We finished Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill in one long read-aloud marathon yesterday after lunch , and what a joy it was! These Maud Hart Lovelace tales just get better and better. At the very least, I can see this series as one with which children (girls, especially) can grow up. In Big Hill, our favorite trio of girls are turning ten, and the year promises to be one of excitement and all manner of grown up opportunities. Several things happen to the girls in this book–there’s a surprise birthday party for one of the girls; they participate in a “school entertainment; they “fall in love” with the young King of Spain and write him a letter; they meet a young Syrian girl from “over the big hill”; and they have a gigantic quarrel with their older sisters. Of course, all of this is written in such a warm way that we readers can’t help but wish we were one of the triumvirate of ten year olds! 🙂 When we finished this story, both of my girls eyes were fairly shining with enjoyment. That’s a glowing recommendation if I’ve ever heard seen one.
As much as I love these stories, I don’t find a lot in them to quote. There’s not a lot of “philosophizing” in the stories, which is entirely appropriate for their intended audience. However, I did note a little nugget in Big Hill which characterizes the whole Maud Hart Lovelace reading experience for me:
The place where they stood in the road was warm with smiles. (117)
Our hearts were warm with smiles when we finished reading this book yesterday. 🙂
I had hoped to get to Winona’s Pony Cart for this year’s Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge, but alas, due to my bout with laryngitis and other various and sundry interruptions, it was not to be. I understand that the remaining Betsy-Tacy books will be best shared with my girls when they’re a little older, but who knows–maybe I’ll just read them for my own enjoyment! To date, my girls and I have enjoyed the first three in the series. Here are links to my previous reviews:
- Betsy-Tacy , finished last year at the beach!
- Betsy-Tacy and Tib, read this summer as an early entry for the reading challenge.
Library Hospital will be concluding the Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge this weekend, so there’s sure to be a wealth of links to great reviews of many MHL books. In fact, Sarah has been writing about Deep Valley and its beloved inhabitants and their creator all this month, so be sure to check out Library Hospital!