Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Lizzie Nonsense* by Jan Ormerod

Lizzie Nonsense
by Jan Ormerod
ages 4-8 32 pages Clarion Books August 2005 Hardcover    

Lizzie is a little girl with a vivid imagination who lives in the bush country with her parents and baby sibling. In their isolated world, Lizzie’s father must take his horse-drawn cart of sandalwood over fifty miles to market, while mother and children are left behind to manage until his return. In this lonely life, Lizzie's overactive imagination turns every task into an adventure.

Lizzie’s mother is fond of exclaiming, “Nonsense, Lizzie!” whenever her daughter announces a new make-believe adventure, but Lizzie will not be deterred. Lizzie uses the limb of a tree for her horse, reins attached to a branch, a paper crown on her head; when baby is having a bath, Lizzie sings, "You're afloat on a boat on a big, wide sea"; the girl fancies herself a bride, a garland of flowers in her hair, as her mother tends the garden; and, sitting down to the usual fare of turnips for dinner, Lizzie announces, "Tonight we will eat peaches and cream and little sweet cakes.”

No matter how many times her mother says “Nonsense!” Lizzie brightens their world, lifting daily drudgery into light-hearted banter as they wait for Father to return. On Sunday, Lizzie's mama indulges in a bit in fancy herself, dressing all in their best clothes, walking along the road, pretending they have been to church. Finally, the jangling of a harness announces Father’s return to the family.

Wonderful illustrations bring this story to life, the autumn hues of the bush country and the miles of isolation made livable by a little girl’s fancies. A perfect mix of pictures and prose tell a charming story of bush life years ago, where dingoes howl at night and nature is an ever-present part of the landscape. Little Lizzie creates a fairy-tale ambiance, bringing joy to her family and to young readers who learn of the early struggles of families in a sparsely populated country, turning hardship into fables in the magic world of imagination.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (