Monday, January 12, 2015

Cozy Winter Reads: Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kassirer

    First of all I have to welcome our two newest followers,sara scales and Allenoel. I get an error page when I click on you sara. Any suggestions? Allenoel has three blogs you can check out,including For The Love Of Dolls  Thanks for joining us guys.
  If you live where the weather has been hitting you the way it has here, you're having plenty of extra time with your kids, as they celebrate some welcome snow days. When it's cold outside it's so nice to be cozy and warm inside, snuggled down with the kids and a good book. When my kids were little they all loved "Magic Elizabeth", by Norma Kassirer,another of my childhood favourites.

  "Magic Elizabeth" was a book I checked out of the school library several times when I was  a kid, before I managed to buy a copy of my own from the book orders they hand out at school. It was another of those classic Scholastic paper backs.  The book was originally published in 1966, but I know it has been reprinted as recently as 1999,(with a different cover from mine.).
The book opens on a rainy night,when Sally finds herself suddenly dropped off with an aunt she hasn't seen since she was a baby and remembers nothing about.

Sally's parents are away, and the lady looking after her has to leave to help her sick daughter. Sally is scared in her aunt's strange, old fashioned house, but she finds a friend in the house next door, and little by little, in Aunt Sarah.

Sally also finds herself caught up in a mystery. In the room she is staying hangs a painting of a little girl with a doll on her lap. Aunt Sarah tells Sally the portrait is of a little girl, also named Sally, who used to live in the house, and the girl's favourite doll, Elizabeth.Sally falls instantly in love with Elizabeth, and is saddened to learn that Elizabeth mysteriously disappeared from the top of the Christmas tree one Christmas Eve long ago. She has to still be in the house somewhere! Sally makes it her mission to find Elizabeth. Soon she must return home, and her aunt plans to sell the house.Elizabeth will be lost forever!
  The best parts of the book involve Sally 'becoming'  the other Sally and reliving moments from her life: does she really time travel, or was she dreaming?

 It's also fun following the clues with Sally as she tries to figure out what happened to Elizabeth.
  The illustrations will look familiar to readers of Mary Norton's Borrowers books,(More of my favourite kid's books.).They're by Joe Crush who,along with his wife Beth also illustrated that series.(An interesting note: He was also a courtroom sketch artist at the Nuremberg trials.)
 My kids always tease me about the fact that so many of the books I loved as a kid had to do with somebody having to 'save the house'. While Aunt Sarah isn't about to loose the house, the kids say her selling the house and Sally's race to find Elizabeth before she does counts as 'saving the house'!
  I would say this book would be entertaining to kids as young as kindergarten age, and as old as 10.There are a couple of copies of Magic Elizabeth on Ebay as I right this, but they are massively expensive, especially since I see from the 'sold' page that the paperback usually sells for normal prices. There is also the more recent edition, so you should be able to find a very affordable copy.(Try Amazon.) 


  1. Thank you for this review. Just seeing the picture of the cover brought back memories of reading this book. I also loved it as a child and hadn't seen it since.

    1. You're welcome. Maybe you'll come across one and get to relive a childhood moment. I read all the time when I was a kid, and my favourite books, (of which there were many!) have a wonderful comfy feel to them. I'm glad I got to enjoy them all over again with my kids.

  2. I am now myself looking. For this book. .I to took this out of the library many times.I also collected dolls and had many daydreams of exploring old houses and their attics.I could not remember the name of this book so thanks for the review!

    1. Good luck finding the book. As I said in this post, it can be had inexpensively. Try Ebay or Amazon.


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