Thursday, August 21, 2014
The Betsy-Tacy Guide to Birthdays
I think N. is drawn to these books at this time of year because they explore so effectively the complexity of birthdays. The strange behavior of the new girl (which turns out to be merely extreme shyness) hangs somewhat darkly over Betsy's fifth birthday until Betsy gets to know Tacy. Winona gets herself in a scrape by boasting about the pony she's deluded herself into believing she will receive as a birthday gift and inviting nearly all the children she knows to her party, rather than the select group her mother expects. Later, Betsy is eager to turn ten and begin to be more grown up, but at the same time she worries that the fun of childhood will be over. One's birthday can be a strangely emotional day, and Betsy, Tacy, and their friends seem to offer N. annual, familiar comfort and camaraderie.
Bonus reading: I rant about reading Betsy-Tacy to boys here. I enthuse about first reading the Betsy-Tacy books to N. here.