Saturday, January 12, 2008

Miss Hickory

I decided to tackle Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, and what a wonderful book to read in the wintertime!

Miss Hickory is made from an apple-wood twig for her body and a hickory nut for her head. Though most people would say she is a doll, Miss Hickory is alive.

As the book opens, Miss Hickory has a problem. Winter in New Hampshire is rapidly approaching, and she will not be able to last the season in her little corncob house under the lilac bush. Miss Hickory despairs until her friend Crow offers a solution: he has found an abandoned robin's nest in the apple orchard which Miss Hickory can occupy at least until the spring.

The reader follows Miss Hickory's adventures with animals of farm and field and experiences the beauty of nature with her. The book is filled with gorgeous passages that draw a vivid picture of Miss Hickory's world. To quote one such passage from chapter 11:

"Snow a foot deep still whitened the top of Temple Mountain, but at the foot a rose-pink haze lay in lovely color. That was the budding of the red maple trees. In the lee of the mountain there hung a golden curtain, as pale yellow as a new moon. That was the flowering of the willows... Once, as Crow swooped down over High-Mowing, she saw some moving spots like bits of scattered broken sunset."

I strongly encourage everyone to pick up a copy of Miss Hickory and get lost in the loveliness of a New Hampshire winter!

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