The start of the new year always makes me nostalgic. I don’t get excited about what’s new; I long for the old. I go back to those books that remind me of childhood, of getting wrapped up in a blanket and a good book and not even noticing when I was called to dinner.
Here are some books and series that I enjoyed then and now. I hope they can become part of your family’s memories as well.
My mom gave me the first of these when I was in late elementary school, but you can start them at a much younger age. Betsy and Tacy meet when they are five years old, and the ten books take them all the way through marriage. Lovelace wrote these autobiographical stories for her daughter, Merian, and they are a lovely window into Midwestern life in the early 1900?s. I enjoyed reading about what other girls my age were doing almost 100 years before me – riding in horseless carriages! owning the first telephone on the block! planning their first boy-girl party! – and I can still get lost in Betsy’s world.
Technically, these books are not a series, but Streatfeild wrote many books, including Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, and Dancing Shoes, with a performing theme. They take place in England before, during, and after World War II, and share the adventures of different families of talented children. I was fascinated with their dance classes and music lessons and imagined myself in their shoes!
I don’t imagine there are many people out there who haven’t seen The Wizard of Oz, but I’m always surprised at how many people haven’t read the books. Baum wrote fourteen books about this fantastical world, each one introducing new and amusing characters. We all know and love Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, but did you know about the poetic and zany Patchwork Girl, the vain Glass Cat, or amiable Jack Pumpkinhead? This is a colorful world that your family can easily jump around without needing to read the books in order.
All of these are great to read as a family or alone. Enjoy!