Lydia was quiet and full of imagination, Jean was adventurous yet bossy, but together with their baby brother Mark, Father, and Cousin Mary, they made just the right sort of family. They loved doing things together, and in these stories that run through all the months of the year, they have old-fashioned fun together in New England during the 1940s.
On a wintry day in January, they share ice cream cones in a snow cave dug out by Father. February brings a sleigh ride—accompanied by the magical sound of jingling bells, they drive to the country as twilight descends, filling the air with hushed wonder.
When Father buys a red second-hand car, which the children name the Dragon, they are off on more day trips and adventures. In spring they help a farmer with sugaring—collecting sap from maple trees as the Iroquois did, and on Easter morning this close family watches the sunrise over Nantasket beach. So on through the seasons, til it is winter again and they spend Christmas in a cottage by the sea.
Illustrated by Marguerite Davis. New cover by Bethie Engstrom.
We've created maps of 1940s Hingham, Massachusetts and the surrounding areas so you can see where Jean and Lydia's adventures take them.
What a joy this book is! Each month's story ends with a lovely poem. Here is June's poem—after the Dragon takes them to Nantasket beach for a picnic in the rain, the children go for a ride on the merry-go-round.
The two little girls
In their bright fresh dresses,
With their serious faces
And their blackberry tresses,
Are riding painted horses
On an old merry-go-round,
Circling, circling, circling,
To a sweet enchanted sound.
They are sitting in their saddles
As a bird sits in a tree,
And the way they hold their bridle reins
Is romance and chivalry.
With their eyes upon the distance
And a light and easy seat,
No one will ever know what joy
The children ride to meet.