Raggedy Ann & Andy - Birthday Greeting Card
Check out this birthday card showcasing an illustration by December-born artist Johnny Gruelle!
Embrace the winter vibes with the birthdays of some remarkable creatives born in December! Discover the understated revolutionary comics of James Thurber, explore the pachydermal legacy of Jean de Brunhoff, get lost in E.H. Shepard's Hundred Acre Wood talent, soar with the flying books of William Joyce, marvel at Quentin Blake's artistic and literary intersection, revel in the playfulness of Johnny Gruelle, appreciate the intricate work of Gennady Spirin, and be inspired by the art-inspiring creations of Rudyard Kipling. Join us in celebrating the diverse talents that December has bestowed upon the worlds of literature and art!
See our entire Birthday Card Collection here!
James Thurber (December 8, 1894 – November 2, 1961) was an American cartoonist, humorist, and author known for his distinctive wit and unique contributions to American literature. Born in Columbus, Ohio, he began his journalism career before joining The New Yorker in 1927, where he became a prominent member of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of influential writers and intellectuals. His whimsical and often absurd drawings and writings, characterized by anthropomorphic animals and fantastical scenarios, earned him widespread acclaim. His iconic work, including My Life and Hard Times (1933) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939), reflects a keen understanding of human nature, blending humor with insightful observations. Despite facing challenges with failing eyesight, Thurber continued to produce influential work until his death in 1961, leaving an indelible mark on American literary humor.
Thurber is credited as the first cartoonist to complement humorous drawings with short, witty captions. Coupled with his loose, spontaneous style, he truly revolutionized the genre!
Jean de Brunhoff (December 9, 1899 – October 16, 1937), a French writer and illustrator, crafted the enchanting world of Babar the Elephant, a timeless children's character adored by readers worldwide! Born into a family of artists in Paris, his creativity flourished, leading him to introduce Babar to the world in 1931 with The Story of Babar, The Little Elephant. Through a series of beautifully illustrated books, de Brunhoff's whimsical narratives and captivating drawings charmed audiences of all ages. Tragically, his life was cut short by tuberculosis at the age of 37. However, his legacy endured as his son, Laurent de Brunhoff, took up the creative mantle, continuing the Babar series and expanding the beloved elephant's adventures for new generations of readers. Together, the father-son duo created a literary and artistic legacy that has stood the test of time, offering joy and inspiration to countless children and families!
What would the world be like without Babar? Translated into numerous languages and read by millions, the books featuring this beloved elephant have made him one of the most recognized children's characters globally!
Ernest Howard (E.H.) Shepard (December 10, 1879 – March 24, 1976) was an English artist and book illustrator best known for his iconic contributions to children's literature. Born in London, his artistic talents emerged early and became a regular contributor to the humorous magazine Punch. However, his enduring fame lies in his collaboration with author A.A. Milne on the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh series. His timeless illustrations brought to life the endearing characters of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and others, capturing the hearts of readers worldwide! His distinctive and charming style, characterized by delicate lines and gentle expressions, became synonymous with the world of Pooh. Shepard's artistic legacy extends beyond the Hundred Acre Wood, encompassing his work as a political cartoonist, sculptor, and illustrator for numerous classic children's books. His enduring impact on literature and art ensures that generations continue to delight in the enchanting world he helped create.
Countless children are familiar with the places and characters that inhabit E.H. Shepard's map of the Hundred Acre Wood, first drawn in 1926.
William Joyce, born on December 11, 1957, is an American author, illustrator, and filmmaker renowned for his imaginative contributions to children's literature and animation. Hailing from Shreveport, Louisiana, his creative journey began as a conceptual artist for animated films, earning him accolades for his work on Disney's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. As an author and illustrator, Joyce's distinctive style fuses whimsy with emotional depth, evident in his award-winning picture books like George Shrinks (1985) and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2012). Beyond his literary accomplishments, Joyce co-founded Moonbot Studios, where he directed the Academy Award-winning animated short film adaptation of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. With a career spanning various artistic realms, William Joyce continues to enchant audiences young and old with his captivating storytelling and visually stunning creations.

