Betsy-Tacy are an American institution. Based closely on Maud Hart Lovelace's life, these books are a charming glimpse into turn of the century Minnesota life. While firmly connected to that particular time and place, the feelings and ideas of childhood are expressed in such a way that feels as current today as it did 70 years ago when it was written. A magical sort of book. The kind of book that several generations of American girls have loved and cherished.
At the beginning of the book, Betsy meets Tacy. They have an immediate connection, which is strengthened and tested through hilarity, high adventure, life changes for both of them, and the every day closeness that can only happen when you live across the street from your best friend. At the very end of the book, they meet Tib, who is taken into their coterie, giving the next book the title Betsy, Tacy, and Tib.
Writing a book about little girl best friends is not an original idea, but Lovelace's sense of humor and self awareness, keep the book from being tired or sweet. There is sibling rivalry, bad behavior, death, and over all of this, a deep sense of well being. As long as they had each other and their loving and secure homes, Betsy-Tacy could face the world unfearing.
Lois Lenski has some adorable illustrations.
Their budding friendship
With their older sisters
One of Betsy's stories.
Learning of death and hope together.
Going calling like real ladies
The advent of Tib. I love how easily Lenski shows Tacy's shyness and the two girl's closeness and Tib's aloneness.
Tib impresses them by standing on her head, so she is allowed to make their duo a trio.