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The Dandelion Cottage

Carroll Watson Rankin

Book Overview: 

She first wrote the story serially for her own children. Considered a regional classic in the Midwest, it tells of four young girls who negotiate the use of a derelict cottage as a playhouse by pulling dandelions for the owner, prosperous Mr. Black. The real life model for Mr. Black is generally acknowledged to be Marquette businessman and philanthropist, Peter White. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ed on the brow of a green hill overlooking the lake, and a silk hat. This last made a great impression on the children, for silk hats were seldom worn in Lakeville. Mr. Black looked very nice indeed in his, when he wore it to church Sunday morning, but Bettie felt more at home with him when he sat bareheaded on the rectory porch, with his short, crisp, thick gray hair tossed by the south wind.

Besides these possessions, Mr. Black owned a garden[30] on the sheltered hillside where wonderful roses grew as they would grow nowhere else in Lakeville. This was fortunate because Mr. Black loved roses, and spent much time poking about among them with trowel and pruning shears. Then, there were shelves upon shelves of books in the big, dingy library, which was the one room that the owner of the large house really lived in. A public-spirited man, Mr. Black had a wide circle of acquaintances and a few warm friends; but with all his possessions, and in spite of a jovial. . . Read More

Community Reviews

What a sweet, simple, pure story! I think this would make a great summer read for girls ages 10-14! Hmm, maybe I'll have to read it aloud never summer with my girls.

I listened to this story after hearing it mentioned on Stories from the Ashes podcast. It was likened to Mandy by Julie Andrews and I

Dandelion Cottage in Marquette, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula. This is the compact house from the title.

It sounds boastful to say that Beverly Cleary recommended this book, but she recalled reading it as a child on an interview published audio bundle of Henry Huggins. I had never heard of Carroll

3.5 stars
This was a delightful story to read. I loved the four girls and thought their cottage a very fun idea. I would have enjoyed something like that myself when I was their age. I liked how they worked together, consulted each other and no one tried to be the one in charge. The last chapter had

It's kind of every girl's dream to fix up a little cottage and make it cozy and pretty. So when Bettie, Jeanie, Mabel and Marjory get the opportunity ... well, your daughter will be vicariously in seventh heaven as she partakes in their reality!

I read it for the first time last year, and can only i

Dandelion Cottage is tale from 1904 of four girls who acquire the use of small cottage to use as a playhouse and the little, fun-around-the-house misadventures they have. It's cute.
I do think the girls don't exactly act their ages. I know that upper-middle-class girls of this era were younger than t

Bettie (12 years old), Mabel (11), Jean (14), and Marjory (13) are four young girls who are neighbors and best friends. When they discover that an empty cottage has been standing on the property of their local church since long before the church even existed, they long to fix it up as a playhouse. F

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