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.

Start End Title Writer Artist
10/17/65 10/24/65 The Little Red Caboose Marian Potter Tibor Gergely
10/31/65 11/14/65 Sylvester The Mouse With The Musical Ear Adelaide Holl N.M. Bodecker
11/21/65 12/5/65 Tinker And Tanker In Africa Richard Scarry Richard Scarry
12/12/65 12/19/65 The Night Before Christmas Clement Moore Frank Bolle
12/26/65 1/9/66 Paul & Arthur Search For The Egg Anne Rockwell Anne Rockwell
1/16/66 1/23/66 Where’s Willie? Seymour Reit Erik Blegvad
1/30/66 2/13/66 Jeremiah Octopus Margaret Stone Zilboorg Hilary Knight
2/20/66 3/6/66 The Dragon In The Clock Box M. Jean Craig Kelly Oechsli
3/13/66 3/20/66 The Happy Man And His Dump Truck Miryam Tibor Gergely
3/27/66 4/10/66 Borka – The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers John Burningham John Burningham
4/17/66 5/1/66 Tobias And His Big Red Satchel Sunny B. Warner Sunny B. Warner
5/8/66 5/22/66 Henry The Uncatchable Mouse Sidney Simon Nola Langner
5/29/66 6/5/66 Pear-Shaped Hill Irving A. Leitner Bernice Myers
6/12/66 6/26/66 The King Who Learned To Smile Seymour Reit Gordon Laite
7/3/66 7/10/66 The Little Red Hen Uncredited J.P. Miller
7/17/66 7/31/66 The Log and Admiral Frog B. Wiseman B. Wiseman
8/7/66 8/21/66 Thumbelina Uncredited Gustaf Tenggren
8/28/66 9/11/66 Lolly’s Pony Ride Charlotte Steiner Charlotte Steiner
9/18/66 10/2/66 The Upside-Down Man Shan Ellentuck Shan Ellentuck
10/9/66 10/23/66 Old Gray And The Little White Hen Paul Francois Lucile Butel
10/30/66 11/13/66 The Whale Hunt Kenneth S. Norris Claude Humbert
11/20/66 12/4/66 The Good Friends Paul Francois Gerda
12/11/66 12/25/66 The Little Stowaway Reindeer Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
1/1/67 1/15/67 Trubloff John Burningham John Burningham
1/22/67 1/29/67 The Animals Search for Summer Natha Caputo Gerda Muller
2/5/67 2/19/67 Kangaroo & Kangaroo Kathy Braun Jim McMullan
2/26/67 3/12/67 A Pickle For A Nickel Lilian Moore Susan Perl
3/19/67 4/9/67 Noisy Nancy Norris Louanna Gaeddert Gioia Fiammenghi
4/16/67 4/30/67 A Dog’s Life Mido Gerda
5/7/67 5/21/67 Runaway John Leonore Klein Sunny B. Warner
5/28/67 6/11/67 Around The Corner Jean B. Showalter Roger Duvoisin
6/18/67 7/9/67 Anna Amelia’s Apteryx Mary O’Neill Burt Groedel
7/16/67 7/30/67 The Saggy Baggy Elephant K. & B. Jackson Gustav Tenngren
8/6/67 8/27/67 Little Boy With a Big Horn Jack Bechdolt Aurelius Battaglia
9/3/67 9/17/67 Honey-Duck Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
9/24/67 10/8/67 Mister Dog Margaret Wise Brown Garth Williams
10/15/67 10/29/67 The Seven Sneezes Olga Cabral Tibor Gergely
11/5/67 11/19/67 The Bear Who Became Sheriff Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
11/26/67 12/10/67 Did You See What I Said? Shan Ellentuck Shan Ellentuck
12/17/67 12/24/67 A Snowflake For Christmas Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
12/31/67 1/14/68 Gwendolyn and the Weathercock Nancy Sherman Edward Sorel
1/21/68 2/4/68 Little Yip-Yip And His Bark Kathryn & Byron Jackson Tibor Gergely
2/11/68 2/25/68 Scuffy The Tugboat Gertrude Crampton Tibor Gergely
3/3/68 3/17/68 Mrs. Ticklefeather Dorothy Kunhardt J.P. Miller
3/24/68 3/31/68 Home For A Bunny Margaret Wise Brown Garth Williams
4/7/68 4/21/68 The Big Brown Bear Georges Duplaix Gustaf Tenggren
4/28/68 5/12/68 The Merry Shipwreck Georges Duplaix Tibor Gergely
5/19/68 6/2/68 The Sailor Dog Margaret Wise Brown Garth Williams
6/9/68 6/23/68 Little Peewee Dorothy Kunhardt J.P. Miller
6/30/68 7/14/68 Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball Florence Parry Heide Sally Mathews
7/21/68 8/4/68 Not This Bear! Bernice Myers Bernice Myers
8/11/68 8/25/68 The Elves and the Shoemaker Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
9/1/68 9/15/68 Sam and the Impossible Thing Tamara Kitt Brinton Turkle
9/22/68 10/6/68 The Note That Wouldn’t Play Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
10/13/68 10/27/68 The Princess And The Pea Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
11/3/68 11/17/68 The Cow Went Over The Mountain Jeanette Krinsley Feodor Rojankovsky
11/24/68 12/8/68 Mister Puffer-Bill Leone Arlandson Tibor Gergely
12/15/68 12/22/68 The Twelve Days of Christmas traditional Frank Bolle
12/29/68 1/12/69 Fun For Hunkydory May Justus Sue D’Avignon
1/19/69 2/2/69 Scotty and the Story-Teller Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
2/9/69 2/23/69 Hazel Was an Only Pet John Hamberger John Hamberger
3/2/69 3/16/69 Peter Potamus Carl Memling Hawley Pratt, Bill Lorencz
3/23/69 4/6/69 The Golden Egg Margaret Wise Brown Lilian Obligado
4/13/69 4/27/69 Thistle Era Zistel uncredited (Frank Bolle)
5/4/69 5/18/69 Ruff and Reddy Go To a Party Uncredited Harvey Eisenberg, Neil Boyle
5/25/69 5/25/69 The Fox and the Crow Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
6/1/69 6/15/69 3910 16th Avenue Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
