Where I live, people still are recovering from a hurricane (well, a tropical storm). A little over a year ago, Tropical Storm Irene blew through Vermont leaving behind a mess of flooded rivers, power outages, and flooded towns and farms. Last week another hurricane came up the East Coast. While Vermont escaped the worst of Sandy's weather, other states were not as fortunate.
Which brings us to the book: Miss Twiggley's Tree by Dorothea Warren Fox.
I remember reading this book when I was a child. In fact, I read it over and over. I loved the idea of a person living in a tree with a clever dog and two big, hairy, friendly bears.
Miss Twiggly has made a wonderful home in a huge willow tree. She is happy playing Chinese Checkers with the bears, but is so shy around other people that she hides when they come to her tree to visit.
"...one gets a bit shy when one lives in a tree."
A hurricane hits the nearby town, washing out the bridge and flooding the streets. Wet townspeople and an assortment of animals head for Miss Twiggly's tree (and the house way up in the branches) in anything that floats. A mother cat and her kittens arrive in a straw hat.
This is a sweet story, a little old-fashioned even. As you might guess, Miss Twiggly and her bears welcome the townspeople into the tree house and a happy ending.
"And Miss Twiggly found out something wonderful, too:
When emergencies come, you don't think about you.
You help all you can. And you never ask why.
Then the first thing you know, you forget to be shy."
I recommend Miss Twiggly's Tree as a read aloud, or for young readers who will love the tree house and bears as much as I do. Two paws up rating.