This is a charming book titled Marcella - A Raggedy Ann Story by Johnny Gruelle. It was published by the P.F. Volland Company in 1929. This book is a First Edition hardcover. Illustrated by Johnny Gruelle. The book is in very good condition despite its age. The Volland Co. is the original publisher of this book, later books were printed by the Donohue Company.
Eleven stories are included: "The Train Ride," "The Picnic," "Moving Day," "Squeakie," "Hairy Puppydog," Shipwrecked," "Fishing," "Through The Door," "Little Rags, " "The Lovely New Doll," and "The Cheepy Birds".
Someone felt the book needed an index and wrote the story titles in ink.
This is a first edition book and printed by the original publisher P.F. Volland. Later printings were done by the Donohue Company.
Johnny Gruelle was born December 24, 1880 in Arcola, Illinois. He won a cartooning contest sponsored by the New York Herald in 1911. His cartoon Mr. Twee Deedle ran in print from 1911 to 1914. He moved on from cartoons to children's books and is the known creator of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. He often created his final works in ink without first preparing a sketch in pencil! He lived most of his life in Connecticut where the Raggedy Ann dolls were mass produced. He died in 1938. Raggedy Ann dolls are still in production today.
Johnny had a daughter named Marcella. While visiting her Grandma she found a faceless rag doll in the attic, Johnny drew a simple face on the doll and called her Raggedy Ann. Marcella played with the doll so much that Gruelle thought other children would also enjoy the doll. So confident was he, that he took out a patent on the doll in 1915. The PF Volland Company published his first Raggedy Ann book in 1918. He went on to produce a series of books and dolls.
This book was created several years after a tragic event occurred that would forever change Johnny's life. After a smallpox vaccination at her school, his daughter Marcella became ill and to keep her entertained he made up stories about the rag doll to lift her spirits. Sadly she died at the age of 13 in 1915. Friends said that the only reminder of Marcella that he could bear to have around was her Raggedy Ann doll.
Perhaps to mend his broken heart, Johnny began immersing himself in his work and started putting in written form the many stories he had told Marcella. Thus began the process of bringing Raggedy Ann to life in the marketplace. Years after her death, Gruelle wrote this book to honor his beloved daughter.
Before I found this book, I had never seen any original Raggedy Ann material. When I saw the book, I knew that it was special. Gruelle's romantic, dreamlike artistic style drew me in to his fantasy world that includes fairies, dolls, dwarfs and mortals. His ability to communicate with children is obvious and it is no wonder that his stories and art have fascinated millions for over 85 years.
For more information on Marcella, visit my shop CraveCute at Etsy.
Update: Marcella has been sold and was carefully packed and sent to her new home.