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Honey Bunch: Just a Little Girl by Helen…
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Honey Bunch: Just a Little Girl (1923)

by Helen Louise Thorndyke

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I was given several Honey Bunch books in 1964. Honey Bunch: Just a Little Girl was not among them. I have finally read it 48 years later and I think it's delightful.

Although my copy is a later printing, I doubt that it was revised from the 1923 edition because the huckster and Mr. Jenson's coal delivery men use horses. Mrs. Morton can buy salad vegetables from the huckster. There are butcher shops with sawdust on the floor. Mrs. Morton can have their Thanksgiving turkey delivered to their home. The grocery store has a boy to deliver groceries to homes, too. Mrs. Miller comes to the Morton house on Mondays to wash their clothes in laundry tubs, using a washboard. The whites are first boiled in a tin boiler on the laundry stove. At least she has a wringer so she doesn't have to wring the clothes by hand. Also, in these days before air conditioning, Honey Bunch has a screened porch off her bedroom where she can sleep on warm nights. (I would have loved to have one of those when I was a child in the sixties and it was a big deal that we had an electric fan in the living room.)

Gertrude 'Honey Bunch' Morton will have her 5th birthday early in December near the book. She's a nice little girl who lives in a nice house with both of her parents and her cat. Her father is a lawyer. There's not the slightest hint that he's anything but honest, which is refreshing.

Besides these glimpses into the everyday ways of a middle-class American family who lived in town, we get to follow the fun Honey Bunch has with the other girls on her street. Sure, a cute little dog wrecks havoc at her tea party. Honey Bunch gets into well-meaning mischief. Then there's the problem of forgetting a visitor's name when he could help Daddy save lots of money...

I remember making my first batch of cookies with tiny cookie cutters when I was 5. They didn't turn out well, but not for the same reason as Honey Bunch's first apple pie. Speaking of treats, wish I'd known the recipe for snow ice cream that Mrs. Miller teaches Honey Bunch and her best friend, Ida.

This is a gentle book. If you like children's series from the earlier part of the 20th century, you should enjoy this. ( )
  JalenV | Apr 29, 2012 |
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  JoAParris | Oct 7, 2008 |
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'I hope this doesn't shrink,' said Honey Bunch, holding up her doll's petticoat for Mrs. Miller to see.
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Lady Clare opened her lazy green eyes and stared at Honey Bunch. Lady Clare was a beautiful, sleek cat and she was dressed in black velvet with an ermine collar. That was the reason she was called Lady Clare. Honey Bunch had not noticed at first that the cat wore black velvet; Daddy had pointed out that to her. Daddy showed her the collar of white ermine that went right around the kitty-cat's throat, too. Some people said Lady Clare had black fur and was striped with white fur around her neck, but Honey Bunch knew better; it was velvet and ermine as plain as plain could be. (chapter 1)
While Honey Bunch stared at the window she saw the end of the iron chute come in and then, the next moment, with an awful clatter and racket, the coal rushed in! Honey Bunch had not known anything could make so much noise, and she put her hands up to her ears.

'Lady Clare!' she cried. 'Where's Lady Clare?'

The cat was nowhere to be seen. The coal had come pouring in where she had sat under the window, and as Honey Bunch looked, more coal kept coming.

'She's buried underneath!' said Honey Bunch excitedly. 'Lady Clare is deep down under all that coal!' (chapter 9)
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