We all try to get our children to read when they're small.  I know my kids had more books than they could possibly read, and their favorite was this giant book on dinosaurs.  All three of them would sit for hours with their plastic figures and go through the book to identify them.  They could read the names of dinosaurs before they could read anything else.

I, too, had my favorites.  Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Alice in Wonderland, and others.  But my all time favorites, especially when I was in elementary school, were the Dorrie books by Patricia Coombs.  I only owned one of these books, but my school librarian would save the new ones for me, and I was always the first to check them out.  I know one of the worst days I had was when I went to the local library to check them out for my kids, and they were no longer there.

These picture books aren't overly complex, but Dorrie is just an awesome character.  She's a little witch 'whose hat is always crooked and whose socks never match'.  She lives with Big Witch and Cook, and she has some of the greatest adventures ever.  In one book she goes up against the Pin Witch, who is making everyone grumpy with magic pins in their clothing, and in another she has to get the Dreamyard Monsters back under control.  But this isn't all she does.  She's usually the first to realize something is wrong, and she's the first to take action to fix it.

Dorrie is a lovable character and a bit of a misfit, and I think that's one of the things that makes her so grand.  She doesn't so much worry about what others think of her; she just does what she thinks she needs to do.  The illustrations are simple and mostly black and white, but there's a magic to them that doesn't exist in other books, and they really capture the idea of Dorrie and her world.

Over the last few years I've been working on collecting some of these books - of course, reprints won't do - and I was thrilled to see that they still hold the same fascination for me that they did when I was little.  They bring back some of the magic that's missing in my adult life.

I've always been a big advocate of getting children to read.  There's nothing better or more relaxing as an adult than curling up with a good book and going somewhere else for a few hours.  The Dorrie series helped to teach me that, and, for that reason, I will always be grateful to Patricia Coombs for writing them.

Best wishes!




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Published by Lissa Dobbs