Sunday, May 25, 2014

Book Review: Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace (1941)

Betsy and Tacy are best friends. Then they meet Tib. Tib is a bit more serious-minded and practical than the other two girls, but despite the naysaying of adults, they all get along just fine. In this second book of the series, the girls have a variety of adventures, including begging at a neighbor’s door for food, cutting off half of each other’s hair, trying to crash Betsy’s and Tacy’s older sisters’ club, and cooking a pudding containing everything in the kitchen.

Though this series is quite old, there is a freshness to each of the girls’ escapades that easily compares to mischief perpetrated by Ramona Quimby, Ivy & Bean, Clementine and other contemporary girls in chapter books. The tone of the books is lively, and it’s clear the author’s tongue is frequently in her cheek as she relates with complete seriousness the wild imaginings of girls with runaway imaginations. Some of what the girls do clearly dates the book to the 1900s, when it is set, but many of their ideas could easily pop into the minds of girls living today. Young readers will delight in the trouble caused by Betsy’s silly ideas, even if they themselves are more like Tib.

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