by Elizabeth Orton Jones


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Twig was just a plain, ordinary little girl who lived on the fourth floor of a "high sort of house" in the city. The back yard behind that house was Twig's little world. It was a bare little world, with nothing but a dandelion and a stream of drainpipe water to make it beautiful; with nobody but Old Boy, the ice-wagon horse, Old Girl, the cat, and the Sparrows, to keep Twig company.

But one day, out in the alley, Twig found an empty tomato can, with pictures of bright red tomatoes all round it. When it was upside down, it looked like a pretty little house, just the right size for a fairy! Twig stood it upside down next to the dandelion, not far from the stream. And this is the story of what happened in and around that little house one Saturday afternoon.

A story full of magic, full of fun, full of fantasy interwoven with reality, and full of the kind of tenderness which belongs most particularly to the very young. A story both girls and boys will love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781930900455
Publisher: Purple House Press
Publication date: 08/28/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 152
Sales rank: 475,960
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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Twig 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really appreciated how well this book captured my imagination. I too read this book in the fourth grade. (Twenty plus years ago.) To you who enjoyed how the story propelled you into faeryland, you may laugh to hear that in my youth I made my own little faery houses in my back yard under a cedar bush with the hope that a faery would move in. Deep down I knew the truth--I never did meet a faery--but the book was vivid enough I revisited it again and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my mother's favorite book as a child and then it was mine! Such a wonderful, sweet fantasy for children of all ages. Great to read to your children at bedtime and for them to read on their own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is a time in childhood when everything seems magical, fanciful and fresh. This lovely book brings back those tender moments. Wonderful!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have searched for this for years...I finally got smart and used the Library of Congress' website to find the author. To my delighted surprise, this book is being put back in to print in October! I read 'Twig' as a fourth grader at West Side Elementary in Sidney, MT, huddled in the corner of our public school library, lost in the magical world of make-believe and fairy tales! Read this to your children, grandchildren, grandparents, students, the neighbor children...even to your spouse! It will take you back to the fourth grade, too!
catz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author put Twig in an ants shoes and I really like how authors have that sort of power.
jugglingpaynes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a sweet story, originally published in 1942, about a little girl who uses her imagination to create a magical world in her tiny urban backyard. It would work well as a read-aloud with young children. The language is repetitive, but in imitation of a child excitedly speaking and grasping for words in their limited vocabulary. I could picture my own kids telling me this story about playing house with fairies and elves. Certain details date the tale, like the ice-wagon horse, but this does not detract from the charm of this simple story and its magical illustrations.
Treeseed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Twig is a perfectly charming book originally published in 1942 that was written and illustrated by the talented Elizabeth Orton Jones whose nickname is Twig. It is the story of a little girl named Twig who lives with her parents on the fourth floor of a tenement building. Her family is poor and she wears patched shoes and a worn-out dress. Her world consists of the backyard of her building, a bleak little place where nothing but a single dandelion grows. The only "scenery" is a tiny stream created by a leaky drain-pipe. Twig is lonely even though she has made friends with Sparrow and Mrs. Sparrow, two birds who nest in the alley adjacent to Twig's building as well as Old Boy, the ice-wagon horse and Old Girl, a stray cat. One day Twig finds a discarded tomato can and she thinks that when it is turned on end it looks just like a perfect house for a fairy. The rest of the book tells the story that ensues when Mrs. Sparrow finds a small elf named Elf at the public library and flies him home to meet Twig. Elf, as it turns out, has in his possession a mysterious book of magic spells and he is able to shrink Twig down to his size. They take up residence in the tomato can and experience adventures that culminate in meeting the beautiful Queen of the Fairies and also a funny wise old character called Lord Buzzle Cobb-Webb, a leading magician among the fairies. The book's publishers say that it is intended for 9-12 year old age group but I think it is actually more fitting for the 5-9 year old group. Older children could read it for themselves but the story line is too purposely "precious" for modern 10-12 year olds in my opinion. I think the book is best when read aloud to children and will delight young children. The author frequently uses onomatopoeia in the telling of this story which makes this an engaging book to experience aloud and a fun experience to share with little listeners. The story has a couple of clever alternate story lines and a cute plot twist at the end that will tickle the older child and any adult readers but may go over the heads of the younger listeners. This will not effect their enjoyment of the book in any way. The story cleverly entertains with its fairy plot but also offers food for thought and a helpful message for children about the imagination and about the value of a person. The book is a