Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ding Dong School with Miss Frances ~ Jingle Bell Jack

Going back further than Little Golden Books, does anyone remember the Ding Dong School books with Miss Frances?

I have several books that are older than I am! They were published by Rand McNally & Company from Chicago. According to the book information, Ding Dong School was a television program on NBC years and years ago.  Does anyone remember this show?  I don't remember ever watching it.  I do remember Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo.

I'd love to share a few of the stories with you.  My children loved Lucky Rabbit and Jingle Bell Jack.  I love Lucky Rabbit too but Jingle Bell Jack kind of gives me the creeps.  (I don't like clowns either.)

I will highlight the dialogue in blue.  I don't like to look at the "backwards front" quotation marks.

Jingle Bell Jack has lost his cover. Isn't his face a little scary?  This book was published in 1955.


Jean and her mother were on their way home from the circus. They were riding on the bus. Jean was looking out the window.

Mother, I liked that funny clown with all the bells, said Jean.

I liked him best of all, answered her mother.

Can we go back and see him again?

I wish we could, Jean, but we can't spend more money for the circus.

I want to see that funny clown again, Jean repeated.

Oh, Jean, I have a good idea.  We will make a clown for you. Then you can have him do the tricks that you saw at the circus this afternoon.

Mother pulled the buzzer because it was time for them to get off the bus.

Hurry, Jean, we must get off at this next corner.

The bus stopped. Jean and her mother stepped down from the bus carefully. Then they hurried home because it was time for Mother to get dinner. Daddy would be home soon.

Jean was tired, so she rested on the sofa while Mother was busy in the kitchen.

When Daddy came home, Jean jumped up and told him all about the circus. Mother called them to the table when dinner was ready. While they were eating, Mother and Jean talked about making a clown with bells.

After dinner, when the dishes were finished, Mother and Jean went over to the chest where Mother kept her scraps of cloth.  In the bottom drawer they found many small pieces of cloth.  They were all different colors and sizes.

We have enough to make a clown, I am sure, said Mother. Tomorrow afternoon, after your nap, will be a good time for us to make the clown.  I will put these pieces of cloth on top of the chest right here.  It is time for you to go to bed.  You have had a big day.  Say good night to Daddy.

Jean really was tired, and it didn't take her long to get ready for bed.

The next day, after her nap, Jean and her mother got ready to make the clown with bells, Mother took her scissors, needle and thread. Jean carried the pieces of cloth, and together they walked to the dining-room table.

Mother cut the cloth into circles like this. She cut a whole lot of them. Jean fixed them into a nice pile.

Then Mother took her needle and thread and sewed each circle until it looked like this.

Jean looked at all of the little pieces.  She didn't think they looked very much like a clown with bells.

When Mother finished sewing all the pieces, she laughed and said, Now comes the real fun.

She put a long piece of thick thread through a big needle, and then she went back to the chest and got five small jingle bells out of the top drawer.

Now, Jean, watch what I am going to do.

First, she put the needle through the little hole in the jingle bell and pulled the thread. Then, one by one, Mother pulled the needle and thread through the center of several pieces of cloth.

There is one leg, she said.

What is the bell for? asked Jean.

That is the clown's shoe.

Jean laughed and jingled the bell.

Then Mother made another leg just like the first one.

Now he has two legs.

Next, Mother made the body and two arms. Guess what she used for the clown's hands? Jingle bells, of course.

Now we have to make his head, said Mother, and she took another piece of cloth and stuffed it with the small scraps of cloth until it looked like a ball. Then she sewed it to the clown's body.

He needs a hat and a big collar, doesn't he, Jean?

Oh, yes, just like the one at the circus.

Mother made the collar and sewed it on.  Then she made the clown's hat, and just for fun she sewed a bell on the point.

The clown was almost finished when Mother said: Do you know what is missing?  Take a good look.

The clown has no face, laughed Jean.

Go get your black and red crayons and you draw the face.

Mother helped Jean hold the clown while Jean made the eyes, nose, and mouth with the crayons.

There, said Mother.

There, said Jean, hugging her new clown.

Just then Daddy came into the dining-room. Jean ran to him and showed him her new clown.

Wonderful! He is a wonderful clown. I like him. What is his name, Jean?

Jean stopped and thought for a minute.

Let's call him 'Jingle Bell Jack' like the clown in the circus. Maybe he will act like him.

Jean dropped the clown on the floor, and he look like this.

Look! cried Daddy. He's doing tricks on our dining room floor.



  1. I don't remember these. I like the illustrations. I do remember Captain Kangaroo!

    1. The illustrations are very sweet. Oh course the daddy wears a suit and tie at dinner! :-)

  2. I don't remember the Miss Frances books, but I definitely remember Miss Frances on television! I don't remember the Lucky Rabbit book, but I do remember the Jingle Bell Jack book. Thank you so much for the memories, Gina.

    1. Dianna, I will have to check and see if I can find Miss Frances shows on youtube. I'm curious now!

  3. What treasures you have in those books, Gina. Don't they have the sweetest illustrations? Also, your Little Golden Books are real gems, too. I did have many of those that I read to my four children. Thanks for sharing the trip down memory lane.

    1. You are welcome, Kitty. The illustrations look so sweet and innocent. ♥

  4. Wow I don't remember those, but my parents were not big on books, I really don't remember many as a kid. But yes I do remember Captain Kangaroo and Romper room a little bit

    1. I can't remember much about Romper Room except for the teacher looking in the hand mirror looking thing saying something like "I see Tommy. I see Mary." and so on. I always hoped she'd say my name.

  5. I remember Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo but that is about it for my memory of tv shows as a child. Like you, not a fan of clowns....:)

    1. I don't think we watched much television as a child. I wonder if these show are available on YouTube? :-)

    2. PS I'm not a big fan of clowns either. I have a doll room filled with dolls and books...and toys, but not any clowns! heehee!

  6. I just sat down to do a little visitin'....and look what I got to do! Read this delightful post and remember when the little stories were so sweet and FUN! I collect Golden books and just love to sit down with one...or two and read them. It makes me feel like a little girl again. Thanks for the fun sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

    1. You are very welcome, Diane. When I reread the books, it takes me back to when my children were little.


We all have our “good old days” tucked away inside our hearts, and we return to them in dreams like cats to favorite armchairs. ~ B. Carter