Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Blue Hill Meadows

The Blue Hill Meadows

Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator:  Ellen Beier 
For ages 8 and up
Harcourt, 2001   ISBN: 978-0152024673

  In Virginia there is a place called Blue Hill and if you visit there you will probably meet the members of the Meadows family. There is Eva, Sullivan and their two sons, Willie and Ray. It is a beautiful place to live, full of small and often very special adventures that come and go with the seasons, that surprise and that delight.

   One surprise comes in the form of a hungry and worn out dog that arrives on the Meadows’ doorstep one day. In no time the dog, Lady, becomes a member of the family, a much loved and appreciated member. It is not long after her arrival that the Meadows discover that Lady is going to have puppies. Great preparations follow this discovery and then the family members have to wait for the puppies to arrive.

   Then there is the time when something extraordinary happens: Blue Hill gets hit by a blizzard. Since Blue Hill normally gets very little snow, this is a big event for the little town. To add to this, Willie Meadows manages to miss the school bus home and is stranded at school in the middle of the storm. Luckily for Willie his teacher, Mr. Theodore, is happy to take Willie to his house for “a blizzard party.”

   With one story for each of the seasons, this wonderful collection touches the heart and brings adventures past and almost forgotten to mind. It is a collection that celebrates the simple things in life, the good things that come without warning and that cannot be bought or found. Cynthia Rylant’s beautifully written words are complemented by evocative paintings in soft colours.