6/22/69 7/6/69 Mushmouse and Punkin Puss, the Country Cousins Jay Freeman Peter Alvarado, R. Jacobs
7/13/69 7/13/69 My Shadow Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
7/20/69 7/27/69 Wally Gator – Guess What’s Hiding at the Zoo? Eileen Daly Mel Crawford
8/3/69 8/17/69 The Day of the Trucks Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
8/24/69 9/7/69 Rumpelstiltskin Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
9/14/69 9/21/69 We Like Kindergarten Clara Cassidy Eloise Wilkin
9/28/69 9/28/69 The Horse and the Lion Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
10/5/69 10/12/69 Sam the Firehouse Cat Virginia Parsons Virginia Parsons
10/19/69 10/19/69 The Kid and the Wolf Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
10/26/69 11/9/69 Doctor Dolittle Stops the Bullfights Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
11/16/69 11/30/69 Percy the Plain Old Spruce Tree Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
12/7/69 12/21/69 A Christmas Carol Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
12/28/69 12/28/69 The Hare And The Tortoise Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
1/4/70 1/11/70 When I Grow Up Ilse-Margret Vogel Ilse Margret-Vogel
1/18/70 2/1/70 Doctor Dolittle – The Dog Ambulance Uncredited Uncredited
2/8/70 2/22/70 Ricochet Rabbit – Showdown at Gopher Gulch Bakery Patrick Hagen Al Anderson, Peter Alvarado
3/1/70 3/15/70 Snagglepuss – The Way To Be a King William Johnston Art Seiden
3/22/70 4/5/70 Touche Turtle and the Fire Dog Jean Lewis Mel Crawford
4/12/70 4/19/70 The Tiny Tawny Kitten Barbara Hazen Jan Pfloog
4/26/70 5/3/70 The Boy With A Drum David L. Harrison Eloise Wilkin
5/10/70 5/10/70 The Lion and the Mouse Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
5/17/70 5/31/70 The Siren Hound Patricia Boyd Frank Bolle
6/7/70 6/14/70 The Wonderful School May Justus Hilde Hoffmann
6/21/70 6/21/70 The Cat and the Mice Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
6/28/70 7/12/70 Huckleberry Hound The Rainmaker Uncredited Uncredited
7/19/70 7/19/70 The Fox And The Grapes Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
7/26/70 8/9/70 Peter Potamus and the Pirates Jean Lewis Howard Forsberg
8/16/70 8/30/70 Cinderella Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
9/6/70 9/13/70 The Trophy Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
9/20/70 10/4/70 Touche Turtle Carl Memling Bill Lorencz, Norm McGary, Al White
10/11/70 10/25/70 A Gift For Ted Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
11/1/70 11/15/70 The Duck and the Leaves Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
11/22/70 12/6/70 The Sleeping Beauty Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
12/13/70 12/20/70 The Night Before Christmas (1965 reprint?) Clement Moore Frank Bolle
12/27/70 1/10/71 The Lazy Fox and the Little Red Hen Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
1/17/71 1/31/71 Prairie Pup Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
2/7/71 2/21/71 Matilda the Cow Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
2/28/71 3/14/71 Hansel and Gretel Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
3/21/71 4/3/71 The Special Mister Reggie Frog Linda Moggio, Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
4/10/71 4/25/71 Clever Trevor and his Bag of Tricks Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
5/2/71 5/16/71 The Funny Little Squirrel Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
5/23/71 5/30/71 The Boy Who Couldn’t Rhyme Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
6/6/71 6/20/71 The Crabby Crab Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
6/27/71 7/11/71 Jack and the Beanstock Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
7/18/71 8/1/71 Clever Trevor and the Forbidden Island Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
8/8/71 8/15/71 A Short Dog Story Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
8/22/71 8/29/71 My Own Room Nick Meglin Frank Bolle
9/5/71 9/12/71 The Snappy Turtle Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
9/19/71 9/26/71 Errol Digs Adventure Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
10/3/71 10/10/71 Goldilocks and the Three Bears Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
10/17/71 10/24/71 The School of Fish Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
10/31/71 11/7/71 A Ride In Space Linda Moggio Frank Bolle
11/14/71 11/14/71 The Paper Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
11/21/71 11/21/71 That’s Why Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
11/28/71 11/28/71 One Track Mind Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
12/5/71 12/5/71 The Easel Frank Bolle Frank Bolle
12/12/71 12/19/71 A Snowflake For Christmas (reprint of 1967 story) Frank Bolle Frank Bolle

6 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Children’s Tales

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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