Christmas in Appleton, England, 1957

The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden.

“This is a story about wishing. It is also about a doll and a little girl. It begins with the doll.

Her name, of course, was Holly.
It could not have been anything else, for she was dressed for Christmas in a red dress, and red shoes, though her petticoat and socks were green.
She was 12 inches high; she had real gold hair, brown glass eyes that could open and shut, and teeth like tiny china pearls.”

Such a sweet Christmas story, reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl, but much more hopeful, The Story of Holly & Ivy is one of Rumer Godden’s doll stories. And it’s illustrated by the talented Caldecott-award winning author and illustrator, Barbara Cooney. I would recommend this picture book for girls, or boys, who love dolls and who enjoy gentle stories about wishes coming true.

Some other doll stories by Rumer Godden and other authors that you and your doll-loving children might enjoy:
Mouse House by Rumer Godden. A mouse who hasn’t enough room in her crowded flower pot home goes looking for another house.
Little Plum by Rumor Godden. Nona and Belinda don’t like Gem their new next door neighbor, but they love the little Japanese doll in her window, whom they name Little Plum.
The Doll’s House by Rumor Godden. Emily and Charlotte long for a proper home for their doll family, but there’s trouble in the new dollhouse.
Miss Flora McFlimsey books by Mariana.
The Doll People series by Ann M. Martin.
William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow. William wants a doll so that he can learn to be a daddy.
The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh. For middle grade and above readers, a family of dolls live secretive lives in an old house in London.

1 thought on “Christmas in Appleton, England, 1957

  1. I read the Story of Holly and Ivy recently with my nine year old daughter. We both loved this book and it is eminently suitable for the season.

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