happy sigh

by Eva Ibbotson

A good story.

A gripping story.

Adventure, heroism, friendship, WW 2 history, boarding schools and royalty.

My favourite kind of children’s book.

This is one of the times I miss my job as school librarian.

I can think of so many of my former students who would love this story. 

A certain kind of reader – The Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, Swallows and Amazons, Never-ending Story, Melendy family, Wolves of Willowby Chase type reader.

“Try it” I’d say to them. “I think you’ll like it”

And they would grab it so quickly. I’d see them later that day – at lunchtime or lined up with the other students changing classes, eyes glued to the page, oblivious to their surroundings.

The next day, they would be at my desk again – with a little smile.

and they’d say, “You were right.”

Reading good books makes me happy.

Sharing good books makes me happier.

Any good books you’d like to share?

Let’s talk in the comments.

with love,


17 thoughts on “happy sigh

  1. Sally says:

    Thanks Kathie and Kelli I have some of those books listed already but you have added more possibilities. :-)Kathie, I forgot to introduce myself, how rude! lol I discovered your blog through Eyes of Wonder.just so you know where I came from.


  2. kelli says:

    Sally…just had to jump in here! My older daughter is 7 as well, and it sounds like they’re similar in what they enjoy! Last year she also enjoyed the Little House books! I just wanted to mention a few others she’s enjoyed…Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, (I pretty much only recommend the first one…some of the others have some things I didn’t love for this age), Pippi Longstocking, biographies by the D’Aulaires, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Understood Betsy (thanks, Linda, for bringing this one up! It’s a true treasure!!)…I’ve got more, but I don’t want to take up all of Kathie’s space! Feel free to leave me a comment on my blog, and I can respond more there:)I always check what Kathie is reading…I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read that she has recommended! She is most definitely a kindred spirit:) Thanks, again, Kathie, for this post!!!


  3. Hi Sally – Dragonfly Pool is probably a little old for a seven yr old.I’d recommend the Moffats – and Astrid Lindgren who wrote The Children of Noisy Village as well as the Pippi books. Have you heard of the Betsy-Tacy books? Also Rumer Godden’s doll books – enchanting stories. I didn’t like the Captain Underpants either – I’m not much for potty humour. The list of books was all my readers’ favourites – I actually haven’t read all of them.Kelli – A Little White Horse is one of my favourites. Also the Borrowers – all of them.Tracie – a Jane Austen jag sounds fun! Invincible Lousia was a great biography of LM Alcott.


  4. Sally says:

    What age range is this good for? I’m constantly on the look out for books for my ‘never stops reading’ seven year old. It can be hard to find books that are challenging enough to keep her interest while still having age appropriate content. As an example of her reading level she DEVOURS the ‘Little House’ series at the moment. Also, being still young she is quite impressionable – would that be a problem with this book? She really enjoyed the Captain Underpants books (which I see are on your master list) but we found her attitude deteriorated drastically every time she read them. That’s one thing I love about the ‘Little House’ books, Laura has plenty of spunk without it creating problems in our own lives!


  5. I loved Little Princess and read it about a million times. Still enjoy it once in a while, I love reading children’s books. At the moment I am on a reading jag, and have several books going at once. Invincible Louisa, about Louisa May Alcott; Kingdoms in Conflict by Chuck Colson, just finished The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis, and Ella Enchanted, that my niece lent me. I am reading The Princess Bride, and a book about loving and helping our elderly mothers without letting all the old conflicts swamp our efforts. I have the Miss Read series that I would love to read again. And soon I’ll be going on a Jane Austen jag and reading all of her novels, that my hubby so kindly got me for Christmas!


  6. I’m reading the Miss Read series (both of them) right now. I just love them. I did take a break and read a couple of George MacDonald novels and "Understood Betsey" which I just adored! How did I miss that one growing up?


  7. kelli says:

    Just thought of a couple more! The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge…a beautiful fantasy! And The Borrowers by Mary Norton…little treasures…enveloped in excellent writing!Thanks for more recommendations!!I LOVE this topic:)


  8. For those of you who have never read The Wolves of Willowby Chase – you’re in for a treat! It’s a good story. It’s written by Joan Aitken. The Melendy family is an old series – a wonderful family series beginning with The Saturdays – written by Elizabeth Enright – also read Gone-Away Lake and Return To Gone-Away. Both lovely! Thimble Summer also written by her is another favourite.Move on to the Moffats after the Melendy family – written by Eleanor Estes – lovely family stories. Then give The Family From one End Street a try – another wonderful family series. written by Eve Garnett.Willow – I enjoyed Crispin too. I’m have Acedia and Me in my library pile – I’ll have to request the other as well.mmm mm – talking books – my favourite!


  9. I’m taking notes here! My 11 year old daughter loves The Little Princess, and Anne, but some of the other titles were new to me. I am always looking for good books for my voracious reader. Unfortunately, even in the Christian International school library we are so blessd to have access to I come across books that really aren’t suitable, so I can’t just let her loose in there. I am always looking for good recommendations. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!


  10. kelli says:

    Oooh!!! I’m so excited! Our library doesn’t have this book in yet, but it says it’s "on order." I also have never heard of Wolves of Willowby Chase…can’t wait to read both of these! I don’t know that I have any new ones to share…I’ll think about it! Still keep your eyes out for The Return of the Twelves…I think you would love it!Wonderful, wonderful post:)


  11. grammy says:

    Now I am going to have to try and check out that book. I go through times when I read children’s books. I think it is because i am a reader and when I was a child we had a Book Mobil that came once a month and they did not have that great of choices.


  12. Hi Nikkipolani – I haven’t read Lynn Austin – I’ll have to check her out at the library.Carolyn – I actually have some bulbs coming up in my new flower bed – I’m so excited. Roger and I were at Vessey’s on Saturday and bought our seeds – it’s fun to look ahead and plan.


  13. carolyn says:

    Hi Kathie, Right now I am reading Prince Phillips Organic Gardening book -It is on sale at Indigo for $9.99. I did finish The Shack and found it very thought provoking, I will definitly read it again. I also bought the new English Garden magazine at the grocery store so that will be my entertainment tonight. Isn’t this sunshine lovely-even some melting going on! Take care, Carolyn


  14. What a lovely post! I’ve read most of the books in your short list, though not for some time now. Wonder if I can find The Dragonfly Pool at my local library…. As for recent reading, I have devoured a pile of Lynn Austin historical fictions in the last few weeks.


  15. kelli says:

    Oooh!!! I’m so excited! Our library doesn’t have this book in yet, but it says it’s "on order." I also have never heard of Wolves of Willowby Chase…can’t wait to read both of these! I don’t know that I have any new ones to share…I’ll think about it! Still keep your eyes out for The Return of the Twelves…I think you would love it!Wonderful, wonderful post:)


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