The Big Golden Book for Alice in Wonderland was in print for a bazillion years, 30 years at least since earliest printings are from 1951 and I have a 35th printing from 1980. With all those printings over all those years, it can be very difficult to figure out which printing you have, since the earlier printings don't actually say 'first printing', and all have a 1951 copyright date.
So how do you tell? Follow along with me, it is pretty simple. Pictured above is a first print standard edition (there are 4 editions of the Big Golden Book for Alice, although 2 are variations of the other 2). There is an easy way to tell if you have an early printing just at a glance. The first TWO printings have gold highlights on the cover, making it instantly obvious that you have an early printing.
Secondly, the interior pages on early printings have this funky floral border. Also, the stock number (located at the top of the spine) for the first 7 printings was 3 digits (426), and afterwards it was 5 digits (10426). Additionally, the imprint for the early printings is Simon and Schuster, whereas for printings as early as 7th (G) the imprint changes to Golden Press. Early printings also have fully illustrated endpapers, in fact the same art used as the backdrop for the Whitman Stand-Up Figures set (stay tuned for a future post) whereas later printings have plain white endpapers.
And finally, although only useful if you have several various printings side by side, the earlier printings are taller, a fact that remains true throughout the print run: the taller the book, the earlier the printing.
But, the only sure fire way to determine if you have a first printing or not is to look in the lower left hand corner of the inside front cover, and you'll see printed just to the left of the baby oysters the text A100100. The 'A' is the printing (A = first, B = second, etc), and the 100100 is the price in cents twice ($1). The last printing to use the code was the thirteenth printing (M). Beginning with the fourteenth printing, the print information was located at the bottom of the title page and lists printing number and year - e.g. Fourteenth Printing 1968.