Nothing to sneeze at.

§ June 21st, 2024 § Filed under little lulu, moustache § 6 Comments

So Pal Joe dropped this by the store for me on Thursday, a real oddity of a book…the Little Golden Book Little Lulu and Her Magic Tricks from 1954:


If you look closely, you may notice the table in front of Lulu and Alvin, with all th ecrafts and goings-on there, is actually three-dimensional. Because that’s not just a drawing, that’s an actual gosh-darn pack of Kleenex tissue paper embedded in a hole cut into the cover! Here’s a shot of the inside front cover:


(Yes, it’s upside down, that how it looks when you open up the cover.)

Here’s the small-print text into on the copyright page, which is like a place where you’d put something for parents to read, but it’s definitely written as an in-universe explanation for kids:

“For a long time Little Lulu was wondering how she would look in a Little Golden Book. Here, finally, she makes her bow — and of all things — as a magician.

“It was a a pleasant surprise to us to discover that Little Lulu knew how to make cute toys and other objects out of Kleenex tissues. It occurred to us that thousands of other children might want to make these, too, and so we asked the International Cellucotton Products Company how they would feel about making up for us a special pack of tissues for Little Lulu’s book. They cheerfully agreed and we are properly grateful to them.

“Have fun, and we hope the things you make turn out beautifully.

— THE PUBLISHERS”

Children: never too young to learn about corporate collaboration. Also, what kind of Steve Jackson’s Illuminati-type name is “International Cellucotton Products Company,” anyway.

Most of the book is about Lulu and her magical tissue shenanigans, as per these pages:

And the last pages are devoted to Kleenex Krafts:


What’s really amazing to me is that book and its tissues and the tissue package’s attachment to the cover have remained intact for seventy years. That no kid ever popped the tissue back out and started making Kleenex bunnies or whatever. I mean, granted, after the first year or so of ownership, the likelihood of that happening goes down quite a bit as the book gets stowed away in a box in the garage for the next several decades, but still, it’s a sight to see.

But apparently not too uncommon a sight, as a quick glaces at he eBays shows plenty of intact copies of this book to be had, at far more reasonable prices than I expected. (And far less than the price expected by whichever anonymous bookseller had pencilled in a light “$75” on the first page at some point in this book’s lifetime.)

So, I don’t know what I’m going to do with this book. I feel oddly protective of its intact nature, despite there apparently being plenty out there in similar condition. But I can’t keep everything, so probably into my shop it goes, as some price I can live with. Plus a contract to be signed by the buyer promising he’ll never open up that pack of Kleenex.

And I’m sorry to say, magician costume and mustache are not included:


…but you’ve probably got enough tissue around the house to make those, right? There’s black non-Kleenex tissue out there, I looked it up. But beware, the International Cellucotton Products Company will find out.

6 Responses to “Nothing to sneeze at.”

  • Paul Engelberg says:

    International Cellucotton Products Company sounded like a made up name, but it turns out to be real. It was started in 1920 by F. J. Sensenbrenner and James C. Kimberly in Chicago, Illinois as a subsidiary of the Kimberly & Clark Company. It was called Cellucotton Products Company until 1926, when it became Kotex Company, and then in 1927 International Cellucotton Products Company. In 1955 it was merged into its parent company, Kimberly & Clark. The product Kleenex dates back to 1924, but Kotex is even older, begun in 1920.

    There is extensive information about Little Lulu and Kleenex at https://web.archive.org/web/20130501001717/http://cartoonician.com/marge-and-lulu-the-art-of-the-deal.

    Kleenex started out as a crepe paper gas mask filter during the Great War. It was modified into the menstrual pad Kotex during the 1920s. Made thinner and softer, it became Kleenex in 1924, a cold cream remover. By the 1930s, its main use was as a disposable handkerchief replacement. In 1943, Kleenex began licensing Little Lulu to popularize itself.

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    I think this surpasses Swamp Thing chalk for most unlikely comics/consumer product cross-over.

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    Man, I would really hesitate to sign a contract like that. I mean, it might sound great when I sign it at the store, but what happens when I need to sneeze on the car ride home?

  • RAR says:

    Michael, there is nothing unlikely in this crossover. Little Lulu appeared for years in advertisements for Kleenex. Just put the two names together into the search engine of your choice, and you will see a few dozen.

  • Aaron says:

    Little Lulu is a child, and kids love to use tissues whether they’re wasted or not..

    I’m sure there could have been an awesome storyline where Swampy turns into chalk and/or has to decipher a mysterious code written with chalk, but I haven’t seen it and can’t find it in the Vast Sterling Archives

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Children: never too young to learn about corporate collaboration.”

    Better there than from McDonalds!

    “Kimberly & Clark”

    Suppliers of industrial size boxes of cheap paper towels & TP everywhere!

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