Book Cover
Title Raggedy Ann & Andy: The First Treasury
Series ---
Author Johnny Gruelle
Illustrated By Johnny Gruelle
Publisher Lemon Tree Press - 1982
First Printing ---
Category Children
Warnings None

Main Characters

Raggedy Ann, Raggedy Andy

Main Elements Anthropomorphic, elves, fairies, dragons


Sorry about the lack of image, my mom has a thing against dust jackets so this one probably suffered that fate. This book is my sister's. Oh, she loved her Raggedy Ann and Andy stories. She also loved the movie she had. And she'd watch it, and watch it, and watch it. At the time I was more of a Watership Down person, so I ended up really disliking anything to do with the Raggedy pair. I also never liked dolls, I prefer My Little Ponies, or plastic dinosaurs, anything animal in form.

But we were going through old books and I found this one mixed in with a bunch of mine. I figured, hey, here's a book I've never read, why not give it a try.

Enough time has passed that I'm no longer shudder at the thought of watching that movie again, so I actually kind of enjoyed reading this collection of three tales. The first tale was reminiscent of the movie, but still different. One of the dolls in the playroom is abducted, and the Raggedy pair head out to rescue her from a group of pirates with a secret. Along the way they make many friends, like the old horse, or the camel with the wrinkly knees. In the second, Raggedy Ann finds a wishing stone. After she makes some nice wishes for her friends, it is stolen and they must get it back. And finally my favorite is the third one, the paper dragon. The Raggedys are helping a young girl find her father so that she no longer needs to slave away for a mean neighbour. Along the way they come across a magic castle, and more interesting, a paper dragon! The paper dragon might look scary, but if he eats you, you can just punch your way out, much to the dragon's chagrin.

Every story is about the magic of friendship and being good to each other, and all turn out alright in the end. Even the bad people (one can't go so far as to call any of them evil) learn to mend their ways. Not because they were beaten, but because they saw how much better things are when one treats others they way one would want to be treated.

Yes, the stories are a little silly and somewhat predictable, but my sister is living proof that kids love this kind of thing! And Gruelle was quite prolific, inventing many adventures for the pair to share. And I was surprised to discover that Gruelle passed away in 1938! I had no idea these stories were so old. That explains why so many of the little girls in the illustrations are dressed for the 20's. Actually, if you head on over to Project Gutenberg the copyright has expired and you can download many of the stories.

I'm almost tempted to find that old movie and watch it again, maybe it isn't so bad after all...

Posted: December 2010


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