REVIEW: The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden
It is Christmas Eve and, for the toys in Mr Blossom’s shop, it is their last chance to be sold. Holly, a small doll dressed especially for Christmas, wishes hard for her own special child. But the day ends and Holly is left in the window.
On Christmas morning a little lost orphan girl finds herself outside the toyshop. Ivy has never had a doll to love, but when she sees Holly, she knows at once that this doll is meant specially for her. But Ivy has no money, and the shop is closed . . .
The Story of Holly and Ivy is a Christmas classic by Rumer Godden, beautifully illustrated by Christian Birmingham.
This is a charming – if somewhat improbable – story. But then it’s about wishes and Christmas so it can be as improbable as it wants and still be charming. I will say that the Kindle price is outrageous even for a charming Rumer Godden story. It is not 81 pages long.
Holly is a doll who wishes for a little girl. Ivy is a little girl who wishes for a home … and a doll. But it’s Christmas Eve day and Ivy is being sent by train from the children’s home she lives in to another place since everyone is gone and Holly is in a toy store along with many other toys. The toys know they have to be sold by Christmas or they will be put into (gulp) storage where, says Abracadabra the grumpy owl, toys stay in the dark and get dusty. Or at least Holly with her red dress and green petticoat and stockings will since she’s obviously a Christmas doll. Ivy convinces herself that she has a grandmother who must be in the town of this last train stop. But after a day of wandering through the market, Ivy’s not found her yet.
Yeah, it’s serious wish fulfillment going on but it’s Christmas, right?
But when Ivy sees Holly, she knows that’s the doll for her while Holly knows Ivy is the child who will hold her and love her. So how does Ivy get the doll she wishes for? And how does Holly get the child she wishes for?
Well, that involves a tired shopkeeper, a shop assistant with a hole in his pocket, a nice policeman and his wife who decides that this year, she’s going to get a Christmas tree, some candles and some colored balls to put on it.
The edition I have has lovely drawings and as I said, it is charming and
“It’s Christmas – a time for wishes to come true.”