Our three little heroines, Betsy, Tacy, and Tib, besides having the world's most highly-developed noses for finding trouble, also have kind hearts, great imaginations, and an amazing talent for finding or constructing adventures for themselves. Reading about them, I can't help but remember Polaroid snapshots, taken of me when I was very young, in the world's most ridiculous dress-up outfits. I think many of us who enjoy these books secretly feel sure that we would have gotten along famously with Betsy, Tacy, and Tib.
My favorite part of this whole book was the forthright and completely unconcerned way that the author describes the religious differences between the three girls. Though all three are Christians, each is from a different denomination, including a couple of groups who have been known to experience violent internecine conflict. Yet Maud Hart Lovelace discusses their religious associations in a way that makes me think she might have been just as sanguine if they had been a Jewish girl, a Hindu girl, and a Muslim girl.
This will be the first book to which I have ever given a 5-star review on this blog (because the blog is young, and I haven't reviewed that many books yet). If you've read my rating system in the right-hand sidebar, you know that I define a 5-star book as a "life-changing event." In some cases, this has been true of a book I've read in a showy, tear-jerking or shrieking-with-laughter kind of way. In others, like Betsy-Tacy and Tib, a book can be life-changing in a subtle, joyful, peaceful kind of way. This book didn't change my views of the geo-political landscape or inspire me to write the next great American novel, but it reminded me of the best things in my own childhood. It has convinced me to go on reading the series, and made me more sure than ever that my daughter must own these books when she gets a little older. Thank you, Sarah from A Library is a Hospital for the Mind, for hosting this challenge and reminding me to get back to these sweet books.