My mother and father have known each other since they were children and were high school sweethearts. Ever since I was a small child, I loved hearing stories from their younger days. For years, I excitedly helped Mom make up her bed each morning just so I could have the privilege of putting a very old Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy in the center of the pillows. Dad had given the pair to her when they were teenagers, and they’d lived on her bed ever since. Those rag dolls meant so much to Mom and in spite of their yellowed and somewhat bedraggled appearance, they seemed to represent love to me. So it didn’t surprise me when I eventually discovered that Raggedy Ann, in the original stories, was uniquely lovable.
I recently read this particular collection of Raggedy Ann stories by Johnny Gruelle to my kids, and once again I was taken in by the sweetness of the simple stories that focus on the everyday adventures of a well-loved rag doll and her toy and animal friends. This book includes an introduction to Raggedy Ann as well as seven timeless tales, beautifully illustrated by the author. My little girls loved hearing these stories about a doll and her friends and examining every old-fashioned picture. Each story was a perfect length to read to wiggly little ones in one sitting, and I think this book (and others like it) would be a delight to any family with young girls.