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An old-fashioned story on cream colored pages, newly illustrated with nostalgic sepia drawings and told in that tone of once-removed amusement that is no longer directed at young readers. (The girls are ""little maids"" whose ""pride has a fall"" and brother Eph tramps away on a dubious errand ""laughing good naturedly"" and ""devoutly hoping that nothing serious would happen to punish such audacity""). It's about a large family ""poor in money but rich in land and love"" and file prose, especially at the start, is overrich in such alliteration -- there's an overflowing barn, buttery and bin, a mother who is flushed and floury but busy and blithe, and a house full of children engaged with rustic toys and tasks. Their adventure occurs when the parents are called away to Mrs. Bassett's mother's sickbed on a snowy Thanksgiving eve and Tillie and Prue have a chance to prepare the feast on their own. The girls are brimful of importance when Pa and Ma return with two sleighs full of relatives (having left Gran'ma chirp as you please), dejected when both the stuffin' and the pudding come out utter failures, but cheered somewhat by Aunt Cinthy's compliment on the vegetables and by all the fiddling and dancing, apples and cider, chat and singing and grand kissing all around that end the evening. The sentimentality will be allowed in view of the occasion, the story's age, and the homey particulars, and we can thank Alcott for seasoning her happy ending with an affectionate disclosure of the girls' fallibility. For those who would like to duplicate the meal with happier results, a menu and recipes are appended.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1974
ISBN: 1557091358
Page count: 74pp
Publisher: Lippincott