When I was little someone--probably my grandmother-- gave me Miss Flora McFlimsey's Christmas Eve, and I fell in love without even understanding that the delightful watercolor paintings were illustrated by the book's author, Mariana.
I just knew I loved the little doll who was forgotten for years in an attic with only a toy sheep who could no longer baaa and a box of tiddly-winks. She did have a mouse to talk to, though.
Miss Flora had once belonged to a girl with red-topped shoes but that girl had grown up long ago. So Flora sat in the attic, lonely in her faded silk dress and straw hat.
One year on Christmas Eve, she so wanted to see a decorated tree again she slipped downstairs
Santa showed up and realized he was one doll short. When he saw Flora he set her under the tree. The other dolls , a brand-new bride and one in a fashionable coat, laughed at her. Then her mouse friend and the angel from the top of the tree found Flora's trunk of clothes and brought out a blue velvet dress, gold locket, white gloves and hand muff.
Mariana paints a glorious page full of bonnets, parasol, pantaloons, shoes and hats that come from the trunk.
"And then the wonderful thing that she felt was about to happen, really did happen." When morning comes, Miss Flora McFlimsey is sought out and once again loved by a little girl.
Not only did I love that book, I remembered it years later and mentioned how much it had meant to me to a friend. And what did my friend do? Found me a library edition online. Miss Flora McFlimsey and I are reunited. And we feel the love.
I'm feeling lots of award love these days. Julie Dao at Silver Lining
passed along the Silver Lining Award. Julie is a YA writer with some fantastic works-in-progress. Be sure to check her out. Thank you, Julie.
I plan to do some blog links in the near future for this and two other awards. After the holidays!
And finally, I just want to sincerely wish every one, of all faiths or non-faiths, of all ethnicities and nationalities, a peaceful holiday and a most happy and prosperous New Year.
PEACE ON EARTH. That's my wish.