Unlike book publishers, the U.S. Postal Service declines to reprint its bestsellers year after year. So fans of the 2006 stamp series on favorite children’s book animals can’t just go to their local postmaster and beg for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
But they can propose that other characters be added to the USPS roster, through the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee. “We have not seen the end of children’s book characters on stamps,” said Layne Owens, stamp development specialist at the U.S. Postal Service. “We welcome more suggestions.”
Here are some of the children’s books and characters that have already been commemorated on U.S. postage stamps.
1993: Youth Classics, illustrated by Jim Lamb
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin (1903)
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1935)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1885)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)
2004: Theodor Seuss Geisel
A stamp issued for the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s birth showed him (in a 1987 photo) with characters from four of his books (l. to r.): the Cat in the Hat (1957), the Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), the Glotz (or perhaps a Klotz) from Oh Say Can You Say? (1979), and the Skritz, the anonymous “young fellow,” and the Skrink from I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew (1965). The stamp pane border showed fish from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960).
2006: Favorite Children’s Book Animals series
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Curious George from Curious George Flies a Kite (1958), illus. by H.A. Rey
A Wild Thing from Where the Wild Things Are (1963), illus. by Maurice Sendak
Fox from Fox in Socks (1965), illus. by Dr. Seuss
Frederick from Frederick (1967), illus. by Leo Lionni
The caterpillar from The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969), illus. by Eric Carle
Maisy from Maisy’s ABC (1995), illus. by Lucy Cousins
Olivia from Olivia (2000), illus. by Ian Falconer
Not all stamps feature literary characters, of course. To learn about the new stamp depicting tennis legend Althea Gibson, which the U.S. Postal Service commissioned from children’s book illustrator Kadir Nelson, click here.