22 Dec 2016


WHAT KATY DID by SUSAN COOLIDGE. (Illustrated by Susan Hellard)


Selling Points:
  • New edition of a widely loved children's classic, which is fondly remembered by generations of readers
  • Featuring stunning illustrations by Susan Hellard, who will bring Katy to 21st century readers. Her work is zingy and dynamic just like Katy herself
  • Contains extra material for young readers, including a Test Yourself quiz, a character guide, and a section about Susan Coolidge's life.
Series: Alma Children's Classics
November 17th 2016
246 pp . PB
Subject: YFA
Age Range: 9-11

DESCRIPTION: Katy, a twelve-year-old gangly tomboy, dreams of blossoming into a sophisticated young woman, capable of grand deeds and adventures. She is however prone to mischief, and leads her six siblings into various scrapes, much to the annoyance of her kindly father and domineering aunt. Her life is turned upside down by a terrible accident, which leaves her a bedridden invalid. Now she is forced to learn the virtues of patience, sacrifice and hopefulness, as she comes to terms with her disability.

A heart-warming tale that has become a children’s classic since its publication in 1872, Susan Coolidge’s What Katy Did is a lesson in the value of good humour and perseverance against the odds for young readers. Beautifully illustrated by Susan Hellard, this is a poignant and timeless story that every child should read.

FIRST SENTENCE {1. The Little Carrs}: I was sitting in the meadows one day, not long ago, at a place, where there was a small brook.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 125}: Swinging to and fro like the pendulum of a great clock, she gradually rose higher and higher, driving herself along by the motion of her body and striking the floor smartly with her foot at every sweep.

SOURCE: Received from the publishers Alma Books.

MY THOUGHTS: One of the few books from my childhood that I've re-read as an adult and actually enjoyed.

I remember thinking of Katy as a hybrid of my (naughty) little sister and myself ... perhaps the reason I loved her? Whilst not exactly naughty, highly imaginative (like myself), she is one of those children who things just seem to happen to (my sister). Her family what I suppose you could describe as 'salt of the earth' types, in all honesty the whole tone of the book is a tad moralistic.

Carefree to begin with, we get to see another side of Katy's character as she is left bed ridden whereupon the message about not wallowing in self pity etc is driven home.

Written at a time (the mid 1800's) when disability was looked upon very differently. I guess if I were to be overly critical about this book it would be about this aspect of the story but as it is, all in all, as charming a read as I remember it. Katy is essentially spirited enough to appeal to the little girls of today and is likely to prove a nostalgic hit with those who remember the story from their own childhood. 


Gina R said...

I can see the illustrations catching attention for certain and as for the story, it sounds like it has potential despite the difference of times. Great share... you imaginative reader you 😉!

Literary Feline said...

I am not familiar with this book, but it does sound like a good one, even if dated. I will have to keep this in mind for my daughter.

Kelly said...

This is not a book I'm familiar with, either. In some ways, it reminds me of Pollyanna, a book I first read when I was confined to leg braces and a wheelchair when I was a child. In fact, I think I still have that same copy in my collection of children's books.

This sounds like a good story.

Suko said...

Your review is lovely, Tracy. I like the idea that this book is "a lesson in the value of good humour and perseverance against the odds for young readers".

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I don't think I've heard of this one. Katy sounds like a spunky girl! I like when classic stories come back, or are still well loved.


LL Cool Joe said...

Strangely enough I do remember this book, well the title, but I'm not sure I read it, but I have a sense from your review that I did. I do have issues with memories from my childhood, but this took me back in time.

Betty Manousos said...

here's wishing you and yours all the joys of the season. merry christmas! X