The other big theme in Winona is who she will invite to her birthday party. Winona does not stick to the well behaved friends whose mothers socialize with Mrs. Root but considers even the most humble members of Deep Valley to be her friends, ranging from the children of her mother's laundress to the Syrian children - so Winona invites them all to her birthday party, ignoring the fact that her mother sent proper invitations to the children she deemed suitable. It is a tribute to the very proper East Coast bred Mrs. Root that she does not reveal her surprise at Winona's varied guest list and, in fact, one of the Syrian boys delights her by bringing baklawa just as the birthday cake is about to give out.
Adults who know Winona from the Betsy-Tacy high school books will enjoy this but it is also very suitable for second and third graders, whether or not they have read Betsy-Tacy. The back matter of this new edition has lots of information about Winona, and I was delighted to read that Mrs. Root was a member of the DAR and that Winona attended Northwestern University. But best of all is a section about illustrator Vera Neville, based on the wonderful research done by Teresa Gibson, whose presentation was one of many high points at the recent Betsy-Tacy conventions, and with help from Vera's niece, Patricia Neville Downe.