In honor of my dad, who would have been 85 today if he had not passed away a few months ago, I want to share a special book series with you, the Jerry Todd book series written by Leo Edwards. It’s a series my dad grew up reading in the 1930s and 1940s, and I can remember him reading them to me when I was young. I don’t remember much, but I do remember feeling enchanted by this small-town, old America feeling story where a young boy and his friends have adventures.
Leo Edwards was actually a pen name for Edward Edson Lee, who grew up in Illinois. He started writing serials in American Boy Magazine and eventually published five different series of books. Fun fact: Ronald Reagan wrote in his own biography that he himself had a similar boyhood as Jerry Todd.
My mom actually found and purchased the whole series for my dad as an adult. (Hence, my dad reading them to me.) I remember the red cloth covers. I’d love to find some of these and collect them now.
You can’t beat these creative and intriguing titles. There were sixteen books in this series, published between 1924 and 1940. In each book there was a section called “Our Chatter Box,” where poems and letters from the author’s fan club were published as well as the author’s friendly responses. And, if your letter or poem was printed in that section, you would receive a free copy of the book.
- Jerry Todd and the Whispering Mummy – 1923
- Jerry Todd and the Rose-Colored Cat – 1924
- Jerry Todd and the Oak Island Treasure – 1925
- Jerry Todd and the Waltzing Hen – 1924
- Jerry Todd and the Talking Frog – 1925
- Jerry Todd and the Purring Egg – 1925
- Jerry Todd in the Whispering Cave – 1927
- Jerry Todd, Pirate – 1928
- Jerry Todd and the Bob-Tailed Elephant – 1929
- Jerry Todd, Editor-In-Grief – 1930
- Jerry Todd, Caveman – 1932
- Jerry Todd and the Flying Flapdoodle – 1934
- Jerry Todd and the Buffalo Bill Bathtub – 1936
- Jerry Todd’s Up-The-Ladder Club – 1937
- Jerry Todd’s Poodle Parlor – 1938
- Jerry Todd’s Cuckoo Camp – 1940
Now tell me, have you ever heard of this book series? Do you know what your dad read as a child?