Jackie and Jim Chalmers settled in Yardley, Pennsylvania in the early 1950s. The couple, originally from Morrisville, Pennsylvania, have four children. Becky, first, then twins Jimmy and Billy and finally Susie. Their little house in Yardley is one of many look-alike homes that line a steep hill called Cadwallader Court.
The new neighborhood quickly filled up with young families whose children are all close in age. Every child attends Yardley Elementary School about a half-mile away. The Edwards family are immediate neighbors. Their daughter, Sharon is Becky Chalmers’ sister-friend. Not only do Becky and Sharon look like family, but the Chalmers and Edwards parents are close friends-for-life raising the two girls like sisters.
Strangers think Becky is Sharon’s older sister. They are referred to as Mutt and Jeff because Becky is tall and Sharon is a petite child. Both have dark hair, green eyes and a sprinkling of freckles from the sun across their faces. The boys, Jimmy and Billy are chubby little identical twins full of energy and mischief. Susie, the baby of the Chalmers family has blue eyes and blond hair that make her look like an angel. She is anything but an angel with her strong will and boundless curiosity.
Almost every neighbor knows each family who lives on the street and together they help new mothers while they keep watch over all the children, frequently using the “party line” to do so. Parents and their children enjoy sledding when a good snowfall leaves the Cadwallader Court hill in prime sledding condition. They all love their parades on Memorial Day and other holidays. Everyone attends and participates in the parades in one way or another. In short, these are good times, very good times.
Main character, Mrs. Young, “the neighborhood Gramma,” is wise and kind. Her house is a place of refuge and enjoyment for all the kids. Mrs. Pincher, the town librarian is a stickler for order. She mellows as the children grow older and realize how wonderful her library is. Colonel Belleview, owner of many goats that reside in an intriguing goat pasture and Mrs. Pincher are characters of the author’s imagination. So also, are David, an Asian child and Becky’s boy-who-is-a-friend, and Scotty Cadwallader, the biggest first-grader you ever saw.
The stories are told via dialogue. These children are universal. So much of what they say and do is similar to that of what all children do in their growing up journeys.
The series includes five books. It is helpful to read them in this order:
Santa and the Cotton Tree
The Sparkling Adventures of Becky and Friends
Goats and Ginger Ale Floats, Becky and Friends
I’d Rather Be a Kid, signed Becky Chalmers
And soon, Becky Chalmers, Beautified
Enjoy my characters, the books were created purely for belly laughs and to show how wise children are. Watch Becky and Friends as they grow and learn and tug at your heart.
Joyfully, Diane Campbell Green