Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adventures of Peter Pupp (1944)

With my love for rockets in children's books I am always interested in illustrations. Before 1950 there were few illustrations of rockets for children outside of the Buck Rogers etc. type. This one is a charming fictional book about exploring the solar system.

Roche, Ruth A. Coloring by David B. Icove. Adventures of Peter Pupp. New York, NY: Action Play Books, Inc. 6 1/2" x 8" 30 pp.

Not really rare, just obscure.

Peter is given a chance to go to the Moon in a home-made space ship. The design is more like an wingless airplane with rockets attached. In an alternate universe I imagine this as the first SSTO vehicle. It launches from a ramp but returns and lands on wheels.

He has a wild voyage trying to control the ship.

Upon finding the Weather Man (who lives of course up in the sky) they zoom home again.

I find books like this right at the core of why I like books about space. Fiction or non-fiction they present the idea that space is a place a child could go. It is an adventure waiting and even if you have to build the ship yourself, I still find myself remembering how much I wished I could go too.


  1. oh I love it! it is for my page, very nice.

  2. Ah, yes, the ol' stovepipe propulsion system!

    Anyhow, John, have you ever read The Magical Land of Noom? As you can see from the image of the book's cover, the kids in this story used a somewhat less advanced form of spaceship! Science issues aside, the illustrations are nothing short of magnificent, and the story is quite engaging -- not too surprising considering the novel's author, none other than Johnny Gruelle ("Raggedy Ann"). I had the pleasure of reading this as a child ... then again later as a much older child.

    -- Michael S.

  3. Is this the same Peter Pupp that appeared in Jumbo Comics in 1938 that was draw by Batman co-creator Bob Kane?

  4. "Is this the same Peter Pupp that appeared in Jumbo Comics in 1938 that was draw by Batman co-creator Bob Kane?"

    Probably, since Ruth Roche was the in-house editor (and occasional writer) at the Eisner/Iger Studios that packaged Jumbo Comics (including Kane's Peter Pupp) for Fiction House.
    So they held the copyright to the feature.
    Could the poster tell us if there's any other credits on the title page?