While surfing the “What Others Bought” links at Amazon one day last winter, I discovered the wonderful old book Twig, by author and illustrator Elzabeth Orton Jones (1910-2005). My 8 year-old daughter really likes tales of fairies and magic and this book sounded perfect. It WAS perfect. My daughter adored it and read it in one sitting!
She even chose it for her school book report book, complete with a cute diorama (I wish we had saved that to illustrate this post, but alas, it was taken apart and scattered who knows where).
This 1942 story centers around Twig (which was also the author’s nickname), a lonely little girl who decides one day to make a fairy house out of a discarded old tomato can. I will let you discover the wonderful adventure that ensues.
You can still order Twig from the Purple House Press website, but all they have left are more expensive editions autographed by Elizabeth Orton Jones. We loved the book so much, that I just ordered an autographed copy to have in our collection of very special, keep always, books.
You can also order new (from Amazon affiliate sellers only) or used copies of Twig from Amazon. Our copy was a used one from an Amazon seller but it was in like-new condition and far less expensive than the Amazon affiliates’ new editions.
Big Susan is about a little girl and her dollhouse (the story is based on the actual doll house and dolls that the author played with as a child). The dollhouse is in complete disarray on Christmas Eve, the one night of the year where the dolls can come to life.
We read this story together as a bedtime book and I laughed out loud at the descriptions of the poor dolls (Nurse was standing on her head in the bathroom wash basin) and the general state of the dollhouse. It reminded me of our always-messy dollhouse. It also, sadly, somewhat resembles our own house at times (although I have yet to find myself upside down in a wash basin)!
This is a sweet story all about Christmas magic, love, friendship and giving. My children and I all loved it and were sorry to see it end. Although it is more of a girl book I suppose, my 7 year-old son adored it and was actually the most eager to keep reading on every night.
Trust me. These are books you’ll love and want to keep to pass down to your grandchildren!
Here are pictures of the text of Twig, to give you some idea of the reading level (it is 152 pages long) – recommended ages 6 to 12:
Here is Big Susan (a slightly easier reading level than Twig with only 83 pages and lots of sweet illustrations by the author) – recommended ages 6 to 10: