Posted in Book Review

Sarah, Plain and Tall

You know how sometimes you have fond memories of a book even when you can’t remember the plot? That’s how it was with me and Sarah, Plain and Tall. When the opportunity arose to re-read it as an adult, I jumped. It’s a pleasant little book full of pretty little images, but as most children’s books go, it lacks some depth. Don’t get me wrong, it has depth, but there’s a reason it’s made for young readers.


If you haven’t read it, it tells the story of a mail-order bride named Sarah who goes to live with a family of three in the West. She comes with the description that she’ll be wearing a yellow bonnet, plain, tall, and of course she can sing. The story is idealistic in the sense that the only conflict the children have is that they are worried Sarah will decide to leave them once she gets there. I’m not sure I know many children who would so willingly welcome a new “mother” into their home that their father hadn’t even met yet.

What an interesting concept that the mail-order bride was. As a single woman, I ponder whether I’d have the guts to do something like that. Of course, times are different now with the ability to Google or Facebook someone. The idea is intriguing though. If you can’t find a husband where you are, answer an ad in the newspaper, uproot your life, and go live with him. I am aware though, that some of these situations probably didn’t turn out so happy as Sarah’s did, but I do admire these women for their courage to do this.

It’s a good book for children to learn about times gone by and to learn about the expansion into the West. Interesting discussions about life in the West could take place after reading this book. There isn’t a solid lesson to be learned, but it will leave everyone smiling at a happy ending. Pleasant is the word I would use to describe the short book.


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