Monday, January 05, 2009


Obscurity of the Day: Children's Tales

This obscure Sunday series is aptly described by its title. The McNaught Syndicate feature was designed to appeal to the younger set, featuring multi-part stories that were meant to interest elementary school readers. In addition to original material, some stories were adapted from contemporary children's books, others from classics, and yet others featured well-known animated cartoon characters.

The information on this series has been terribly hard to track down because it ran in very few papers. This wasn't really a reflection on the quality of the material, though. The strip had two problems that made it unappealing to editors. First, it was offered only in half-page and tab formats in an era when most strips were being run as thirds. Second, because the stories were always multi-parters, the strip could never be bumped from the comics section to accommodate an ad (a problem that also hastened the downfall of Sunday continuity strips).

It took me the better part of a decade to get the story list as complete as you see below, but its been worthwhile as a number of famous illustrators made their only Sunday funnies appearances in this feature. Later in the run the big name talent disappeared and most stories were written and drawn by the ever able Frank Bolle.

I would be VERY interested in hearing from anyone who knows of any earlier or later stories in this series. As far as I know the list below represents the complete run of the feature, but only because this is all I've been able to track down.

10/17/6510/24/65The Little Red CabooseMarian PotterTibor Gergely
10/31/6511/14/65Sylvester The Mouse With The Musical EarAdelaide HollN.M. Bodecker
11/21/6512/5/65Tinker And Tanker In AfricaRichard ScarryRichard Scarry
12/12/6512/19/65The Night Before ChristmasClement MooreFrank Bolle
12/26/651/9/66Paul & Arthur Search For The EggAnne RockwellAnne Rockwell
1/16/661/23/66Where's Willie?Seymour ReitErik Blegvad
1/30/662/13/66Jeremiah OctopusMargaret Stone ZilboorgHilary Knight
2/20/663/6/66The Dragon In The Clock BoxM. Jean CraigKelly Oechsli
3/13/663/20/66The Happy Man And His Dump TruckMiryamTibor Gergely
3/27/664/10/66Borka - The Adventures of a Goose with No FeathersJohn BurninghamJohn Burningham
4/17/665/1/66Tobias And His Big Red SatchelSunny B. WarnerSunny B. Warner
5/8/665/22/66Henry The Uncatchable MouseSidney SimonNola Langner
5/29/666/5/66Pear-Shaped HillIrving A. LeitnerBernice Myers
6/12/666/26/66The King Who Learned To SmileSeymour ReitGordon Laite
7/3/667/10/66The Little Red HenUncreditedJ.P. Miller
7/17/667/31/66The Log and Admiral FrogB. WisemanB. Wiseman
8/7/668/21/66ThumbelinaUncreditedGustaf Tenggren
8/28/669/11/66Lolly's Pony RideCharlotte SteinerCharlotte Steiner
9/18/6610/2/66The Upside-Down ManShan EllentuckShan Ellentuck
10/9/6610/23/66Old Gray And The Little White HenPaul FrancoisLucile Butel
10/30/6611/13/66The Whale HuntKenneth S. NorrisClaude Humbert
11/20/6612/4/66The Good FriendsPaul FrancoisGerda
12/11/6612/25/66The Little Stowaway ReindeerFrank BolleFrank Bolle
1/1/671/15/67TrubloffJohn BurninghamJohn Burningham
1/22/671/29/67The Animals Search for SummerNatha CaputoGerda Muller
2/5/672/19/67Kangaroo & KangarooKathy BraunJim McMullan
2/26/673/12/67A Pickle For A NickelLilian MooreSusan Perl
3/19/674/9/67Noisy Nancy NorrisLouanna GaeddertGioia Fiammenghi
4/16/674/30/67A Dog's LifeMidoGerda
5/7/675/21/67Runaway JohnLeonore KleinSunny B. Warner
5/28/676/11/67Around The CornerJean B. ShowalterRoger Duvoisin
6/18/677/9/67Anna Amelia's ApteryxMary O'NeillBurt Groedel
7/16/677/30/67The Saggy Baggy ElephantK. & B. JacksonGustav Tenngren
8/6/678/27/67Little Boy With a Big HornJack BechdoltAurelius Battaglia
9/3/679/17/67Honey-DuckFrank BolleFrank Bolle
9/24/6710/8/67Mister DogMargaret Wise BrownGarth Williams
10/15/6710/29/67The Seven SneezesOlga CabralTibor Gergely
11/5/6711/19/67The Bear Who Became SheriffFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/26/6712/10/67Did You See What I Said?Shan EllentuckShan Ellentuck
12/17/6712/24/67A Snowflake For ChristmasFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/31/671/14/68Gwendolyn and the WeathercockNancy ShermanEdward Sorel
1/21/682/4/68Little Yip-Yip And His BarkKathryn & Byron JacksonTibor Gergely
2/11/682/25/68Scuffy The TugboatGertrude CramptonTibor Gergely
3/3/683/17/68Mrs. TicklefeatherDorothy KunhardtJ.P. Miller
3/24/683/31/68Home For A BunnyMargaret Wise BrownGarth Williams
4/7/684/21/68The Big Brown BearGeorges DuplaixGustaf Tenggren
4/28/685/12/68The Merry ShipwreckGeorges DuplaixTibor Gergely
5/19/686/2/68The Sailor DogMargaret Wise BrownGarth Williams
6/9/686/23/68Little PeeweeDorothy KunhardtJ.P. Miller
6/30/687/14/68Benjamin Budge and Barnaby BallFlorence Parry HeideSally Mathews
7/21/688/4/68Not This Bear!Bernice MyersBernice Myers
8/11/688/25/68The Elves and the ShoemakerFrank Bolle Frank Bolle
9/1/689/15/68Sam and the Impossible ThingTamara KittBrinton Turkle
9/22/6810/6/68The Note That Wouldn't PlayNick MeglinFrank Bolle
