Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin 4 out of 5 stars Rebecca leaves her home at Sunnybrook Farm to move in with her two aunts, Miranda and Jane. With many little brothers and sisters at home with her mother, Rebecca hopes to get a good education and be able to support the family someday. But Aunt Miranda is terribly strict, and Rebecca must find consolation with her more compassionate Aunt Jane.
I have always loved this sweet story about a smart girl growing up in the middle of nowhere. Rebecca has imagination and cleverness far beyond anyone else in her little country town. But she learns to appreciate the kindness and neighborliness of the people around her.
Mistress Masham’s Repose by T.H. White, Fritz Eichenberg (Illustrator) 4 out of 5 stars Delightful book!! Rereading it for the second or third time, I have enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Orphaned Maria lives in a crumbling old palace that her ancestors built on an extensive estate full of gardens and obelisks and temples and monuments. But there is no money to repair the palace, and she lives in poverty with her governess and one old cook.
When Maria is exploring around an island in a small lake, she encounters the tiny Lilliputian people who Gulliver brought back to England after his travels. They are in danger of being discovered by Maria’s evil guardians, the vicar and governess, and Maria must use all her ingenuity to save them from being kidnapped and sold as slaves.
I love how imaginative this book is. My favorite parts are the scenes that describe how the Lilliputians make their living on the Mistress Masham’s Repose island. They fish, and hunt, and train mice as their horses. They have their little homes in the roofs and hollow pillars of the Repose cupola, and keep their tiny farm animals in stables built into the steps of the structure.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Tasha Tudor (illustrator) 5 out of 5 stars Little Sara Crewe is wealthy heiress, and she is treated like a princess at Miss Minchin’s boarding school for girls. Her father loses all his money and dies abroad, so Sara is forced to work as a servant. But she never stops behaving like a noble princess with kindness and generosity to everyone.
I always love rereading this book. Sara has such a gentle personality, and she’s so intelligent and adorable. I love how imaginative she is and how she is always making up stories and living inside her head. She has a marvelous intuition about people around her, and she can see through their facades right to their heart.
A new neighbor has moved into the house next door on Cherry Tree Lane, and the Banks family are horrified. Only Mary Poppins has the magical wisdom to deal with the drama that threatens to engulf the whole street.
I love the whimsical writing and the funny magic! Mary Poppins is perfect as always, and the Banks children are silly and adorable. The plot has some interesting turns, and I love how all the neighbors on Cherry Tree Lane have their own little additions to the story.
Mary Poppins is just the right mixture of sweet and strict. She plays games with the children, but also lays down the law in the nursery. I love how she reacts to each twist in the plot with grace and elegance.