An orphan girl child is rejected by the human world and undertakes a journey through a magical forest. A wonderful fantasy written by Ethel Cook Eliot, first published in 1921. The illustrations include line drawings along with 5 color plates from Anne Anderson.
This is one of my favorite books ever. The story is beautiful and magical and I have loved it since I was little. The characters are memorable and lovely. I highly recommend to everyone!
Hepatica, a young lonely girl, sees a Wind Creature one day and follows him into the forest. From there, she meets Tree Mother who allows Hepatica to stay in the forest and meet the many people who live there. She has plenty of adventures and makes new comrades. When Tree Mother leaves the forest in Hepatica's care, she must be brave and step into Tree Mother's place and protect the people from the Beautiful Wicked Witch.
"Now we must jump," Tree Mother said. "Right off the tree?" cried Hepatica. "Yes, right off into the moonlight. That is the only way to get to my house. I will go first. You follow."
A children's fantasy fairy story about a human girl who crosses into the forest and is pure of heart and mind enough to see the forest creatures and help the Tree Mother. Hepatica lets the forest speak through her and in doing so makes choices that help her on her path. A wonderful story. I enjoyed it very much.
Simply magical! First published in 1921 this beautifully written fairy-tale type story is perfect for girls ages 7-10. The main character, a human Hepatica (named after a tiny woodland wildflower), escapes to the forest where she lives with Tree Mother, forest children, and wind creatures. It has a whimsical feel and talks a lot about nature.
I think both my girls will really enjoy this when I give it to them for book day. It is hard to find though. I found my copy at Chinaberry.com
The House Above the Trees is the second of Eliot's books that I've read. It's a lovely little fairy story, reminiscent of some of George MacDonald's stories and Kingsley's Water Babies. There's a richness to it that allows for digging through layers and for contemplating authorial intention and for wandering through symbolism, but there is such a beauty to the storytelling that you can float through and simply enjoy the telling if that's what you prefer.
I am officially putting all of Eliot's books on my to-buy list.
From the language and the imagery of the the forest people, I at first assumed this book to be of German origin. The mythology certainly seemed to be related to Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale. Other portions of the imagery seemed more reminiscent of Charles DeLint. Doing research however, I found that the author is from western Massachusetts and upstate New York and the book dates from the 1920s.
I will refrain from getting into the Freudian analysis of having an unloved orphan girl "whom no one will miss" wander off into the woods following a purple-winged Peter-Pan wanna-be (especially the scene where he teaches her to fly by letting go of her fears). Much of the book felt like a vaguely opium-induced day-dream. The whole things is a sort of tone-poem that never really results in much. I should not have been surprised or as annoyed to have the whol experience written off as a moment of passing time, since this story is not that far from the old tales of faerie meetings and abductions.
Read this book with my daughter when she was seven, and found myself completely enamored, immediately. There is a quiet, joyful, awe-inspiring spirituality about the magical forest in which Hepatica (the girl heroine) finds herself, as well as about the spirits of nature (Tree Mother, Cloud, the Wind Creature, and the Tree Girl) that become her playmates and temporary family. Within the forest, Hepatica finds her heart comforted, her sense of adventure kindled, and her confidence in herself nurtured. An absolutely beautiful story.
Fairy story set in the woods. I love the setting in the woods as being a friendly good place to be, unlike woods in many children's books where the woods are evil, bad places. Wait. Maybe that's why parents aren't letting their children go out on their own any more. We loved reading this together, daughter and I.
I have been reading this with my daughter and find it absolutely delightful. What a wonderful story and the writing it so enjoyable. Hepatica has become a favorite character of mine and such a sweet example of a heroine for my daughter.
Have such fond memories of my mom reading this to me when I was in fifth grade as I was going to bed! Magical read with such soothing storytelling. It felt like a fairy tale! (May have read this in 2012 but I don't remember so I'm just placing the book here)