Just finished reading the book “Betsy and the boys” by Carolyn Haywood. I love the stories in the book. How a wonderful, bright, simple and warm world Betsy and her friends have!
There are ten chapters in this book, each chapter describing a story of Betsy and her friends, mainly Billy in this book.
Betsy and Billy planned to cook pancake at Billy’s house. However, the handle parted from the pancake batter pitcher while Billy held the pitcher by the handle, and the pitcher fell to the floor and poured out the batter all over the linoleum. Both kids accidently felt down and slid along the floor. Although the kitchen was totally messy, and their dresses were covered by batter, the kids found it was funny. To make something to eat, the kids decided to make cream puff instead. Following the cookbook’s recipe, they cooked out two pumpkin-sized big cream puffs, six times as big as an ordinary cream puff and eighteen times as big as a small cream puff, because the dough blown up like balloons in the oven.
After the pancake and cream puff experience, Billy called Betsy Pancake, while Betsy called Billy Cream Puff. Although they found the names funny, Billy felt angry when the Wilson boys laughed at his new nickname. After a while, when the boys called him Puff, instead of Cream Puff, Billy thought this nickname was pretty cool because big strong things puffed, like locomotives and the wolf that “huffed and puffed until he blew the house down.” It turned out that their new teacher was called Miss Pancake. The class and Miss Pancake laughed and laughed at the name. Billy shared his nickname Puff with Miss Pancake, and both of them threw back their heads and laughed long and loud.
The boys set up a football team, but their football was too old to hold the air in it. They talked a lot about getting a new ball. Betsy wasn’t allowed to join the football team because she was a girl. Mr. Kilpatrick, the policeman who took the children cross the wide avenue, was kind enough to offer Betsy a nice football and he told Betsy that if she had a football, the boys would be glad to let her play in the team. But Mr. Kilpatrick also reminded her to be canny to make sure the boys will let you play before Betsy showed the ball to them. Betsy had a hard time to keep her secret from Billy of owning a football. Mrs. Kilpatrick also offered Betsy a cutie golden kitten named Eenie.
The football team had a business meeting. The boys named their football team as The Purple Dragon. They also thought of a way of earning money to buy a football, by reselling two dozen flea soaps. However, it turned out the Billy’s daddy paid for the soap at two dollars and forty cents. The soap emitted awful smells and there’s no one want to resell them. It ended up that the boys washed dogs for the neighbor to pay back Billy’s father. Finally, when Betsy showed up with her nice ball, the boys thrilled and they counted on Betsy and were patient and encouraging.
However, while Betsy tore a big three-cornered tear in one of her best school dresses and skinned the toes of her new shoes, Mother decided that she had played enough football. Father offered Betsy a just-for-instance present – a pair of ice skates fastened to beautiful snow-white boots. That’s the surprisiest surprise. Betsy loved the present, and she enjoyed skating lessons. Betsy gave her nice football to Billy as a just-for-instance present for him. Two of them also bought a pair of bright red suspenders and a pink bow tie to Mr. Kilpatrick as just-for-instance presents.
The kids spent a wonderful Christmas party time at Mr. Jackson’s house. When it was Valentine’s Day, Betsy was eager to give and receive valentine’s gifts. To Betsy’s horror, she received a candy box of fish head. Betsy thought it was Billy. Finally just before Billy’s birthday, Betsy found out she misunderstood Billy. They became good friends again and had a good time at Billy’s birthday party.