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Beyond the Pawpaw Trees: The Story of Anna Lavinia (1954)

by Palmer Brown

Series: Anna Lavinia (1)

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1056196,684 (4.62)11
Wondrous things happen when Anna Lavinia, a young girl who lives in a distant house behind a grove of pawpaw trees, sets off to travel to her aunt's house.



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English (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
Rather delightful, in the dreamlike vein of Alice in Wonderland or the Phantom Tollbooth. It's one of those stories in which nothing is wasted - every little detail, however small or whimsical, comes back to be useful later on. ( )
  alexenglishauthor | Jul 11, 2019 |
An dreamlike children's fantasy. It has a surreal quality that I am not used to. Anna Lavinia is growing up in an unhappy home, with a missing father and a miserable mother. One morning her mother sends her alone on a long train trip to visit her aunt, for no particular reason. Partway through the trip, the engineer gets left behind, and Anna Lavinia, her cat, and the train journey on together, until they get to where the tracks meet, the end of the line. Anna Lavinia thinks perhaps she should be concerned, but since everything seems to be going all right, she doesn't bother. She continues on in this unflappable way, through ever stranger adventures.

I would have loved this book when I was about eight. But I think this is a children's book that does not work as well for adults, no matter how much we want it to. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
I had never heard of this book before, perhaps because it was out of print for many years. Then I heard what a wonderful book it was on a book blog. I'd been looking for a "first" chapter book to read aloud to my five year old daughter. It is back in print now, so I ordered a copy.

It is such a charming story. It was written in the 1950's. It is the story of a girl named Anna Lavinia who lives with her mom in a distant house far away from neighbors and the village. When she finally ventures out beyond the grove of paw paw trees to visit her aunt by train, Anna Lavinia begins what is to become a magical journey to distant lands full of secrets and surprises.

I had so much fun reading this book for the first time as an adult. I can only imagine how much better it must be for a child to read this. My five year old LOVED it. Every night we read one or two chapters and she would race through her bedtime routine, just because she was so excited to hear more of the story. There are very cute pencil sketch drawings on almost every page (sometimes every other page.)

I think there is a second book and it is coming back to print in April 2012. I definitely will read that to my daughter as well and I look so forward to continue Anna Lavinia's adventures. This was the best chapter book ever to read to your young children and a great book for anyone of all ages to enjoy. I count myself lucky to have discovered this book. ( )
1 vote melaniehope | Feb 14, 2012 |
Absolutely the top of my list when I was in elementary school - seemed so exotic for a blue-blood Bostonian! ( )
3 vote amcan | Jan 13, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
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By the very early morning light, Anna Lavinia was sitting at her bedroom window trying to thread a needle, and somehow it just would not thread! In getting a pair of clean stockings from her top bureau drawer she had found two pieces of silk ribbon, too short to be good for anything. But sewn together they would be long enough to make a bow for Stawberry, Anna Lavinia's ginger cat.
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Wondrous things happen when Anna Lavinia, a young girl who lives in a distant house behind a grove of pawpaw trees, sets off to travel to her aunt's house.

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