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The Story of Holly & Ivy
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The Story of Holly & Ivy

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  2,781 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
It is the day before Christmas and the toys in Mr Blossom's shop know it is their last chance to be sold. Holly, a little doll dressed especially for Christmas, wishes hard for her own special child to come and buy her. But the day ends and Holly is left in the window.

Early on Christmas morning, a little lost girl finds herself outside the toyshop. Ivy has never had a doll
Paperback, 64 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by MacMillan Children's Books (first published 1958)
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Nov 15, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely enchanting and extremely moving Christmas tale for children. It centres on a little orphan girl, called Ivy, who is shunted off on Christmas Eve to the Infants’ Home, as there is nobody to look after her. Stubbornly, Ivy declares she will go to her ‘grandmother’ but she has no grandmother and so Miss Shepherd puts her on the train. However, Ivy gets off and goes in hunt of the home that must belong to her.

In the toyshop, a pretty doll called Holly is dressed for Christmas a
Cynthia Ainsworth
This edition is in a picture book format with illustrations by Barbara Cooney. It's nice but my favorite (and the one I read when I was seven) is in a chapter book binding with illustrations by Adrienne Adams. I scour antique stores for these older copies to add to my collection (is it weird to want multiple copies of the same book?) This is a Christmas story, a story of belonging, a story of loss and finding, a story of family. As a kid reading this book, it captured for me the power of being w ...more
Dec 17, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Quasar?
What a sweet, beautiful story! All about the magic of wishing, and of love and belonging.

The edition I read is quite old, 1950s, and has soft, old-fashioned illustrations by Adrienne Adams.
Lisa Vegan
Jul 18, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys any of the following in books: dolls, orphans, Christmas, happy endings
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
Although this is a 32 page long picture book, it’s text heavy, so it’s actually a fairly long story for a picture book.

This is my new favorite Christmas story. I’m not big on gooey holiday stories, or holiday stories in general, but I just loved this.

I appreciated how the doll and the six year old girl are both important characters.

This is a sweet story about wishing for and finding a loving home, wishing and finding for both doll and girl.

The illustrations are just lovely. Every detail is wonde
June Jacobs
Nov 24, 2014 June Jacobs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I used to read this book to my first grade students each December before we went on winter break. I think I'm giving this story the highest compliment possible by saying that after the holidays, the girls and the boys begged me to reread this touching story to them again. Most years we read the story at least three times!

It's an awesome story with delightful illustrations. I have owned a copy of this book for twenty-seven years, and I still read it every holiday season for my own pleasure.

Dec 27, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
When I saw this book was illustrated by Barbara Cooney, I was very excited to read it. She was a particular favorite of mine growing up, especially because of my connection to her book Miss Rumphius. Our girls, however, gave a big groan of dismay when they saw how tightly packed the narrative is. The font is small and the story is crammed into the 32 pages of the book. I didn't really understand it - we read longer chapter books all of the time, but for some reason, they expect picture books to ...more
Dec 22, 2010 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annette by: Kathy Anderson
At our November Book Club Meeting, my friend, Kathy brought this book and recommended it as a great book to read to your children during the holiday season. I borrowed it from her and read it to my two little girls. It took us three nights to get through the whole book. We loved every minute of it. I'm sure this will be one of those books that will become and old favorite for us. It will go in my stack of Christmas books that we read every year during the holiday season.
A truly heartwarming, ch
Dec 07, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my absolute favorite holiday book. I love the original edition illustrated by Adrienne Adams. It always brings me back to a late night snowstorm in my father's truck while my mother read the book to my brother and I to comfort us! It is a story of wishing and hope that an runaway orphaned girl, Ivy, and a lonely doll in a shop window, Holly, will be together in a happy home for Christmas. It also has an evil owl that spices up the book!
Jan 09, 2010 booklady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my mother-in-law
A beautiful story about wishing ... which is really childlike-prayer, or the prayer of the innocent. Holly, a little doll, looking for a girl to love her and Ivy, an orphan girl looking for a home (and a doll of course too!) are inevitably brought together in this charming and timeless Christmas tale for all ages.
Hilary Woolf
Mar 24, 2016 Hilary Woolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely short read about a doll needing a girl and a girl needing a home. A christmassy magical book about hopes and wishes. Lovely illustrations. We think the owl in the toyshop must have been inspiration for hoot from old bear.
What a beautiful story! It's a new-to-us favourite. I'm so glad we bought a hardcover version for our family.
Author: Rumer Godden
Illustrator: Christian Burmingham
First Published: 1958

Accompanied by Burmingham's lovely black and white pencil illustrations, Godden tells a Christmas story combining Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl and Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit. But with a happy ending.

Switching focus between the beautiful doll, Holly, who needs a child to love and cuddle, and Ivy, a lost orphan looking for a home, we spend Christmas Eve in the cold, lonely, but making wishes fo
Nov 26, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written in the 1950s and first appeared as a story in the 'Ladies' Home Journal.' It is typical of the stories that were printed in magazines during that era. It's a gentle world with many good people and only a few 'bad' ones, and 'bad' may mean grumpy or stern. In the end, everything turns out perfectly. At Christmas, it's nice to read this kind of a story.

When I spotted this book, I wasn't looking for holiday books, but I saw Barbara Cooney's name, and I generally like anything she d
Nov 21, 2011 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was ok. I liked the illustrations the most. The story was a bit weak and a little creepy. This girl pretty much runs away from an orphanage to find her non-existent grandmother in a town that she's not even sure really exists. So she's wandering around in the cold looking for a house with a tree and no children. And... the lady, her "grandmother", buys a tree and everything and then decides that they need children in the house. I mean... it's a loose story at best but the idea was in the righ ...more
Mistiemae1 Downs
This was my absolute favorite Christmas book when I was a little girl, yet somehow I managed to forget that it existed for the 10 years that I've been a mother.

Tonight I read it to my children for the very first time, and it did not disappoint. Yes, it's sappy and far-fetched. I don't care. A beautiful doll, a lonely little girl, a magic but malevolent toy owl... I love it all.
Nevada Libert
great book! a book about wishing and a girl and a doll. ivy is an orphan who was sure she had a grandmother and goes to find one.

i do not no whether the song the holly and the ivy is related to the story but when i hear the song i think of the book:)

this is a great christmas story!
Jessica Prescott
Mar 10, 2016 Jessica Prescott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love this story. Beautiful Christmas tale of love, magic, and the power of hope. Add talking dolls, a snowstorm, and stunningly gorgeous illustrations, and you know you've got something special.
Jan 08, 2016 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my all time favorite holiday story! It is a timeless classic that never fails to warm the heart. An absolute must read!!
A Great Book Study
Dec 29, 2015 A Great Book Study rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-children
Every Christmas I check this out of the library to read to my kids. It is super sweet and heartwarming. I need to get my own darn copy!
Nov 22, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet Christmas story all about wishing....
LeAndra Simone
Nov 14, 2016 LeAndra Simone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my here we are again, Christmas! I love, love, love, this story. The illustrations really make the book come alive for me. The use of imagery, and how the story is told are absolutely marvelous. The story follows Ivy, a young orphan, who is looking for a family to fill void, and Holly, a beautiful china doll, who wants nothing more than to make a child happy on christmas morning. Through the story they each overcome several obstacles to get to each other, and they each end up gaining so much ...more
This is a story about wishing. Thus begins and ends "The Story of Holly and Ivy". There was much more to this story than I expected there to be. Although it has a happy ending, I felt that the overall tone was sad. And there was something sinister about the toy shop, especially Abracadabra. This has been on my "to-read" list for while so I'm glad I finally read it, but it's a little dark for a Christmas story.
I chose three stars, instead of four or five, simply because the book is so text-heavy. I checked it out from the library before Christmas, but kept putting it off because I knew my five-year-old would grumble. Sure enough, she ran off long before the halfway point. I kept reading to my older daughter, and they both said the story was "fine."

Lots of great discussion points and the illustrations are lovely.
Dec 04, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was SO good and heart warming for this time of year. My girls loved it. It's quite a bit more reading than most parents are used to reading aloud, so this might take a few nights to finish.
Annagrace K.
I want to live in Barbara Cooney's paintings. We added this book to our family's holiday picture book collection this year and it's so very beautiful. A treasured book for years and years to come, I'm sure.
Nov 28, 2016 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this story, but I especially love reading it with Adrienne Adams illustrations. I also have this book with Barbara Cooney's illustrations, and am a huge Barbara Cooney fan, but I love the Adrienne Adams illustrations for reading this story.
Dec 07, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
A cute story about wishing. Fun to see how everything was tied together in the end. Good discussion about how God works that way in our lives..krb 12/7/16
The Bookworms
Dec 31, 2016 The Bookworms rated it really liked it
Beth: It was great!
Noah: It was amaaaazzzinggg! And quite funny :)
Dec 08, 2016 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Classic story. Would be perfect to read aloud to a child at Christmas time.
Nov 30, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beloved Christmas story from my childhood. I still love it.
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Margaret Rumer Godden was born in Sussex, but grew up in India, in Narayanganj. Many of her 60 books are set in India. Black Narcissus was made into a famous movie with Deborah Kerr in 1947.

Godden wrote novels, poetry, plays, biographies, and books for children.

For more information, see the official website: Rumer Godden
More about Rumer Godden...

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