See You in the Funny Pages, Little Miss Sunbeam!
Little Miss Sunbeam has one of the most recognizable faces from the second half of the 20th century. Our bread with the picture of the little girl on it is a favorite with advertising collectors as well as lovers of vintage Americana. Both inspire wonderful memories of childhood foods and bygone times.
The success of our Little Miss Sunbeam as a public figure and brand mascot led to the creation of her own comic books in the 1950’s. She appeared in issues of “Little Miss Sunbeam Comics” as Sunny Sunbeam. The comics featured Sunny’s adventures and were given away for free to promote Sunbeam Bread.
The fact that Little Miss Sunbeam had her own regular comic book series was a testament to her popularity. These give-a-way comics touted the glories of a nice, fresh slice of Sunbeam Bread. They books also featured adventures of Little Miss Sunbeam, her mom and dad and her “Gang” which included Ginger her dog, Tinker the smart science kid, Googy the tough kid, and friends Munch, Tilly and Weegee. Together, their stories reflect a simpler time and are classic 1950’s tales.
The comics were illustrated by various artists such as Frank Carin, Fred Ottenheimer and others. The issues featured a lead story, several short tales, and various regular items such as puzzles, craft ideas, and fan favorite, “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” In one issue, the kids have fun with a homemade telephone which included instructions for kids to make one with two tin cans and some string.
The story lines were kid-friendly and exciting. In one issue, the kids find a magician's suitcase and decide to put on a magic show of their own; a grocer's least favorite customer has to try everything in the store; and the gang accidentally frees a circus tiger and tries to help recapture it. In another, explorer Uncle Teddy dislike children so the gang decides to try and win him over. Little Miss Sunbeam's dog Ginger misbehaves once too often and gets sent to a farm up state, but she escapes and saves the family from a robbery. Hurray!
Another cliff-hanger included a talking horse that takes the kids on an adventure; Little Miss Sunbeam falls asleep on a plane and winds up on a Pirates-style adventure in the Far East; and the kids outwit thieves at the county fair. In issue four, Sunny and Weegee encounter outlaws during a wild horse roundup out West. The gang puts on a play that becomes a runaway hit when a poster mishap has Clark Cable starring in it. And the kids race gangsters to find Blackbeard's buried treasure.
The Little Miss Sunbeam Comics are adored by collectors and those who cherish nostalgia alike. Some issues are still available today to purchase from comic book collectors. If you are one of the lucky few that still may have one of “Sunny’s” books, hold on to these beloved pieces of American history.