Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hello I'm Adeline, 1944

A charming book by Frida Sarsen-Bucky, illustrated by Erika Weihs, published by the Animated Book Company in 1944. The book is a reminiscence of a favorite doll, and includes original music and lyrics composed by the author, 10 songs in all with piano accompaniment. Sarsen-Bucky also produced a children's album for Folkways in 1963 starring Marian Anderson: "Snoopycat, the Adventures of Marian Anderson's Cat Snoopy." Yes, the African-American contralto who sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 when she was denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall. You can see the album here. 

Sarsen-Bucky was profiled in "German Children's and Youth Literature in Exile: 1933-1950," which I found when I Googled the author's name. According to the reference work, "Adeline" was a bestseller, with 150,000 copies sold, was recorded by RCA records, and was broadcast and rebroadcast on children's radio for several years. Sarsen-Bucky also wrote words and music for a recording about Fala, FDR's dog. In 1944, President Roosevelt personally read and approved the manuscript for the record album, "Fala," which came out in 1946, after the president died. In 1967, Sarsen-Bucky, then 85, wrote a memoir about Albert Einstein. She died in 1974 in New York City.

The artis Erika Weihs is also in the German exiles reference book. She worked for a greeting card company, and began illustrating children's books in 1942. She has illustrated some 60 books, but also did oil painting and collage, and was creating art well into her 80s. Weihs' artwork has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York, among other places. You can see her paintings here. Weihs died in 2010 at the age of 92.

Weihs' illustrations are absolutely charming. I found this book with doll and clothing already cut-out. It would have been hard to resist doing it myself. The doll is a sturdy fiberboard type and the clothes are cardstock.


  1. I would have loved this book as a child. It was a few years before my time though.

  2. These are the sweetest paper dolls I have ever seen! Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

  3. This was a favorite of mine as a child. I have been looking for a copy for years. Any ideas where I might find one?

    1. There is a copy complete with the paper doll and clothes on Amazon for $60. The same copy (identical description) is available at AbeBooks. There are a few copies without the paper doll and clothes for $25-$40. I hope you found one. I just found pages from my mother's copy and could tell that there were pages missing as the songs didn't match up. I have 9 sheets (18 pages). The description says it is a 28 page book. I suppose some of them are the doll and clothes, but I am sad it isn't complete. Was looking for a complete copy, but cannot afford the $60 for a book right now. May look into one of the other ones.

  4. Try eBay, of course, but search Amazon, too. They have an impressive selection of out-of-print books. Best of all would be the sales room at the next Paper Doll Convention in Chattanooga.