Sally Does It

Sally Does It

June, 2010
Dorothy Walter Baruch
Publication Information: 
New York : Appleton-Century Crofts, 1940
Special Collections
Call Number: 
Western Collection: Montgomery

Sally Does ItSpecial Collections is proud to house a large archive of materials by Western alumna Elizabeth Rider Montgomery, one of the team of writers that created the "Dick and Jane" reading series so nostalgically recalled by Americans who learned to read using them from the 1930s through the 1960s. Our archive contains manuscripts, correspondence, biographical materials, and many books, including this one, Sally Does It. The character of Sally, Dick and Jane's baby sister, was introduced into the Dick and Jane books by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery who based her adventures on those of her actual daughter, Janet, born in 1934. Sally made her first appearance in a story in a pre-primer (More Dick and Jane Stories) published that year.

With Dorothy Walter Baruch, Montgomery went on to write many stories about Sally for older children. Nineteen of these are collected into this little book featuring simple, charming red line illustrations by Robb Beebe. Drawing directly on her experiences with Janet, Montgomery has Sally putting her clothes on backwards, distractedly losing her ice-cream cone to Bingo, her opportunistic puppy, complying all too faithfully with a direction to pack her things for the family holiday, earnestly adding a bit too much salt to the cupcake batter, and bumbling through many other little life lessons that readers of all ages will recognize.

Daddy is indulgent, Mother is patient and always forgiving, big brother Dick is Big Brotherly, older sister Jane is loving but a bit smug, Bingo is continuously adorable. Together, in their peaceful domestic world, they are a piece of cultural history that has entered, irresistibly, into American folklore.

Marian Alexander, Head of Special Collections