There’s something about the holidays that makes me want to reread old childhood favorites. The feeling was especially strong this year, probably because for the first time in YEARS, we actually had a real Christmas tree. A proper one, not like the pathetic little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that we had a few years ago (and that Mr. Demo subsequently planted in the Japanese garden and proceeded to bonsai). Anyway, this year it was Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books. I loved those as a child. LOVED them. So I reread them all, and lo and behold, the library had the final four books in the series (Betsy was a Junior, Betsy and Joe, Betsy and the Great World, and Betsy’s Wedding), which I had never read and enjoyed thoroughly.
The library also had Emily of Deep Valley, which I had never heard of. So I read that one as well. And I have to say that much as I loved the other books as a child, Emily felt a lot more real than the ever-popular Betsy Ray. She is a bit of an outsider, lives in the “old-fashioned” house with her grandfather. Unlike the other kids, she can’t go off to college. Still, she comes into her own, finding her place in the world–and it’s a charming story.
I don’t know any little girls to give these books to, but if you do, a boxed set would be a great gift. That’s how I got mine.