I have read Holly and Ivy every Christmas since 1963. It is a family tradition, especially since I have two adopted children who really appreciate the storyline. It is about a runaway orphan girl who disappears on Christams Eve, and lands up in a cold strange town with no place to stay. It is a story about wishing. Holly is wishing for a doll this Christmas and Ivy (a doll in a toyshop window) is wishing for a girl this Christmas.) In the toyshop there is a villain, a mean toy owl, who tries to prevent any toy going to a home for Christmas. His name is Abracadabra and the toys are all afraid of him. This story has the most unexpected and beautiful ending. Boys love this story as much as girls. I think they identify with the toy owl more than the doll.
Every year I give a copy or two of this book to families I know, who would apprecial such a well written and illustrated book.
Once the children have heard this story, they ask for it every Christmas. It's one of those stories you never forget.The dear friend who gave me my first copy years ago, died at 100 years old, just a few months ago. She read it every Christmas.