By Holly Hobbie
Many readers may associate the name Holly Hobbie with an image of a cat-loving girl in a patchwork dress, wearing an over-sized bonnet. The creators are one and the same. Hobbie designed the young girl that bears her name in 1967, while working with American Greetings. Until I started working on this review, that trademarked name was the only true connection I could find between the once ubiquitous little girl and these two delightful pigs.
Personally, I was never able to connect with the character of Holly Hobbie.
That contemplative girl just did not speak to me. Looking back on those images now, it’s clear that Holly Hobbie, the artist, is extremely talented. Her meticulously detailed, delicate art is lovely and endearing. It’s the beginnings of a style that will one day produce the two glorious characters, Toot and Puddle.
Hobbie’s penchant for detail has not waned; her delicate style has been perfected. She’s able to depict each individual flake of snow, every square of the pattern on a chair, and yet the art never feels crowded. With an expert eye and a varied palette, she’s able to flawlessly represent the radiance of the rising sun streaming through a window or the steely gray sky of an early March morning. Her exquisite art seems to glow with life.
Toot and Puddle, two exuberant pigs, live together in Woodcock Pocket. Puddle loves to stay home and Toot loves to travel. Perfectly alternating her text between correspondences from a traveling Toot, and the activities of Puddle back home, Hobbie the writer is also remarkable.
Toot has been to Cape Cod, the Grand Canyon and the redwood forests. Now he wants to see the world! About to embark on his biggest trip ever, he invites Puddle come along.
“Puddle preferred to stay at home.”
Over the next several pages, we’re given snapshot of the two friends’ separate activities.
After months of traveling, Toot decides to return home.
Puddle is full of excitement and sets to readying their home for his friend’s arrival.
The reunited friends celebrate; they toast to their wonderful adventures and to being together again.
Toot and Puddle, whether spending time together or enjoying escapades apart, exude an infectious happiness.
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