Children's, Classic Fiction, Family dynamics, Fiction, MacLachlan-Patricia

#591 Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlanSarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Anna and Caleb want a new mother. Their mother is gone and they’ve been without one for a while. Their father has been writing to a woman in Maine. He took out an advertisement in the paper for a wife and Sarah answered. Sarah soon writes to both Anna and Caleb. Yes, she can sing.

Sarah will come to their farm in the waves of grain. She is plain and she is tall. She will be wearing a yellow bonnet. Sarah does arrive and she and her cat take readily to the farm, and to the family. She teaches Anna and Caleb to swim in the cow pond and, yes, she sings with the children.

The children worry that she will go away, but Sarah stays.

What I liked

I could not tell you how many times I have read this book. The opening paragraphs are so familiar to me. I’ve read the book over and over again and I’ve seen the movies. Yes, there are movies. This book is just a sweet little story about two kids who really wanted a mother and they got one.

What I didn’t like

This isn’t really a comment on Patricia’s book, but it’s more a comment on life–it amazes me that some kids end up with step-parents that are so great. I have a step-parent and while not an evil person, he’s hasn’t been the best father figure. Some people just aren’t down with parenting another person’s children. Something I admire about Sarah is that she marches right in there and takes up the position of mother, even when other women may not have.


I think I would have gotten along with Sarah.

Weigh In

Do you think Caleb and Anna lucked out in the step-parent department?

What would have happened to Caleb and Anna had Sarah not been so nice?


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