Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Thompson at Volland

I’ve blogged about The Perhappsy Chaps in the past, but since that time I’ve acquired a boxed copy of the book. Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote two books which were published by the P. F. Volland Company. This was a publisher who produced a number of decorative children’s books, many in matching boxes. The company was founded in 1908, and continued producing books until 1934. They are probably best known as the publishers of the original Raggedy Ann books, by Johnny Gruelle. On the left is a newspaper advertisement for the series of “Happy Children Books”; the Volland concept for children's stories sounds very similar to L. Frank Baum's ideal - "...books for children must not cause fright, suggest fear, glorify mischief, extenuate malice or condone cruelty."
The Perhappsy Chaps was Thompson's first published book and came out in 1918, the same year as the first Raggedy Ann book. The stories originally appeared on the children’s page of the Philadelphia Public Ledger, a weekly newspaper feature written by Thompson. On the right is a blurb that ran in a November 1918 issue of the Ledger, advertising the newly published book version of the poems.

Thompson's second book was The Princess of Cozytown, which wasn't published until 1922. This was a collection of fairy tales by Thompson, some of which had previously been published in St. Nicholas magazine. Apparently the book was already pending publication when she was contracted to continue the Oz series, and had her first Oz book published in 1921.
Both books were designed with matching pictorial boxes, like so many of the Volland publications. The books are colorful and well illustrated, with pictorial endpapers and full color illustrations throughout. The Perhappsy Chaps was illustrated by Arthur Henderson, and The Princess of Cozytown was illustrated by Janet Laura Scott. The overall effect is charming!

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