Hinkle, Thomas Clark

About the author

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.

One of Thomas Hinkle’s dog books

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 HorseGeorge G Harrap, London, 1962

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

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 pursuedby horse thieves.