Meeting Holly Hobbie
On Saturday, Julia and I went to World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield – our local, friendly privately owned bookstore to a book signing with none other than Holly Hobbie. She is the author of ten illustrated Toot and Puddle books. She lives not far from here and every year we look forward to getting the next book in the T and P series signed. Julia has quite a collection. Because we have been going for so long, she now recognizes her which makes Julia feel very special.
And yes, folks – she is the real Holly Hobbie as in little girls in big bonnets from the 70’s. I was a huge fan when I was young – as were thousands of little girls. Mrs. Hobbie (I just can’t bear to refer to her as Holly because she is on such a pedestal in my book) is the nicest, most unassuming woman you could ever meet. The first time I met her about 7 years ago at a booksigning, I asked her if she was “she” and she said yes – she was one in the same. She seemed rather embarassed and shy and so I never approached the subject again. It seems that the entire world must know who she is – person after person asks her if she is the real HH and she says yes and then they fall all over themselves complimenting her and telling her what her drawings mean to them. Can you imagine the pressure of having such a following? No thanks! But she wears it well.
Her Toot and Puddle books including the new one The One and Only are totally adorable. Talk about “pig personality” – they’ve got it. Mrs. Hobbie said that there will only be one more T & P next year and then she is going to start looking for something else to illustrate. We loved talking with her - she spoke of her love of illustration and book making and how once you do, you just have to keep on doing it because it is what you do and who you are. I totally agree with her = Almost like being a knitter or stitcher – once you do it and become good at it – you can’t stop – you’re always a knitter or a stitcher for the rest of your life even if you take a break once in a while.
I also learned that the new Holly Hobbie animated stories, dolls, and illustrated cards and cartoons are not done by her but by the people at American Greetings. She said that AG wanted to bring the wholesome qualities of the original Holly Hobbie to girls today. I took a chance and bought Julia the new Holly Hobbie DVD called “Christmas Wishes" and we watched it last night. It is very cute and full of very good messages about life – very similar messages to those I grew up with. And Julia loves it. There is also going to be a new "Toot and Puddle I'll Be Home for Christmas" animated Christmas show airing this December. HH said that they had to add quite a bit to the story. I can imagine that this must be so difficult for an author to see the story changed and added to and not be in control. I’ll Be Home for Christmas was a totally sweet book so I imagine the DVD may be too.
Her two children Nathaniel and Jocelyn Hobbie also write and illustrate – they did two children’s books called Priscilla and the Pink Planet and Priscilla and the Splish-Splash Surprise. Both have nice messages and are full of colorful endearing drawings. What a hugely talented family!
I sound like some kind of crazy Holly Hobbie commercial. But I figure many of you out there in craft blogland may have similar fond memories of all things Holly Hobbie so I have indulged. Here’s a photo of the Holly Hobbie doll I made using a sewing pattern when I was young. My mom found her in the attic a few years ago and I have her sitting on Julia’s bookshelf. She’s missing an eye and her bonnet but she still is dear.