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Monday, May 19, 2014

Betsy-Tacy

betsy tacy review maud hart lovelaceBetsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

This is a charming little book. I heard about it from Melissa Wiley -- she's always talking about what she's reading with her kids over on her blog (and I'm so glad! She is an author of books for young kinds including Fox and Crow are not friends, which I reviewed last week).

Betsy-Tacy was just the book I needed right now. So light and charming and true to life. My life is a little bit hectic at the moment, and I found my reading was totally suffering. "I've just got to read something," I'd say to myself, because I know how reading makes me feel so good. "But everything seems unmanageable!" especially Words of Radiance, which I know Jacob wants me to read. :) Anyway...

Betsy and Tacy are two sweet five-year-old girls who meet when Tacy moves to Hill Street. What made the story extra interesting to me was that it is written in the 1940's and set a bit further back than that, being autobiographical for the author. "Betsy is like me," the author says in the back of the book. "Except I glamorized her to make her a proper heroine." I love it.

betsy tacy review maud hart lovelace
The illustrations are by Lois Lenski and are also totally charming.

The book features chapters like "The Sand Store" and "Playing Paper Dolls."  Though I wouldn't describe the book as a page-turner, it was fascinating to read about the daily activities of little girls in the olden days
.
betsy tacy review maud hart lovelace
I mean paper dolls you cut out of magazines? That's old school.
All my paper dolls came from punch-out paper doll books.
The book did make me laugh with how totally realistic it is -- I loved the complicated relationships that Betsy and Tacy had with their older sisters. The book was as real to me as Hilary McKay's books about the Casson family (and that's high praise).

betsy tacy review maud hart lovelace
Here, their older sisters are taking Betsy and Tacy
to the first day of school.
Kindergarten?
No. They go to "the Baby Room."
I was SO intrigued to find out the the series continues all the way until Betsy gets married! Now I like that. In so many of these series, the protagonist never gets much older. To follow someone through childhood and into adulthood, that's interesting. I'll be looking for the next books, but not in a great rush. I have a feeling I'll want to savor these slowly, and I won't forget about them in the meantime.
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Related posts:
A Reader's Guide to the Betsy-Tacy books by Melissa Wiley
Old-fashioned books reviewed on Everead
Everead reviews of Hilary McKay's books about the Cassons: Book One, Two, Three, Four, Prequel.
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