Book 3 of the Betsy and Tacy
series, and Maud Hart Lovelace continues to impress. Such a sweet story! It's impossible to reach the book's end without a smile on your face. Sure, it's a bit too perfect at the close as squabbles are resolved neatly and Syrian refugees are welcomed with open arms. It's cheesy, but I loved it. And the gleeful ending makes for a fun toddler read along experience.
It's interesting to compare Maud Hart Lovelace's handling of patriotism to that of Laura Ingalls Wilder. While LIW takes a harder America-as-exceptional approach, MHL seems to prefer the softer melting pot approach to immigration. MHL waves the American flag as much as LIW does, but the overall feel is one of "America the Beautiful", not "Battle Hymn of the Republic. I enjoyed Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill
's anti-bulling and anti-bigotry stances. I suspect I'd have liked the heck out of MHL if I'd had the privilege to meet her.
As with the first two books of the series, Lois Lenski's beautiful drawings combined with MHL's knack for remembering and describing events from her childhood in Mankato, MN make the third installment of Betsy and Tacy
worth the effort. Highly recommended.