Friday, March 5, 2010

Fiction Friday: Betsy-Tacy edition

There’s certainly no shortage of excellent children’s literature out there.

But IMNSHO, nothing’s better than the classic – and highly enjoyable - Betsy-Tacy series.

Actually, these books kind of run in our family. Not only were they my mother’s favorites when she was a girl, but all the Shiputzim daughters love them as well.

In fact, when ACSD (a certain Shiputzim daughter) was in elementary school and had to do a project about a children’s author, she naturally chose Maud Hart Lovelace, the author of the Betsy-Tacy series.

Part of the assignment was to write a biography. ACSD chose to do it in the form of an [imaginary] “interview” and graciously agreed to share a few excerpts*:

An “Interview” with Maud Hart Lovelace


ACSD: Hello. How are you?

Maud: Oh. I’m fine.

ACSD: May I please ask you a few questions about your life?

Maud: Yeah. Sure.

ACSD: When where you born?

Maud: I was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota.

ACSD: How did you get the idea of writing the “Betsy-Tacy” books?

Maud: I would tell Merian [Ed. note – her daughter] bedtime stories about my childhood, and that gave me the idea to write the “Betsy-Tacy” books.

ACSD: That means that these books are based on your own life. Doesn’t it?

Maud: Well, yeah.

ACSD: What year did the first book come out?

Maud: The first book, Betsy-Tacy, came out in 1940.

ACSD: And the last one?

Maud: The last one, Betsy's Wedding, came out in 1955.

ACSD: I have one last question. I don’t want to be rude or anything, but when did you die?

Maud: Oh, it’s fine. I died on March 11, 1980.

ACSD: Thank you for agreeing to talk to me. I enjoyed hearing about your life.

Maud: You’re welcome. Goodbye.

ACSD: Goodbye!


Thanks, ACSD! Every time I read this interview*, it makes me smile!

!שבת שלום ומבורך


*Readers are invited to come to TRLEOOB (=the real life equivalent of our blog) to see the project – including the rest of the interview – in its entirety.


  1. "I don’t want to be rude or anything, but when did you die?"
    OMG, how cute is that?!

  2. I like the part where Maud, born in 1892, says "yeah, sure"
    Great interview, though, and I agree-classic series.

  3. I love it! I can only hope my DD does a similar project in school someday!

  4. SuperRaizy - I know! :-)

    Malke - Well, just because she's dead, that doesn't mean she hasn't been keeping up with modern slang... :-)

    Book Club Girl - Thanks, and also thanks for the Tweet! :-)

  5. I have seen 2nd hand copies of her books in the book shop in Raanana from time to time.
    Unlike, the little house books, the Katy series and Little women, these boooks do not seem to be familiar to people not from the USA (like me, I only heard of them recently)
    I think you would be interested in our children's lit mailing list, as you mention many books that they discuss there.

  6. Nice piece of work for a kid in elementary school. I hope ACSD got a good grade for her effort.

  7. Keren - Yes, my daughter said the same thing. She believes that few - if any - of her friends had ever heard of "Betsy-Tacy". My guess is that it's a combination of two things:
    (a) AFAIK, unlike "Little Women" and "Anne of Green Gables", "Betsy-Tacy" hasn't been translated into Hebrew.
    (b) Until relatively recently - when a new edition was released - the series was out of print.

    Ilana-Davita - B"AH, she got an "A" on the project.


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