Saturday, February 23, 2013

What I Read This Weekend

What I Read This Weekend . . .

Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, illustrated by Ruth Gannett -- Children's Classic (1946)

Miss Hickory is a doll, no a real living person, made up of an applewood twig and a hickory nut head. She has always lived in the corn cob house under the lilac bushes or on the windowsill of an old farm house. Now the family has gone to live in Boston. Winter is approaching and Miss Hickory finds herself homeless. What is a she going to do? With the help of an unexpected friend, she not only finds a new home, but learns how not to have a hard head and appreciate her surroundings more. This Newberry Award winner for 1946 is a very sweet story with talking animals and a human-like doll. It takes the reader through the four seasons with Miss Hickory and the woodland creatures and teaches subtle lessons about nature and life as it goes along. I liked Miss Hickory. I could relate to her hard headed personality and it was nice to have a character not be so perky and preachy. I loved her creative use of materials to make shelter and clothing. I learned a bit about the habits of woodland animals in New England too. My only problem with this story is the end! It was entirely unexpected and a bit disturbing. I wouldn't recommend it to children under 7 for that reason. My only other complaint is that I wish the illustrations were in color for color plays an important role in the book. Otherwise the illustrations are charming and do a great job showing Miss Hickory's world.

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