Walt Disney’s Giant Books – Purnell

This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant

Walt Disney Giant books

Publisher: Purnell

Size:
Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book: 27cm x 20cm x 4cm
Walt Disney’s Giant book of Bedtime Stories: 30cm x 22.5cm x 2.5cm

Year:
Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book: Reprint of 1971 (original came out in 1969)
Walt Disney’s Giant book of Bedtime Stories: Reprint of 1974 (original came out in 1972)

Main distribution: UK


These are thick, heavy storybooks of Walt Disney’s favourite stories and characters. Ideal for children learning to read, with a large bold type and lots of colourful illustrations. There are 4 books in the series, Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book, Walt Disney’s Giant book of Bedtime Stories, Walt Disney’s Giant book of Fairy Tales and The Giant Walt Disney World book, all published by Purnell around the 70s.

I managed to get 2 of these vintage books and I will list them below.

Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book

WDGSB front

Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book is a thick and heavy book filled with decent sized stories and vintage art. The dust cover or sleeve features the characters that are in the book and are lovely drawn.

WDGSB back

The characters are spread over the entire cover and move from left to right, back to front.

WDGSB book

The book itself, without the dust cover / sleeve is beautiful bound. It is light blue in colour with dark blue lettering. The book looks rather plain.

WDGSB 1st page

Apparently I’m missing the first page that has all the info, but as Judi Todd kindly pointed out below, this appears to be a reprint from 1971, with the original coming out in 1969. It has 332 pages.

WDGSB content

The book contains 19 stories, but the stories are several pages long.

WDGSB art

I couldn’t find any credited illustrators in the book or online. With books, an illustrator usually gets hired or images from the archives are used, but I found most of the art in this book to be unique. I don’t think a Disney artist drew most of these. My favourite however are the illustrations that go with the story of Bongo the Bear, as pictured above, and I believe these have been used in other books of Bongo the Bear as well. It is possible these were pulled from archive and a Disney artist drew them for promotional material.

Walt Disney’s Giant book of Bedtime Stories

WDGBOBS front
Walt Disney’s Giant book of Bedtime Stories is, possibly due to being a reprint from a different year, a different size than my Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book. It is larger and thinner, but equally as heavy a book filled with short stories and illustrations. The dust cover or sleeve features the characters that are in the book and are lovely drawn.

WDGBOBS back

The characters are again spread over the entire cover and move from left to right, back to front. They appear to be flying into a bedroom, in a Peter Pan kinda fashion.

WDGBOBS book

The book itself, without the dust cover / sleeve is beautiful bound. It is dark blue in colour with golden lettering. The front has a gold Mickey Mouse on it. The book comes across as more luxurious than Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book because of this.

WDGBOBS 1st page
This book does have information regarding print etc, and this one has been reprinted in 1974. I believe the book originally came out in 1972, so this might be the first re-print. It has 190 pages, significantly less than Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book.

WDGBOBS content 1

WDGBOBS content 2

The book contains a whopping 116 stories, but the stories are short, often only 1 or 2 pages long.

WDGBOBS art

Again I couldn’t find any credited illustrators in the book or online. With books, an illustrator usually gets hired or images from the archives are used, but I found most of the art in this book to be unique. I don’t think a Disney artist drew most of these as some look frankly quite off-point. It also seems to have been illustrated by different artists, possibly one per story. For example, there are 4 stories with Winne the Pooh and all 4 have been illustrated differently. My least favourite illustration I pictured above, where Pooh Bear’s proportions / anatomy are very off.

The books seemed to have retailed for £2.25 back in the 70s. Considering inflation, that would be £13.56 in 2018.


I’m not much a book person, but I often look in (children) books for nice illustrations / artists, especially the Disney ones. I found Walt Disney’s Giant Story Book in a vintage book shop and thought it was very cool and bought it.

Vintage Disney images always look nice, and the stories could be read to the nieces and nephews if they visited.

Later I found Walt Disney’s Giant book of Bedtime Stories and instantly bought it. I didn’t realise this was a series and thought it be cool to get all four at some point.

Although Walt Disney’s Giant book of Bedtime Stories was in a better condition and looked prettier with the golden Mickey, the quality of stories and illustrations was far worse and I found the illustrations weren’t to my personal liking.

As I’m thinning out, I realised I only really liked the Bongo the Bear illustrations. The books weren’t in perfect condition, and the kids rather read other books. Rather than having them collect dust on my shelf, I decided to sell them to another Disney fan where they would be more loved.

I no longer have these books in my possession, but I still wanted to catalogue them here for fellow collectors. It’s hard to find good information on stuff that is almost 50 years old! The photo’s are, as always, of the actual item in hand and not stock photos.


Got any more details / information for me to add? Or did I get something wrong? Do you own other cool Disney books? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Walt Disney’s Giant Books – Purnell”

  1. Hi i still have my original copy of Walt Disney’s giant story book i noticed that you have a missing page at the beginning the first edition came out in 1969 then reprinted in 1970 ,1971 twice
    The book is material based in part on
    Uncle Remus Stories ” Told by uncle remus ” copyright 1905 by joel chandler harris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *