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The Story of Holly and Ivy
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The Story of Holly and Ivy

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,615 ratings  ·  209 reviews
Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she's sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true? This festive tale is perfectly ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 14th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published 1958)
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,615 ratings  ·  209 reviews

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Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A feel good story for this time of year! 🎅🏻
Nov 15, 2015 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
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.
Cynthia Ainsworth
Feb 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Great Book Study
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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!
Dhanaraj Rajan
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another lovely piece of children's literature.

It is a lovey story for the season of Christmas. No regrets that I have read it out of season. It is a small gem that can be brushed quickly every Christmas season.

It is about an orphan girl who longs for a small toy to chase away the emptiness that occasionally wells up within her and searches for a family that will take her during the lovely season of Christmas. By now you would have guessed the story and the possible ending. There is no prize for
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sweet enough to melt the heart of a curmudgeonly atheist. Much honor to Godden's magic way with words, and Barbara Cooney's pictures certainly helped the edition I read.
Lisa Vegan
Jul 08, 2010 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
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning Chapter-Book Readers Looking for Sweet Stories Featuring Christmas, Dolls and/or Orphans
The Story of Holly and Ivy, illustrated by Adrienne Adams.

I have always loved Rumer Godden's The Story of Holly and Ivy, a delightful little Christmas tale in which a lonely doll named Holly, and a lonelier orphan named Ivy, find one another and a home, all thanks to the magic of the season. But as I was rereading it this Christmas Eve past, it suddenly occurred to me that this wasn't the story of two lonely souls, but of three. Which, if you've read the book, might seem obvious. How odd that, a
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, 2017-read
A beautiful Christmas story about a doll who needs a person and an orphan who wants a doll.

June Jacobs
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.

Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone on Christmas!
This has to be one of my favourite Christmas books ever. Rummer Godden is an incredible writer, and just hits the spot when it comes to Christmas and dolls!!
Elsa K
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Such a sweet Christmas read aloud. I remember having this book as a kid. I think it probably appeals more to girls (my boys couldn't get into the importance of having a new doll), but my boys still enjoyed it. Abracadabra made it more appealing to them. Ha! I love the pictures and the old fashioned feel.
Oct 31, 2011 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 rated it it was amazing
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
Katie  Hanna
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love to read Christmas stories especially children's books . This was a very charming one. I borrowed it from the library but plan to buy my own copy.

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
Dec 07, 2015 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!
I always love Christmas books, for Christmas is the best holiday for me. Christmas season is the happiest part of the year, especially in my country, Philippines, that has a very long Christmas season. Sadly, we don't have any snow to experience but the Christmas spirit is way beyond snowflakes. Christmas Eve is the most exciting day for me, all of us in the family will go home to celebrate and we will go to church together, Christmas decorations are everywhere, Christmas movies to watch, food p ...more
Nhi Nguyễn
This is absolutely a magical and wonderful Christmas story full of warmth and delight that will guarantee to tug at your heart strings. The way the author arrange all the events to finally let the three main lonely characters - Ivy the little girl, Holly the doll and Mrs. Jones, who all wanted someone to love and somewhere to belong to - meet one another is absolutely masterly!!! It kept me reading on and on and on till the miraculous and beautiful ending. This story highlights the importance of ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very sweet Christmas story about a girl who needed a family, a doll who needed a girl, and a woman who ached to love a child. A Christmas miracle in the end!
Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker
My absolute favorite Christmas picture book. Normally I don't put picture books that I read on Goodreads, but this one is quite a bit longer than usual - it's about 32 pages, with a lot of text. I highly recommend reading it though. Beautiful story for the holiday season.
Nov 26, 2016 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 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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!
Nov 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Originally published in a 1957 edition of Ladies Home Journal, this heartfelt Christmas story still charms little girls, and their grandmothers, today. Miracles are often interconnected wishes with willing feet and a receptive heart.

A bit dated, but sweetly illustrated and nicely written.
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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