company.

      The first publishing venture was the “Sign of the Sun” which was attached to the bookstore and movie theatre we ran in La Jolla, CA. Which operated under The Mithras (bookstore) and the Unicorn (movie theatre upstairs) before we began the large scale Green Tiger Press venture.

      Our dream began, as an effort to bring back forgotten children’s books (that Harold had been collecting since his teen years at garage sales, thrift stores and anywhere else he could find them) and re-introduce the world to these amazing illustrators and stories.

      At the time offset printing quality wasn’t reaching a very high bar, so we acquired our own Hedilberg printing presses and printed them ourselves.
      We felt strongly that the quality of color and reproduction was crucial to doing these wonderful artists and their works the proper justice of reproduction. We also had a team of “hand tippers” in a loft that hand glued the plates in many of the books, greeting cards and calendars.

      As our operations expanded we made the choice to branch out to include modern, unique and inspired children’s illustrators and authors. Many of whom we met at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, such as Monique Felix, Mario Mariotti and Frederic. As well as ( in the case’s of Cooper Edens and Jasper Tomkins) were submissions mailed in that turned into a wonderful long lasting collaborations and friendships, which continue to current day ventures.

      Though it did become the only choice to sell the Green Tiger Press name, we took with us our collection of many thousands of antiquarian children’s books and a large collection of vintage ephemera, which has happily continued to grow over the years.

      We are now in Seattle (since 1993) The Laughing Elephant has been our primary publishing venture since.

      Since getting the Green Tiger name back we have and are continuing to do more under the “Green Tiger” imprint, with hopes to breath new life into the name that many have fond memories of from childhood or even young adulthood, when they “discovered” these amazing old illustrators work.

      Again thank you for your kind words and it is lovely to know that their are people in the world that still cherish the work of the Green Tiger in it’s heyday!

      -Christina Rossetti Darling

      Liked by 1 person

      • Martha Kennedy says:

        I even remember the day I walked into a shop and discovered Green Tiger Press’ books. It was magical. I’m glad you have recovered the name, glad you are alive and well, Seattle seems like a good place for a Green Tiger. I’m very happy to read all the news. It almost sounds like a Monique Felix book (but with words). I wish you the best of luck.

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        • Christina Rossetti Darling says:

          Hello Martha,
          Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words! I was a small child in the Monique Felix days and I have to tell you Monique Felix was one of my top 3 favorites! I loved and cherished my Little Mouse Trapped in a Book series and others. Jasper Tomkins (which we reprinted as the Laughing Elephant, 2 of his 2 title, Nimby and The Catalog, both wonderful, both did not sell very well sadly, but we have them on our website if you ever want to get them!)

          There was something so magical and sensitive in the expressions of her little mouse I think. The Rising of The Wind is also a true beauty, I actually have it in my collection (along with all the Jasper Tomkins, Hanibals and Humans, and other selected favorites like a french one we did Yum, Yum, which taught me to bake) If you have never seen it, look up Death and The Redheaded Woman, illustrated by Rheinhart Mikel, It is a very beautiful book, another one of my favorites for sheer artistic beauty along with Rising of The Wind. Are you a fan of Kay Nielsen? My dad has always loved her especially and we did a lovely retrospective on her long ago.

          Again, thank you for you sweet words and wonderful vivid memories, it is so nice to know that other people have been touched by the magic that was, and hopefully still is! The Green Tiger.

          Take Care- Feel free to get in touch with us anytime, at Laughing Elephant, we are open regular business hours, and if you ask for Christina (that is me) someone will take a message if I am not here, if you do end up looking on the Laughing Elephant website and don’t see the books I mentioned. We do have some older titles, that are such low quantity they are not on the site. We are at 1-800- 354-0400.
          Of course for Alex Wagner too! If anyone ever has any questions, history they want to share, memorabilia or books they want to sell, etc. etc. Call us!

          Warm regards to you from Seattle

          Liked by 2 people

      • Alex Hurst says:

        Thank you so much for the history, Christina! Wonderful to hear from the publishing house itself. I’m glad you guys got the rights to your name back and can now rejuvenate Green Tiger. So many loved and still love you guys!

