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Thomas C Hinkle

Dr Thomas Clark Hinkle (1876 - 1949) wrote many children’s books featuring animals. He was a reasonably prolific horse book author, with 11 titles to his name, but wrote even more books about dogs - 19 that I have been able to find. There is a certain similarity in plot in his horse books, so much so that I began to wonder when cataloguing if the books were in fact reprints rather than original titles. Many of them have a hero whose name begins with “J” who tames a horse from colthood; the horse is then torn away from J by some means, undergoes a torrid time, and is then reunited with J.


At least one of his books was based on a real horse, and on the author’s experiences. Of meeting the original of Tornado Boy, Hinkle wrote: "...I remember I put my hands on his head as he reached down to me and even though I was but a boy there was something about his big dark eyes that made me feel he had so much sense that I need not be afraid of him... I remember he held very still and closed his eyes as I felt the thrill of the velvet touch of his nose and listened to the men stand and talk about him..."


Finding the books: Black Tiger was published in the UK as a Children’s Press edition. As such, it’s highly likely it’s abridged, as were many Children’s Press titles. It is however, extremely easy to find. Several of his other horse titles were also published in the UK; they don’t crop up terribly often, but are usually reasonably priced when they do. First US editions can be expensive; but reprints are common, and not expensive.


Links and sources

Tornado Boy, author’s note

Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987

Many thanks to Lisa Catz, Hannah Fleetwood, Sarah Grace Books and ebay sellers magicalgirl and sparkles2ndtimearound for all the photographs.

Bibliography - horse books only

Black Storm, a Horse of the Kansas Hills

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1929
Reprinted 1945

Scholastic Book Services, 1964, pb

New York Pocket Book, 1950, illus Thomas L Sinnickson

Chapman and Hall, London, 1930

Black Storm can only be ridden by Joe Bain, but then the horse is stolen. He has a torrid time until
he is reunited with Joe.

Black Tiger, the Story of a Faithful Horse

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1952, 188 pp

Grosset & Dunlap, Famous Horse Series

Collins Seagull, London, 1957

Children’s Press, London, 1964


The colt Black Tiger spends a little time with Jim Summers,
but then the colt is spirited away by his mother, and pursued
by horse thieves.

Blaze Face, the Story of a Horse

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1947, 191 pp.



Joe has trained Blaze Face, his black horse, up from a colt, but then the horse is stolen. He has
many different owners before he is reunited with Joe.

Dapple Gray

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1950, 192 pp

Grosset & Dunlap, Famous Horse Series

As Dapple Gray, the Story of a Rocking Horse
George G Harrap, London, 1962


Charley and his horse Dapple Gray set out to try and kill a grizzly bear before it can kill any
more stock.

Tornado Boy, a Horse of the West

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1930

Grosset & Dunlap

Chapman & Hall, London, 1931


Tornado Boy, a blue roan, roams in the wild, and survives the desert,
an ice storm and poisoning before he is reunited, in the middle of a
cattle stampede, with the boy who owned him as a colt.

Silver, the Story of a Wild Horse

W Morrow & Co, 1934, New York, 245 pp.

Comet Books, 1949, pb, illus Pers Crowell

Scholastic Book Services, 1960, pb

Tab Books, pb

As Wild Horse Silver, Arrowsmith, London, 1934, 224 pp.


Charlie Burr captures the mare Old Dun and her foal Silver.
He manages to brand Silver before Old Dun breaks out and
takes Silver  back to the herd.

Hurricane Pinto, the Story of an Outlaw Horse

W Morrow & Co, New York, 257 pp, 1935

Grosset & Dunlap, 1939
As Pinto, the Mustang, the Story of an Outlaw Horse
Arrowsmith, London, 1935, 222 pp


Pinto is wild: he throws off everyone who tries to ride him, apart from Joe Gunnison. Horse
thieves also want Pinto, and he and Joe have to make a dangerous journey through Death
Valley to escape them.

Cinchfoot, the Story of a Range Horse

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1938, 253 pp

Grosset & Dunlap, Famous Horse Series

Hutchinson & Co, London, 1939, 190 pp


Blaze Face and Cinchfoot roam together on the range. They prefer freedom to being caught by
the Mexican rodeo stock suppliers, or Clem, who is after them too.

Buckskin, the Story of a Western Horse

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1939, 247 pp

Ward, Lock & Co, London, 1949, 128 pp


Jim Carney tames Buckskin, but Buckskin has an unfortunate life after he
leaves Jim. They are eventually reunited, and Buckskin shows his devotion
by saving Jim’s life in a flood.

Tomakawk, Fighting Horse of the Old West

W Morrow & Co, New York, 1944, 192 pp

Grosset & Dunlap
Lutterworth, London, 1947, 160 pp


Dan trains the sorrel horse Tomahawk, but he is stolen. Even though he is away from the ranch
for years, he returns, and still remembers the cow who injured him when he was young.

[image]

Mustang, a Horse of the Old West

Morrow, New York, 1942, 247 pp

Grosset & Dunlap, Famous Horse Series

New York Pocket Books, 1950, illus Laurence Bjorklund, 186 pp.


Sam’s bay horse Mustang is stolen, and goes through several

masters before Old Bill, a horse who grazed with Mustang when he

was young, lures him back to Sam’s ranch.