WILLA AND OLD MISS ANNIE by Berlie Doherty

WILLA AND OLD MISS ANNIE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A fine author who won Carnegie medals in both 1987 and 1992 for YA novels re-creates the sensibilities of a young child in three linked stories. After moving to ``a big town, far away,'' Willa is lonely. When she meets Miss Annie, her bent, twisted old hands frighten Willa and she doesn't understand her words, ``so tiny that you could hardly hear them. They were more like secrets.'' Willa thinks Miss Annie has a ``ghost'' in her garden; at night, the white form resembles one, but it's really a lonely goat; by the time Willa and Miss Annie find him an appropriate home the two are friends. In the long central chapter they happen on a pony that has nearly died after being tethered and abandoned--a heartwrenching animal story tempered by its happy outcome and the gritty, satirical characterizations of the villains. ``Vicky Fox'' presents the sad probabilities inherent in trying to keep a wild pet and the differing perceptions of old and young towards possession and friendship between humans and animals; here Willa makes another friend, her own age. Astutely observed, elegantly crafted, and easily read, these thoughtful stories deserve a place beside Phillipa Pearce's A Dog So Small and Dick King-Smith's Sophie books. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 1-56402-331-1
Page count: 92pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1994




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