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MOLLY LIMBO by Margaret Hodges

MOLLY LIMBO

By Margaret Hodges (Author) , Elizabeth Miles (Illustrator)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80581-0
Publisher: Atheneum

 Hodges (Comus, p. 135, etc.) draws on various sources of English and Scottish folklore to create this beguiling story of a house haunted by Molly Limbo, wife of a pirate and currently inhabiting a room at the top of the house. To miserly Mr. Means, the house, charmingly depicted in watercolors with borders painted to look like aged paper, is priced right. He doesn't mind living with a ghost he doesn't believe in. He moves in, buries his money, then hires Mrs. Handy, the widow next door, to cook and clean for him. Her first day of work leaves her bone-tired, but makes only a dent in the mess. She can hardly believe her eyes when she arrives the next day to find the house spotless. Apparently another housekeeper has lent a ghostly hand. When she finishes that day, Mrs. Handy sets out a cupcake and milk to thank Molly. Mr. Means soon decides one housekeeper is enough and fires Mrs. Handy; that night, Molly creates disorder in the house, leaving a pertinent note in flour she's scattered on the kitchen floor. Mr. Means takes the message to heart, rehiring Mrs. Handy and soon acquiring genuine affection for her and her children. Masterful handling of intriguing material, accompanied by visuals that recall Arthur Rackham's work; this is an entertaining read bolstered by positive values. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8.)