“Twig” by Elizabeth Orton Jones (a Caldecot award winner) is a classic children’s story of a poor little girl who lives with her parents on the fourth floor of a rundown apartment house in New York City in the earlier part of the century.
Twig’s life is rather ordinary and she entertains herself by playing in the backyard behind the house with simple objects such as a tomato can, toothpaste tops, gum wrappers, a dandelion, and the water that comes out of an old drainpipe.
When Twig turns the tomato can upside down she realizes that it looks like the perfect home for a fairy and begins to wish with all of her might that one would move in. Instead, “Elf” moves in and magically shrinks Twig to the size of a fairy. They move into the tomato can together and simple adventures unfold.
How did Charlotte enjoy it?
Charlotte is 6-years old and I assumed the little girl Twig to be between ages five and six so I thought this book would be exceptionally enjoyable for her. She enjoyed the fact that the story was full of magic and imagination, however the story is meant to be slow. And simple. Without giving too much away, it’s meant to be told through the eyes of a really young child from the 1930’s or 1940’s whose imagination hasn’t been influenced by movies and television whatsoever. Charlotte is a bit used to more action-packed fairy stories such as Tinkerbell or Rainbow Magic. At times, I think, perhaps the linguistics were rather advanced for her due to the time period in which it was written.
I, however, zone out during Rainbow Magic and Tinkerbell and found the old fashioned story-telling aspects of “Twig” to be charming and enchanting. It reminded me of being turned loose in the backyard when I was a child and just … finding stuff to do.
I would still read “Twig” over again to Charlotte even though it wasn’t her favorite because I appreciated the nature of it so much. Maybe I will try again in a year!
I’d recommend “Twig” to children ages 4-9 years old!