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Flickr Friday: Arty The Smarty (1962)

Today’s Flickr Friday is the piéce de résistance of all the vintage kiddie books that I’ve been blabbing about in the last few months. Originally published by Wonder Books in 1962, Faith McNulty’s Arty The Smarty was far and away the favorite book of mine as a child. When I recently came across my own childhood copy of this little treasure, it all came back to me as to why this particular book was so beloved. It was about a resourceful fish whose very difference from the other fishes made him special. It came as a shock, how much it resonated with me (and I have to wonder if there were any other gay/lesbian people who cherished this story as I did). Also, the snappy, clean illustrations by Albert Aquino were a revelation – exactly the style of illustration that I’m attempting to do to this day! I still don’t know much about Mr. Aquino and his career, but I really have to shake his hand for doing such great work on this book.

Some of the pages of Arty The Smarty are included below (note my name scrawled on the endpapers!), in addition to a few others I’ve placed in my Childhood Books, ’60s-’70s Flickr set.

3 Thoughts on “Flickr Friday: Arty The Smarty (1962)

  1. Ann McLain on October 9, 2013 at 7:17 am said:

    Thank you for sharing. This was one of my favorites too.

  2. Arty the Smarty was my favorite childhood book. It had a big influence on how I think. I’m always doing unconventional things. I never assume other people know what’s best.

    Everything from transportation (motorcycle), to my job (entrepreneur), to the food I eat, almost everything has a spin on it.

    This perpetual exercise forced me to be more creative.

    I’m dying to get a copy of it. It’s near impossible to find.

    Any suggestions? Or can you take pictures of the whole book? I would love to read this to my son someday.

    Thanks for the post!

    – Chuck

  3. Thanks, Chuck! I never realized that this book is so hard to find. I would suggest sites like or, but you’ve probably checked those. Good luck in your search. I think today’s kids could get a lot of out this book’s positive message.

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