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        • Christina Rossetti Darling says:

          Hello Alex!
          Sorry for the long delay in response, I have been away.
          I was so pleased to come across your blog, when setting up a Google alert for Green Tiger Press! It is is always renewing and inspiring to hear peoples personal tales of the impact the company/ies have had on their own life and pursuits.

          Of course, thank you for the lovely, heartfelt, well written article on the Green Tiger, it brought into focus many blurry memories for me!

          I am after all the youngest of the 7 children, so my childhood is interwoven with the Mithras/ Unicorn, Green Tiger, Blue Lantern and now Laughing Elephant, clear, isolated memories are so nice to hear.

          I am actually in the process of gathering a comprehensive Green Tiger Press, Welleran Poltarness (Harold Darling and his many pen names, unknown to most), Alexandra Day (Sandra Darling), The Mithras and Unicorn, Bibliographies.

          We hope to reconnect with the heirs of Harold Leigh, who was the partner in many, many endeavors over the years. The Unicorn/ Mithras was of course the first, but then the Green Tiger, however many were unknown to the general public, projects never brought to fruition.
          Partnered with Harold and Sandra Darling, Harold Leigh was also an avid amateur photographer, collector, creator, projectionist, event conceiver, fellow world traveler, amongst other things.

          At one point in the late 70’s they met a man, I believe at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, who had an amazing, vast personal collection of Automata.
          He was Swiss, wealthy, a wonderful mechanic, with nothing else he loved to do more than, collect and care for his amazing machines. So they packed 4 children under 10, 1 nanny, 2 parents, 3 friends, 1 cinematographer and Leigh, off to Switzerland to make a film, on 16 mm, about this man, Mr. Van Eiss, and his amazing, wondrous collection of Automata.
          From the slightly scary 1950’s laughing clown that dances, to tiny german birds from the 18th century that sang and typed out your fortune. One of my most precious memory of all the adventures we had over the years, as the large Darling family, head of various and sundry US and European journeys, with who knows how many people traveling with us, but always with a purpose, a creative endeavor we were all, collectively pursuing.

          Every year, much of the company, including our whole family of course, made a trip to the ABA, which at that time, was in different cities around the US every year. We would have huge ambitious, themed upon a new release, dramatic booths every year. They were wonderful, imaginative, often a midnight before crisis, but none the less, vision brought to life! Which was only a part of the wonderful patchwork that was our legacy as Darlings, lucky as we all were to born into the world of my amazing, brilliant, visionary, resilient, loving parents, Harold and Sandra.

          At an airport I remember an airline employee asked one of my parents, “What are you guys some sort of circus troupe” and one of my brothers, the quickest wit amongst us, said “Something like that”

          So, thank you again for your words, if you ever want to sell or donate your Green Tiger Press Archive you know where to find us! we are always on the lookout for original Green Tiger Press books, cards, catalogs, calendars, etc. Mithras and Unicorn memorable to as a matter of fact.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. i002537 says:

    A,

    I looked up some of these Green Tiger books for sale and the are calling 1990 “Vintage” or original. Unless I missed it, when are the original publication dates range, If 1990 is Vintage…I must move to the Antique category for myself personally.

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      Well, that’s over twenty years ago, which is a long time for a book. I think Vintage basically refers to any book out of regular circulation (so off Amazon, but available in quantities of 1 or 2 on AbesBooks or eBay.

      I don’t have the books with me… my father has all of them, but I know they at least go back to the early 80s, as he bought them for me when I was a baby.

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  5. Miranda Stone says:

    I don’t think I ever had any of these books, but they look fabulous. And I love that story. I always call myself the country mouse when I visit friends who live in big cities.

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    • Alex Hurst says:

      Yet another thing we have in common, Miranda! 😉 I’m the Country Mouse, and Nicky is the Town Mouse. I’m all country and bumpkin, and she’s sophisticated and classy. 🙂

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  6. M Templeton says:

    I’m trying to recover the name of a Green Tiger Press book so I can look for a copy of it. It was about fairy tale illustrators, including Arthur Rackham. I bought it about forty years ago; my mother-in-law loved it and I gave it to her, thinking I would get myself another copy. But it was already out of print! I let it go, but never forgot the book. She has passed on, so I can’t ask her for the title – can anyone give me suggestions?

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