What Katy Did book

What Katy Did

Susan Coolidge

Introduced by Amanda Craig
Illustrated by Deanna Staffo

The ‘longest girl that was ever seen’, with her hair in a tangle, dress torn and bootlaces trailing, Katy is one of the most lovable heroines ever to leap from the pages of a book.

Published price: US$ 55.95

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What Katy Did

‘She was a dear, loving child … and made bushels of good resolutions every week of her life, only unluckily she never kept any of them’

Susan Coolidge evokes an idyllic picture of 19th-century America, where the children have a meadow and wood to play in, make dens in the hayloft and hold their own fêtes. Times may have changed, but Katy and her family seem oddly contemporary.

Production Details

What Katy Did book

Bound in buckram

Introduced by Amanda Craig

Illustrated by Deanna Staffo

Blocked with a design by Deanna Staffo

Set in Goudy with Goudy Ornate display

Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations

176 pages

Book size: 9" × 5¾"

A wild, imaginative and joyful children's classic

'I was an only child, so I always loved reading stories about large lively families. What Katy Did was one of my special favourites. The Carr children seemed so real, especially wild imaginative mischievous Katy, the eldest sister. The book rollicks along joyously at first, but when Katy falls from a swing and becomes seriously ill the mood changes. Perhaps kindly fellow-invalid Cousin Helen is a little too pious, but this is a Victorian children's book after all. New child readers can skip the moral lessons and read on to the happy ever after ending.'
DAME JACQUELINE WILSON

The ‘longest girl that was ever seen’, with her hair in a tangle, dress torn and bootlaces trailing, Katy is one of the most lovable heroines ever to leap from the pages of a book. Whether inventing raucous games at school, impulsively befriending the wife of a counterfeiter, or accidentally pushing her little sister Elsie down the stairs, Katy’s high spirits and good intentions win the reader over. Katy plans to be ‘beautiful, of course, and good if I can … And I’d like to have a large house and a splendiferous garden… I mean to do something grand. I don’t know what, yet; but when I’m grown up I shall find out.’ Alas, her ambitions are put on hold. When she disobeys her Aunt Izzie and plays on a broken swing, Katy must learn a hard lesson in what her Cousin Helen calls the ‘School of Pain’. But the school also has its joys, and Katy’s trials prove an unexpected help in realising her grand dreams.

Rivalry between schools or staying up past bedtime is an eternal part of childhood, and Coolidge, who is supposed to have based the Carr family upon her own, affectionately depicts the jealousies, fallings-out and underlying love between siblings in an utterly convincing and touching way. Above all, Katy’s journey from wilful child to kind and generous girl is both believable and inspiring. As Amanda Craig writes: ‘The best novels are not only those that stimulate our imaginations, our hearts and our minds but which give us true and useful information about how to live.’

‘Katy speaks with a charm and directness that remains as fresh as when it was written’
AMANDA CRAIG

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