This was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. We had a paperback copy of it, good and beat up, that I read many times. I’m not sure what made me think of it recently, but I decided to find a used copy to buy and I’m delighted that I did. This is one of those stories that apparently made an enormous impression on me as over the years I’ve often thought of particular parts or phrases or illustartions over and over again.
The premise is that a jolly noisy family spends the summer living in a trolley car out in the country. Their father drove the trolley car but the company was closing, so while he figured out what to do for work they decided to have this adventure. They also invite along their grouchy next door neighbor, who is a milkman. Well, what a summer they have. Everyone loves living in the country, exploring, getting chickens and a cow, starting a garden, and so on. What I loved then, and upon rereading still did, were the descriptions of how they set up the trolley car into living quarters. It all seemed delightfully fun and adventuresome then, and it still does. Reading it as an adult I realize that one thing they never addressed was where they all went to the bathroom. Also the baby was in diapers and I can’t even imagine what a chore that must have been to deal with. A wonderful old-fashioned friend of a book!