On a summer afternoon Mary Frances took a holiday and sailed away across the blue water to an island—an island formed by the top of a coral mountain resting in a sea of blue; oh, so blue—a brighter blue than the water in your mother’s bluing tub—not the blue that makes you feel sad and blue, but the blue that makes you laugh with happiness. The island itself and the roofs of the houses were coral white, and the green was the green of the palm and banana and mahogany tree. The breezes that blew over them were the warm, soft breezes of the southern sun. This island was the “enchanted island” of the good story-tellers which Mary Frances was allowed to visit. The story people who lived there believed in truth and beauty, and courage and kindness, and these were the theme of their stories. Like all good islands, this island had enemies, but they came to a bad end, as, in the long run, all evil persons will; and truth and beauty, and courage and kindness won the day, as they always must in every land where the searchlight of the sun flashes its beams.
As may be imagined, when Mary Frances came home she had not only one, but many stories to tell; and they are written in this book. — Summary by From the Preface
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