Beloved author-illustrator Shirley Hughes portrays the life of a young scullery maid in 1911 England as she stumbles and scrabbles toward her true place in life.
Daisy Dobbs has a mother and little twin brothers, but she lives far from them, serving as a maid in a big house owned by two refined old ladies. Daisy scrubs floors and sweeps stairs, washes dishes and peels potatoes. And sometimes she makes mistakes—like hanging the ladies’ red bloomers out the window for all to see. But in the evenings, Daisy sometimes has a moment to herself, which she uses for her favorite thing: borrowing books from the big house’s parlor. When disaster strikes in the form of a kitchen fire, and Daisy’s quick thinking saves the day, the ladies reward her in the best possible way. With atmospheric text and engaging illustrations, Shirley Hughes gently reminds us that reading is a gift to be treasured.
Daisy comes across as a determined little soul in her mob cap and sturdy shoes. Hughes’ ink, gouache and watercolor art offers details both small and broad, perfectly pitched to young readers…. An impressive and delightful combination of visual and verbal storytelling evokes empathy and identification with the young heroine. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
It offers children colorful glimpses of the period, as well as a well-told story and engaging artwork, created with ink, gouache, and watercolor. Satisfying historical fiction for primary-grade children. —Booklist