The inspiration for The Fantastic Flying Books... came from William Morris, the children's books publisher at HarperCollins and Joyce's mentor.
Quentin Blake, born on December 16, 1932, is a celebrated British illustrator and children's author, renowned for his prolific and distinctive contributions to literature. Hailing from Sidcup, Kent, Blake's illustrious career is inseparable from his collaboration with the legendary author Roald Dahl. His whimsical and energetic illustrations breathed life into Dahl's iconic characters in classics such as Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His playful and expressive style, marked by fluid lines and vibrant colors, has become as iconic as the books themselves! Beyond his collaboration with Dahl, Blake has lent his artistic touch to numerous books, authored his own stories, and passionately advocated for the significance of art in education. His enduring impact on the realms of illustration and children's literature has garnered international acclaim and numerous awards, establishing Quentin Blake as a beloved figure in both literary and artistic circles.

Roald Dahl and all of his beloved characters, as brought to life by Quentin Blake.
Johnny Gruelle (December 24, 1880 – January 9, 1938) was an American artist, cartoonist, and children's book author, best remembered as the ingenious mind behind the beloved Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy characters. Born in Arcola, Illinois, his artistic talents emerged early, propelling him into a career as a newspaper cartoonist. In 1915, he introduced Raggedy Ann to the world through a series of stories and illustrations, accompanied by the ingenious move of obtaining a patent for the doll in conjunction with the release of the first book. This strategic decision contributed significantly to the dolls' widespread popularity and success (The Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls have been rightfully inducted into the prestigious National Toy Hall of Fame!). Gruelle's charming and nostalgic stories, featuring the ragdoll duo, have become enduring classics, enchanting generations of readers and solidifying his legacy as a pioneering figure in children's literature and play.
We have a handful of sweet Raggedy Ann and Andy images in our catalog, perfect for those who nostalgically love these characters!
See our entire Johnny Gruelle Collection!
Gennady Spirin is a Russian-born artist, illustrator, and author acclaimed for his masterful contributions to children's literature. Born on Christmas day in 1948 in Orekhovo-Zuevo, Russia, his artistic journey began at the Moscow Art School and later continued at the Moscow Stroganov Institute of Art and Design. Renowned for his intricate and enchanting illustrations, Spirin has collaborated with numerous authors and brought to life a multitude of classic tales, ranging from fairy tales to biblical stories. His distinctive style, characterized by meticulous detail and a timeless quality, has garnered international acclaim, earning him awards such as the Golden Apple from the Bratislava International Biennial of Illustrations. Spirin's dedication to preserving the richness of storytelling through his art has left an indelible mark on the world of children's literature, captivating readers of all ages.
Spirin's intricate and rich interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood (2010) is an adaptation infused with Dutch and Renaissance influences, drawing inspiration from the earliest version of the tale by the Brothers Grimm, known as Little Red Cap.
Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936) was a prolific British writer and poet, best known for his captivating stories, poems, and novels that explore the complexities of human nature and the spirit of adventure. Born in Bombay, India, Kipling spent his early years in the subcontinent, and the vibrant tapestry of its cultures profoundly influenced his literary works. His most celebrated creations include The Jungle Book (1894) a collection of enchanting stories set in the Indian jungle, and the timeless poem If— (1895), which continues to inspire readers with its timeless wisdom. Kipling's keen observations, evocative storytelling, and exploration of themes such as imperialism and morality have left an indelible mark on literature. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907, Kipling's enduring legacy endures through the continued appreciation of his diverse and impactful body of work.
The illustrative header for Toomai of the Elephants, the sixth story in The Jungle Book, is a surprising creation by none other than Rudyard Kipling's father, John Lockwood Kipling! A polymath with talents in art, sculpture, writing, design, and teaching, he played a significant role in influencing the Arts and Crafts revival in British India. 
Thank you for joining us in celebrating the artistic legacies of these talented artists born in December. And if you're marking a December birthday, make sure to explore Laughing Elephant's vast collection of over 200 birthday cards, specially designed to add a touch of magic to you celebrations!
See our entire Birthday Card Collection here!
December 19, 2023 — Allison Frey

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