|The Tuckers were a rambunctious family direct from mid 20th Century America. Featured in nine full length books from 1961 to 1964, the Tuckers are among the least known and discussed series of books.
Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Tina, Terry, Merry, Penny, Tom, Toby the dog, and Sugar the cat. These were the Tuckers.
As the series opens the family is loaded into their station wagon (that is what families drove before mini-vans and then SUV's came along!) and are moving from their cramped apartment in Castleton to a new home in Yorkville.
Yorkville was the boyhood home of Jim Tucker ( that is Dad) and Grandma and Grandpa still live there and operate their store called Tucker's Town Talk. The Tuckers are moving into a big old house that had belonged to a friend of the family many years before.
Yorkville is described as a "small midwestern town on the shores of Lake Annabelle" and the population is given as 50,000. In reality though Yorkville comes off as a much smaller town than that. Grandpa also owns a summer cottage on Lake Annabelle which is the site of two of the best books in the series.
The series was published by Whitman, written by Jo Mendel and illustrated by Jackie Tomes. "Jo Mendel" was a pen name used by Gladys Baker Bond, who also wrote some of the Trixie Belden series. Each book is 280-282 pages with numerous full and half page line drawings throughout. Each book was a different color. Turquoise, yellow, blue, red, green, orange, white, brown, and finally pink. The illustrations were always the same color in a given book, green four times, twice in brown, once in blue, and twice in red/purple.
The quality of both the writing and the drawing varied from book to book. Also the mood was subject to unusual varience for series books. Some of the books were bright and airy while others had a somewhat claustrophobic feel to them. Since life is made up of good days and bad, I credit the author with giving the books a more realistic feel by using this approach.
The Tuckers also appeared in at least four Whitman Big Tell-A-Tale books in the mid 1960's.
Here now a list of titles. Click on each title for a view of the book cover.
Book 1. The Wonderful House
Book 2. The Special Secret
Book 3. The Adventures of Plum Tucker
Book 4. Trouble on Valley View
Book 5. The Cottage Holiday
Book 6. Tell a Tale of the Tuckers
Book 7. The Turn-About Summer
Book 8. Here Comes a Friend
Book 9. That Kitten Again
Additional information and comment on this series will be forthcoming.
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copyright 2001 R. Mark Johnson