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Miss Hickory

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  2,885 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
Most dolls lead a comfortable but unadventurous life. This was true of Miss Hickory until the fateful day that her owner, Ann, moves from her New Hampshire home to attend school in Boston—leaving Miss Hickory behind. For a small doll whose body is an apple-wood twig and whose head is a hickory nut, the prospect of spending a New Hampshire winter alone is frightening indeed ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 26th 1977 by Puffin Books (first published 1946)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jen
Jun 15, 2011 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, kids
I've learned my lesson. When the Newbery girls all say a book is weird and I, after 50 pages or so, disagree with them and privately think they're getting just a bit too picky with these old children's books, I really should just keep my thoughts to myself until I actually finish the book.

Because ending the book by having your main character's (view spoiler) -- EVEN IF she was just a little doll made out of a twig -- is a really bad idea. Really, REALLY
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Miss Hickory is kind of a sappy story, but not a bad one. The author's use of fantasy and nature elements make it stand out from most other doll stories.
Amy
Nov 01, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
Miss Hickory was my favorite children's novel when I first read it as a girl, and reading it again now...now I remember why I loved it so much. Miss Hickory is an outdoor story, a talking animal tale that makes exquisite sense of the natural magic that brings the twig-bodied, acorn-headed doll to life.

The animals in the story are both confounded and drawn to the fiesty no-nonsense Miss Hickory. They learn from her as much as she learns from them, sometimes acts of friendship, sometimes dangerous
...more
Joe
Miss Hickory is America's Struwwelpeter - a ghastly, grisly warning to children everywhere.

It seems the Newbery Committee that awarded the coveted medal to Miss Hickory was sending a message to the children of America:

DON'T. BE. AN ASSHOLE.

Seriously, what other message could they possibly be sending when the book they select as The Most Distinguished Book of the Year has an ending that features (view spoiler)?

Miss Hickory is a tota
...more
Mary
Aug 06, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
A lot of reviewers found the story too weird... but that's it's charm in my opinion. Lot's of great stories are weird, just ask the Grimm Brothers. I loved Miss Hickory. She is a cranky, insecure nut who eventually finds her way, and that's a character I can relate to. I loved that she is mean... how refreshing and real! The weirdest part for me was the strange religious chapter in the middle of the book that seemed out of place and a bit heavy-handed, but I skipped it, since it irritated me. T ...more
Wendy
Aug 16, 2008 Wendy rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery
I was hoping this would be as good as HITTY (it's also from a doll's point of view), but it wasn't... in fact, it was basically what I always thought HITTY would be... cheesy. And the illustrations are sort of creepy. Okay, but it's ALMOST worth reading the whole thing (it's pretty short) for the totally bizarre ending.
Linda Lipko
In this 1947 Newbery Medal award winning book, Miss Hickory is indeed a hard nut to crack. She is a stick figure doll composed of a fork-like twiggy body and a hickory nut for a noggin. Her humble, but clean, abode is made of corncobs nestled beneath a lilac bush.

Miss Hickory is deemed alive by the family who made her and the forest animals who befriend her.

When the family temporarily moves from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, Miss Hickory is left behind to fend for herself in the bitter cold wi
...more
Danielle
Jan 19, 2008 Danielle rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy
Dec 16, 2009 Tracy rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I liked this book until the end. The book is episodic, rather than having one main storyline. Miss Hickory is a twig doll with a nut for a head, and she is indeed hard-headed. When the people in the Big House go away for the winter without taking her along, Miss Hickory must brave the winter by herself. I liked the cozy domesticity of her cleaning and preparing food stores and making her own clothes. She is rather sharp with her fellow forest dwellers, however, and this ultimately leads to her r ...more
Antof9
So here's what I wrote as a status update in about the middle of the book:
Here's my take at halfway through: check out Rabbit Hill instead (if you're looking for personification of woodland creatures and want to stay in the Newbery family). I don't know what's up with this one, and it's probably not fair that it's just 2 years after Rabbit Hill, but it's falling short and awfully weird.


... and I don't have much else to say.

I appreciated what the author tried to do with Christmas, but honestly? T
...more
Laura Harrison
Feb 11, 2016 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most creative children's books I have ever read. You really have to just go with it and let the fantasy take over. Beautifully written and illustrated, I remember being so worried about the fate of Miss Hickory and her wee acorn head. This title is in such danger of being forgotten. It is never on a recommended summer reading list anymore and you would be hard pressed to find more than one copy if even that in a bookstore. Definitely one of my childhood favorites.
Kathi
Feb 17, 2013 Kathi rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery
Quaint, strange, nature-appreciative, symbolic (?)...these are my descriptors for the 1947 Newbery winner "Miss Hickory."

Opinionated, prickly, at times ungrateful, but also brave, creative, nature-loving, at times helpful are adjectives that describe the strong character of Miss Hickory herself. She grows well throughout the short book.

The last two chapters are, in turn, startling and quietly majestic.

I'm glad I read "Miss Hickory." I'm also glad much of Children's Literature has improved gre
...more
Kayley
Feb 23, 2012 Kayley rated it it was amazing
Miss Hickory is a charming little book! It was my absolute favorite when I was younger, I loved how she made her little clothes and her funny manner! I was only six when I read it and I told everyone I knew about it. Excellent and charming! Perfect for imaginative little readers who are just starting out!
Wendi
Jan 04, 2011 Wendi rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my all tim favorites! I read it a long time ago, but it is great. It shows personification of a doll who is trying to survive a harsh winter. This book won the Newberry Award in 1947.
Writemom
One of my favorite Newberry books!
Steve Shilstone
Sep 01, 2016 Steve Shilstone rated it it was amazing
Miss Hickory, with her apple-wood twig body and her hickory nut head, stars in this utterly charming New England pastoral fantasy.
Judy
Jan 18, 2017 Judy rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-medal
I started to read this book thinking it would be about a doll. I guess I expected a story something like Hitty. While Miss Hickory is called a 'doll,' her part in the story is more like a narrator. It's through her thoughts and actions that the reader is given a glimpse of the natural world.

There are probably very few children (or young adults for that matter) today who have enough understanding of the natural world to appreciate the story. Here's an example of the writing:

Small straight hemlock
...more
Linda
Jan 18, 2017 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Miss Hickory" won the Newbery in 1947, the year I was born. The author is Carolyn Sherwin Bailey and the illustrator is Ruth Gannett.

It only took a few pages before I was sucked into this beyond-quirky story about a doll made of an apple twig with a hickory nut for a head, thus her name. Miss Hickory is a feisty character who's crabby and cranky and much older than the word "doll" would suggest. She lives outdoors in a little corncob house but comes into the family house in the winter. Until t
...more
Nancy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky H.
Jun 21, 2008 Becky H. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ages 8 and up
Her body is made out of an apple wood twig and her head is a hickory nut, however, Miss Hickory was no doll: she was a person. Join Miss Hickory as she learns to trust her friends Crow, Squirrel and Mr. T. William-Brown, the cat who help her find a new home and survive through winter. Along the way she helps others too. With her help Hen-Pheasant starts the Ladies Aid Society for pheasants during the winter and Ground Hog, who is afraid of his shadow, comes out of his hole so spring will arrive. ...more
Carl Nelson
May 05, 2014 Carl Nelson rated it did not like it
Shelves: newbery-winners
1947 Newbery Medal recipient.

In the category of "Newbery Winners Featuring Anthropomorphized Animals of the 1940s," "Rabbit Hill" is the clear winner. And that is damning with faint praise, because "Miss Hickory" is utterly repugnant. Just awful. Really dumb stories of animals acting stupidly, surpassed only by the busybodying moronity of the title character. And don't get me started on the end--well, let's just say that in novel writing class, I'm pretty sure that this possibly drug trip inspir
...more
Kristen
Sep 04, 2016 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-winners
Newbery Medal Winner--1947

This was...weird. And kind of creepy. The early Newbery winners haven't had much in the way of fantasy, but this one about a living doll made from a branch and a nut gives it a shot. While some of Miss Hickory's encounters with different talking animals are somewhat entertaining, she's not a very likable character. She's cranky and closed-minded and mean. There's a creepy scene where (view spoiler)
...more
Jill
Sep 13, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: read aloud to kids age 4+
Shelves: newbery-medal
Didn't think I'd be saying this, but I really enjoyed this book! In part it's because the book takes place in New Hampshire very close to where Dan grew up. I think this would be an excellent book to read to a four or five year old and I'm already looking forward to Holly being old enough to understand the story. Carolyn Bailey explains the real behavior of different animals through lovable characters. At first I thought the writing was a little old-fashioned and stodgy, but the more I read the ...more
Patricia Smith
Oct 05, 2013 Patricia Smith rated it really liked it
This book is about a doll created from an applewood twig and a hickory nut for her head. The creatures in the woods and on the farm come to life in this story. Miss Hickory eventually found her purpose in life. I rated this book 3 stars because the author created unusual characters and the unexpected ending to the story. The intended age group for this John Newberry Medal award book is the Intermediate level for ages 7-12 years old. The genre of this book is Fantasy. Miss Hickory would appeal to ...more
Monica Job
Oct 03, 2011 Monica Job rated it really liked it
Miss Hickory is a doll made from a forked twig from an apple tree and a hickory nut for a head. She lives in a tiny doll house made of corncobs outside her human owners home, but her world is turned upside down after the family decides to spend the winter in Boston leaveing her behind. Miss Hickory is aided during the long cold winter by farm and forest animals. A little stubborn, she slowly learns to accept help from others, and to offer some assistance herself. I would use this book in the cl ...more
Leona
Apr 09, 2008 Leona rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
This book was originally published in 1946. I hope kids will get to read this book. It's nothing like anything on the juvenile shelves. It's about a doll made out of a cherry branch with a chestnut head. She comes to realize how "hard-headed" she is and how her suspicious nature and rigidity and independent-to-a-fault streak has caused her to miss out on wonderful opportunities. All the animals in the forest have unique personalities and interesting social structures to their type of animal. It ...more
Bunny
Jan 12, 2009 Bunny rated it it was amazing
Do you know how many forms of "doll with a nut head" I googled before I found the title of this?

I don't know how I got my hands on the book originally, but I loved this as a child. Despite the other reviews below, I was not disturbed by the ending, I thought it was actually quite nice. But I was a morbid child, so that might explain things.

Loved it. Wanted to live in a bird's nest. Wish I still owned it.
Samantha
Mar 25, 2016 Samantha rated it did not like it
Shelves: newberry-winners
This book was just...so weird. Not bad. Not good. Just really, really strange. I normally like strange and different, but this just didn't do it for my in any capacity. In fact, I spent a good portion of my time reading it trying to sort out what was actually going on. Were there metaphors hidden in these stories? If there were, I can't figure out what they were supposed to be about. Also that ending...a little bit traumatizing. If I had read this as a kid I probably would have freaked out.
Joseph
Oct 24, 2012 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back in 1973 and I still remembered it. I think the artwork burned into my brain.

I reconnected with a friend, recently, from thirty years and we were talking about books. I noticed on her book list was Miss Hickory. WE had a discussion and I found this review: http://www.kindertrauma.com/?p=205
which was followed by a trip to the library for the book.

Ah, the good old days of warped children's stories.
Barbara VA
Aug 25, 2012 Barbara VA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, 2012-read
A charming little book that I remember having read to us in elementary school. I love the nature stories and a doll made from apple branches (MacIntosh - my favorite apple) and a hickory nut living in a corncob house. In Germany, I bought my daughter dolls made from apples and plums dressed with faces and hats- very popular. The animals and flowers and views were described so perfectly!
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