I've spent most of this morning doing New Year's tidying up still, re-arranging shelves and dusting, figuring out what can go into storage, making new room I'm sure I'll fill up again before I know it. In doing so I ran across four little volumes again, and I was distracted for a while by old memories. I never had these precise stories (they came in an auction lot of old books and Jack and Jill magazines) but we had a few and their style effects the old Proustian rush. I always thought of them as "balloon books."
Whitman's Tiny Tales each cost only five cents, and featured simple stories of children and animals, illustrated in what I can only describe as a soft happy style. The Whitman publishing policy for them was explained on the page above; reading that, I remembered how magical a mother's or grandmother's purse could seem when you were very small, a bottomless well supplied with candy and tissues and distractions for the kids.
I include a sample page from Little Chick-Chick, to show the style. For some reason crickets were often shown as playing the banjo to symbolize their noise-making; I do not know why.