'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 15 November 2010

Review: A Proper Little Lady

This proper little lady is turning twenty-one this year, yet her story has not aged one bit.

My daughter, two years old, now includes this book amongst her favourites and often quotes from it. Just as Australian children have done for two decades before her.

Young Annabella Jones is trying her best to be a lady. She dresses in her beautiful dress, petticoat, second-best knickers, lacy socks, shiny shoes, hat, white gloves and necklace, heading out for the day looking rather beautiful.

And she is determined to remain clean, tidy and proper.

But there are so many tempting things outside. There are trees to climb, people to help, billy-carts to race and ball games to play. How does one do such things and remain prim and neat?

Suffice to say Annabella and her mum agree that jeans and a t-shirt are much more appropriate attire for next time.

This story is told beautifully, with lovely read aloud rhythm and just the right amount of repetition to make it a firm favourite with little girls. A touch of cheeky humour also hits the right note.

A Proper Little Lady was shortlisted for the CBCA’s Book of the Year in 1989, and time has certainly shown that it was well worth the honour. The story is just as relevant in 2010 as it was in the eighties and nineties.

After all, little girls still love to have fun and get dirty! And I suspect they always will.

Title: A Proper Little Lady
Author: Nette Hilton
Illustrator: Cathy Wilcox
Publisher: HarperCollins, $14.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1989
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780207170089
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture book

This book is available online