"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Raggedy Ann(e) is 100 this year

Image result for Raggedy Ann Stories (1918) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
Raggedy Ann and Andy illustrations by Johnny Gruelle 
Yesterday I went shopping with my daughter and we ended up in the Hallmark shop in the mall. As she was purchasing gift tags I look a spin around the shop and was surprised to see a lone Raggedy Andy on the shelf with a tag which read RAGGEDY ANN is 100 this year, 1915-2015. The reason I was surprised is I consider myself to be a bit of a Raggedy Ann know-it-all since I have collected the dolls since I was a little girl. Actually my mom started the collection for me since my name is Anne. I'm sure she knew I would feel a connection to a doll namesake (even though she doesn't spell her name with an E like I do.) 

Apparently the creator of Raggedy Ann, Johnny Gruelle, applied for a patent for his rag doll in 1915 and his first book about the doll, Raggedy Ann Stories was published in 1918. My version of that book has a copyright date of 1918 with "Forty-sixth edition" in tiny red letters following. I guess that means my book was published in the 1960s some time. Most Raggedy Ann dolls of yesteryear were homemade with McCalls offering a simple to follow pattern. When I was young, my mother, who I never thought of as much of a seamstress, made me one of these dolls. Unfortunately, I have no idea what happened to that doll. She may still be stuck in a box somewhere. I hope so, anyway.

For the past twenty-plus years, my younger sister has given me a Raggedy Ann ornament for the Christmas tree each year. Two years ago we decided these ornaments had reached critical mass, meaning we had enough of them to have a completely Raggedy Ann and Andy Christmas tree. It gives me such joy to decorate a tree with items I have collected for years. In addition to Raggedy Ann/Andy ornaments I also have my real dolls on the tree including my Raggedy Ann Madame Alexander dolls and my Barbie (Kelly) Raggedy Ann/Andy dolls. What fun. See photos of this year's Raggedy Ann tree below.

Happy 100th Birthday, Raggedy Ann(e). I love you!

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