|Cover Illustration by Fermin Rocker, 1968|
“The whole day felt happier because of Lester and Lynette. No wonder, of course, for that was how it had always been. You had only to put Lester and Lynette in your pocket and the dullest day turned into something special. Cordy used to say it was magic and Chrystal had believed her.” ~ pp. 2-3
Allow me to introduce you to Chrystal, author-avatar for Carol Ryrie Brink (of Caddie Woodlawn and Magical Melons fame), and her best friend, Cordelia “Cordy” Lark. Their various and sundry adventures include but are not limited to walking past a state penitentiary, going to school, dealing with unsympathetic brothers, going to an ice cream social dressed as rag dolls, and writing odes and novels. Accompanying them are their muses, two “pocket dolls” named Lester and Lynette, who serve as the main characters of their novel, The Romantical Perils of Lester and Lynette.
Twoare Better Than One is full of unabashed friendship, illustrating the concept of “bosom friends” and “kindred spirits” even more than the more renown Anne of Green Gables. Chrystal and Cordy are a great example of the support and love that childhood best friends can provide. Anyone who has had a friend so close that they can unashamedly act weird to their utmost ability will enjoy Chrystal and Cordy’s dynamic as they make up words such as “wonderfulissmus” and “twinnie.” Anyone who has accidentally misspelled words with comical results will laugh their eyelashes off reading The Romantical Perils. Anyone who has reveled in his or her individuality—and yet felt the painful consequences of not fitting in—will recognize themselves as both Chrystal and Cordy resist yet also yearn for their “coming of age.”
The plot is episodic in nature, and is perfect for two young friends (or sisters) to read together. Charming, innocent, and utterly good-humored, I would recommend this book to anyone this side of the Asteroid Belt. And the residents of Neptune, too.
Reading Age: 8+
Parental Notes: No objections come to mind.
Availability: This book is rather hard to come by, which is a shame because in my opinion it deserves the same attention as the L.M. Montgomery books (which are written for the same intended audience). If you can’t find it to buy, at least look at your local public library and read it once. Although I think after one reading you’ll want to own it.