Thursday, April 22, 2010

Betsy~Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace

20. Betsy~Tacy and Tib - second in the Betsy~Tacy series
by Maud Hart Lovelace
juvenile fiction, 1941
finished, 4/13/10

When I was a girl, the phrase, 'two's company and three's a crowd' was often said. Betsy~Tacy and Tib begins:
Betsy and Tacy and Tib were three little girls who were friends. They never quarreled.

Betsy and Tacy were friends first. They were good friends, and they never quarreled. When Tib moved into that neighborhood, and the three of them started playing together, grown-up people said:

"It's too bad! Betsy Ray and Tacy Kelly always played so nicely, Two little girls often do play nicely, but just let a third one come around...." And they stopped, and their silence sounded as though they were saying: "then the trouble begins!"

But although many people expected it, no trouble began with Betsy, Tacy and Tib. The three of them didn't quarrel, any more than the two of them had.
As I finished my second in the Betsy~Tacy series, I realized that my book reports through the coming months on these books won't vary much. These are sweet books; they are pleasant books. They make the reader feel good about the world.

In this book, the girls are eight years old, and able to do more things than when they were younger. They get into very gentle mischief. One delightful instance is when Mrs. Ray lets Betsy and her friends 'keep house' after school until she gets home at 'half-past five.' She has left them cocoa and cupcakes so that they 'may have a little party.' Well, as you might imagine, they make their own party. Betsy suggests they make a dish called, 'everything' because 'it's got everything in it.' Haven't we all had this idea back in our childhood days? A few of the ingredients they mix together are:
bacon grease, ginger, milk, tapioca, coffee, molasses, and bay leaves. They end up throwing it out after tasting, and then clean up the whole kitchen.

Little incidents such as this may not make for exciting reading to some, but I greatly enjoyed the book, and I had a smile on my face as I read. I adore these books as much as I did when I was a girl reading them, and when I read them to my own daughter.

This is my fourth book in the You've Got Mail Reading Challenge. The others are listed on the sidebar and you may click the titles if you'd like to read my book reports.

I just recently watched You've Got Mail for the umpteeth (isn't that a fun word?!) time, and took note of Kathleen Kelly, played by Meg Ryan, telling Annabel about Betsy~Tacy and Tib, 'whose real name, I'm sorry to tell you, is Thelma.'

A wonderful movie, and a wonderful set of books. I highly recommend them for you or for the young girls in your life.


  1. I have a lot of these books in my middle school library but they never get checked out. Maybe the key is for me to read one and be able to tell the students about it!

  2. Staci, they are really young for middle school. By then they want the teen-ish sorts of books. Some of the later ones do deal with the girls older, and even getting married, but I'm sure middle schoolers would find them dated and old-fashioned. I would guess 8 or 9 would be the age for reading them oneself, and younger for a parent reading them to a child. But as I noted in another review, my daughter (27!) stopped by a while ago and picked one up to read. Of course, she fell in love with them when she was little. That is so often the secret, don't you think?

  3. Lovely books, true.
    But oh, that sheep!!! Magnificent!

  4. You sum it up brilliantly I think Nan - a wonderful movie and a wonderful set of books indeed!

  5. The sheepy thanks you, Pamela!

    Rambling Fancy, I hope young girls everywhere are discovering these books.

  6. I wonder if Miss Shaylyn would enjoy these? My mom gave her a copy of The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew last year and she seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, so I don't think she'd mind the old-fashioned story.


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