Kelly's Reviews > Dandelion Cottage

Dandelion Cottage by Carroll Watson Rankin
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's review
Dec 28, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: kidlit

This is my MIL's favorite book. I had never heard of it until she gave me her copy. This book shares that same theme of kids having their own place -- like Martha and Victoria's hut in Nordstrom's The Secret Language, or Trixie Belden and her friends and the Wheeler Gatehouse, Burnett's Secret Garden, or my picture book favorite from long ago, Harvey's Hideout by Russell Hoban. My MIL is very housekeeping oriented, so I can imagine the descriptions of fixing up Dandelion Cottage were right up her alley. (I was probably more like Martha from the Secret Langauge, so I wanted a hut in the woods with a little pool!)

This was first published in 1901 -- so the personalities of the four girls remind me a bit of Alcott's Polly in An Old Fashioned Girl -- of the four, three are meek, obedient, neat. The fourth is younger than the rest and she's still prone to tantrums. Poor Bettie is the only girl in a family of eight boys, so she ends up being a mother's helper -- it is intimated that the boys are fairly helpless in taking care of themselves. (nice!) I wonder if I would have liked this book more if I had read it as a child as opposed to a woman in my mid 20s?

I didn't realize this story took place in Marquette, Michigan and the cottage still exists! The next time we're there I should get a picture for my MIL.

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message 1: by Res (new)

Res This book shares that same theme of kids having their own place

I'd never noticed the theme, but you're right, it's in all sorts of kids' books -- another example is Julie Andrews' Mandy, which I adored as a kid.

Betsy I just discovered that there are at least two sequels to this: "The Adopting of Rosa Marie" and "The Castaways of Pete's Patch." I've ILLed Rosa Marie, but I can't find Pete anywhere.

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