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The Ultimate Guide

Classic books to delight girls

You don’t need a rainy day to curl up with a good book; all you need is a good book. If you know a little girl looking for one, try one of these. Read more

"Mary Poppins Opens the Door” / P.L. Travers

Everybody knows Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, and many kids have seen the musical that has been touring in recent years. But for sheer enjoyment, nothing beats re-reading the original Poppins books where Mary Poppins is brusque and stern, the children bad at times, the cast of supporting characters vast and memorable. In this installment of the Poppins series, the chapters “High Tide” and “Peppermint Horses” can’t be topped.

“Skating Shoes” / Noel Streatfeild

This 1951 novel, just one installment in the plentiful “Shoes” book series, spins a warm-hearted tale of a gawky girl who is forced to take up skating to strengthen her legs – and discovers she has real talent. If your young reader enjoys this volume, look for the other titles in the series, including “Circus Shoes” and “Theater Shoes.”

“The Pink Motel” / Carol Ryrie Brink

This novel for young readers has something for everyone: gangsters and magic tricks, jam tarts and coconuts, alligators and fancy dogs – plus mysteries which only can be found at the charming seaside motel which Kirby and Bitsy move into when their parents become the new owners (yes, those neat weathervanes come in all different shapes). A treasure of a book, first published in 1959.

“Misty of Chincoteague” / Marguerite Henry

Girls who love animals will revel in this story, first published in 1949 of how the wild foal Misty comes into the lives of Paul and Maureen Beebe. The scenery of Chincoteague and Assateague islands alone will wow readers of all ages. For those who love this title, it’s good to know that Henry wrote dozens of other stories about horses.

"Pippi Longstocking” / Astrid Lindgren

If you have a young reader who likes to laugh, find a copy of this hilarious book and the two subsequent Pippi books, “Pippi Goes Aboard” and “Pippi in the South Seas.” If there’s a little girl who can hold it together while reading the part where Pippi makes pancakes – “Now we’re going to make a pancake, Now there’s going to be a pankee” – we haven’t found her yet. (And no, TV or movie adaptations can’t take the place of these books.)

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