short chapter novel and as such will need three or four readings aloud to complete. A grade school student who reads it on their own will polish it off in about the same time. The book's illustrations are my favorite part. They are detailed, whimsical and imaginative, bringing the characters to life. Elizabeth Orton Jones won the Caldecott Medal for her illustrations of Rachel Field's Prayer for a Child in 1945 and is the illustrator of probably the best loved and well known version of Little Red Riding Hood, the one published by Western Publishing as a Little Golden Book. The illustrations are water color and ink and are printed here in four colors, red, green, yellow and black. Red and green combinations also provide a shade of brown to some of the illustrations. The result while not overly colorful is charming in its simplicity and has the effect of drawing the viewer's attention more to the detail of the artwork. The illustrations appear on at least every fourth page. Some are full page illustrations appearing alone on a page with no text and some are found within the text. The full pages of text that are found are not boring for children if read aloud because of the lively way in which the story is related and because of the swiftness of the turning of events. I also like the fact that even though the subject of fairies is a very common one in children's literature the fairies from the pen of Elizabeth Orton Jones have lots of personality and some wonderful unique little details. When Mrs. Sparrow meets Elf for the first time she sees that he is wearing a little suit that seems to be made of leather. It turns out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
((It's Flicker!!! :D)) I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I LOVE THIS STORY. There's not much else to say. Maybe to clear things up for a few people, you should incoporate a few flashbacks. All in all, great story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, why is Blake a spy? Did the spies just suddenly come and say,"Hey! Welcome to the spy team?" Or did they carefully watch him? He needs a background story. So far, this makes mo sense and goes too fast. Slow down your ideas and incorporae them later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I woke up in a small metal room. I looked around and saw the door open. I followed my instincts and walked outside . And what i saw,was absolutally beautiful. People wearing suits that made them invisible! A women wearing what looked like green nikes ,was walking up a wall ! "Like what you see blake"? said a slight italian accent that i know knew. I spun around and shot back "are you kidding me? This place is awesome!" She smirked slightly at my outburst. "Well what are you waiting for,lets get geared up?" Now i was really exited. We walked into a room that smelled strangely like car fuel. She gave me six items in all. A pair of the green nikes,an invisible suit, a special camera that can see through nearly anything ( i'll be looking at some girls later on ;-) ))) a special jetpack,a tablet that can hack anything,and some old watch. The red haired women said the watch would help me in the trickiest of situations. But what would a watch do? Its just an old watch just like the one my dad used to wear. The red haired women saw the confused look on my face and said "you need to meet someone" 'oh great more spies yippee' i thought sarcasticlly in my head. Only the next spy i met,wasnt going to be suspected. As we walked into the metal room again,i found a man sitting on my bed. Instantly memories came flooding back
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful classic children's book that never should have been allowed to go out of print! One of my favorites. I read this each year to the delight of my fourth grade students from my old worn copies. The books I have belonged to my late great aunt Betty Holden, an elemetary teacher in Palo Alto. She read it to me in the '60s, She wrote a note in one that says the book will always remind her of a teacher of her own. This is real literature. Set in the early part of the century in the bare dirt back yard of a rundown inner city tenement, the happy, imaginative optimism of a little girl alone at play creates a world that is anything but dreary. We are introduced to the reality of Twig's little world through her point of view while she walks four flights down the back porch stairways of the building past each occupant and an active bird nest. The reader sees that this is where Twig collects the fodder of reality that she soon projects into her fantasy dreamland when she arrives on the ground to play. We can tell she idolizes the beauty of a young wife, shows respect and bemusement at the old spectacled landlord who gives her gum, etc. In the dirt of the back yard, she transforms a ripped tomato can, a gum wrapper, toothpaste top, bottle caps, a dandelion and a trickle of water into a marvelous imaginary realm of a setting inwhich to invite an elf named 'Elf' and a Fairy Queen. She magicly transforms to become one in size and spirit with her newfound imaginary friends, which of course, seem quite palpable by this point in the story. The writing is wonderful and so are the gorgeous illustrations. This is an easy story for children to become absorbed into. It is written with a genuine childlike perspective. But there are also subtle and amusing social commentary and some neat literary devices as well. Twig projects woes into Sparrows' life based upon marital difficulty she sees in the apartment, for instance. The book is sophisticated enough that one is aware of being able to read into the it on a number of levels. One inventive chapter goes off on a discouraging tangent, as one's imagination may, and so is repeated anew with the proper optomistic twists and ending that keep the story alive. The story has a 'perfectly lovely end'. It is worth reading to find. It is like waiting for the story to begin all over again! Which it is sure to do many times if you read this book but once.