10/13/6810/27/68The Princess And The PeaFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/3/6811/17/68The Cow Went Over The MountainJeanette KrinsleyFeodor Rojankovsky
11/24/6812/8/68Mister Puffer-BillLeone ArlandsonTibor Gergely
12/15/6812/22/68The Twelve Days of ChristmastraditionalFrank Bolle
12/29/681/12/69Fun For HunkydoryMay JustusSue D'Avignon
1/19/692/2/69Scotty and the Story-TellerNick MeglinFrank Bolle
2/9/692/23/69Hazel Was an Only PetJohn HambergerJohn Hamberger
3/2/693/16/69Peter PotamusCarl MemlingHawley Pratt, Bill Lorencz
3/23/694/6/69The Golden EggMargaret Wise BrownLilian Obligado
4/13/694/27/69ThistleEra Zisteluncredited (Frank Bolle)
5/4/695/18/69Ruff and Reddy Go To a PartyUncreditedHarvey Eisenberg, Neil Boyle
5/25/695/25/69The Fox and the CrowFrank BolleFrank Bolle
6/1/696/15/693910 16th AvenueNick MeglinFrank Bolle
6/22/697/6/69Mushmouse and Punkin Puss, the Country CousinsJay FreemanPeter Alvarado, R. Jacobs
7/13/697/13/69My ShadowFrank BolleFrank Bolle
7/20/697/27/69Wally Gator - Guess What's Hiding at the Zoo?Eileen DalyMel Crawford
8/3/698/17/69The Day of the TrucksNick MeglinFrank Bolle
8/24/699/7/69RumpelstiltskinFrank BolleFrank Bolle
9/14/699/21/69We Like KindergartenClara CassidyEloise Wilkin
9/28/699/28/69The Horse and the LionFrank BolleFrank Bolle
10/5/6910/12/69Sam the Firehouse CatVirginia ParsonsVirginia Parsons
10/19/6910/19/69The Kid and the WolfFrank BolleFrank Bolle
10/26/6911/9/69Doctor Dolittle Stops the BullfightsFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/16/6911/30/69Percy the Plain Old Spruce TreeNick MeglinFrank Bolle
12/7/6912/21/69A Christmas CarolFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/28/6912/28/69The Hare And The TortoiseFrank BolleFrank Bolle
1/4/701/11/70When I Grow UpIlse-Margret VogelIlse Margret-Vogel
1/18/702/1/70Doctor Dolittle - The Dog AmbulanceUncreditedUncredited
2/8/702/22/70Ricochet Rabbit - Showdown at Gopher Gulch BakeryPatrick HagenAl Anderson, Peter Alvarado
3/1/703/15/70Snagglepuss - The Way To Be a KingWilliam JohnstonArt Seiden
3/22/704/5/70Touche Turtle and the Fire DogJean LewisMel Crawford
4/12/704/19/70The Tiny Tawny KittenBarbara HazenJan Pfloog
4/26/705/3/70The Boy With A DrumDavid L. HarrisonEloise Wilkin
5/10/705/10/70The Lion and the MouseFrank Bolle Frank Bolle
5/17/705/31/70The Siren HoundPatricia BoydFrank Bolle
6/7/706/14/70The Wonderful SchoolMay JustusHilde Hoffmann
6/21/706/21/70The Cat and the MiceLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
6/28/707/12/70Huckleberry Hound The RainmakerUncreditedUncredited
7/19/707/19/70The Fox And The GrapesLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
7/26/708/9/70Peter Potamus and the PiratesJean LewisHoward Forsberg
8/16/708/30/70CinderellaLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
9/6/709/13/70The TrophyNick MeglinFrank Bolle
9/20/7010/4/70Touche TurtleCarl MemlingBill Lorencz, Norm McGary, Al White
10/11/7010/25/70A Gift For TedNick MeglinFrank Bolle
11/1/7011/15/70The Duck and the LeavesLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
11/22/7012/6/70The Sleeping BeautyLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
12/13/7012/20/70The Night Before Christmas (1965 reprint?)Clement MooreFrank Bolle
12/27/701/10/71The Lazy Fox and the Little Red HenLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
1/17/711/31/71Prairie PupLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
2/7/712/21/71Matilda the CowLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
2/28/713/14/71Hansel and GretelLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
3/21/714/3/71The Special Mister Reggie FrogLinda Moggio, Frank BolleFrank Bolle
4/10/714/25/71Clever Trevor and his Bag of TricksFrank BolleFrank Bolle
5/2/715/16/71The Funny Little SquirrelLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
5/23/715/30/71The Boy Who Couldn't RhymeNick MeglinFrank Bolle
6/6/716/20/71The Crabby CrabFrank BolleFrank Bolle
6/27/717/11/71Jack and the BeanstockLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
7/18/718/1/71Clever Trevor and the Forbidden IslandFrank Bolle Frank Bolle
8/8/718/15/71A Short Dog StoryLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
8/22/718/29/71My Own RoomNick MeglinFrank Bolle
9/5/719/12/71The Snappy TurtleFrank BolleFrank Bolle
9/19/719/26/71Errol Digs AdventureFrank BolleFrank Bolle
10/3/7110/10/71Goldilocks and the Three BearsLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
10/17/7110/24/71The School of FishLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
10/31/7111/7/71A Ride In SpaceLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
11/14/7111/14/71The PaperFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/21/7111/21/71That's WhyFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/28/7111/28/71One Track MindFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/5/7112/5/71The EaselFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/12/7112/19/71A Snowflake For Christmas (reprint of 1967 story)Frank BolleFrank Bolle


Just wanted to post a note to say thank you for these invaluable insights; I've been doing some research for a small curatorial project and your notes have been completely invaluable. I'm both really impressed and quite grateful. Thank you!
Hi Alan,
Judging from the titles and artists on this strip, it appears to be repurposed artwork from Golden Books/Whitman publications. Do you have any examples of the earlier strips in the series such as THE LITTLE RED CABOOSE by Tibor Gergeley or THE LITTLE RED HEN by J.P. Miller? Thanks for all your great research, Mark Kausler
Hi Allan,
Please excuse the mispelling of your name.
All best, Mark K.
I agree with Mark that alot of the titles seems to be repurposed from the Golden Books series, especially in stories that appears to feature Hanna-Barbera characters (Peter Potamus, Huckleberry Hound). The artists listed, such as Hawley Pratt, is also a tipoff.

Pratt is best known for directing a bulk of the "Pink Panther" cartoons. He was a layout artist for Friz Freleng during the "Looney Tunes" days, doing most of the character layouts for him.
My grandfather used to cut these comics out of the newspaper every week and glued them into a "scrapbook" made from an old magazine. I have all of them through Runaway John Part 3. I wish I had more, but he got sick and passed away in 1972 when I was 9. My comic book scrapbook is a very precious memory of lazy days spent with a grandfather I adored.
Hi Caryn -
Do you know what newspaper he clipped them from? Does your scrapbook include any that pre-date "The Little Red Caboose"?

Thanks, Allan
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