We see how the lives of two girls from Santo Domingo and Maine, respectively, are connected through the trade of ice and chocolate treats!
Two young girls of the late 1800s tells us a bit about their lives. On a Caribbean island we see life near the ocean, and the manual harvest and preparation of cocoa for traders. In Maine we see how ice is encouraged, extracted, stored and shipped by sail. In this very rare perspective for children's literature, we see how each girl benefits from the other's lifestyle, through their parents' trade: think chocolate ice cream!
When Ernest the donkey scratches his back against the pole of a birdhouse, the resident bluebirds guide him to a tree trunk, ending the violent shaking of their home and earning his appreciation.
Just as they were waking, the bluebirds' house shook so much they were knocked about. Was it an earthquake? Chipper cautiously peered about, and saw Ernest scratching his hips against the birdhouse pole. Chipper suggests the donkey find another scratching post, The fence and the ladder would not do, but a tree trunk was found to be suitable. The grateful donkey offers soft new hay as thanks. This is a sweet, slow-moving story, with a positive message of neighborly cooperation.
Having argued over the first egg they'd found, and broken it, Sam & Alice cooperate successfully in caring for a second egg.
Sam and Alice find an egg and, working together as friends, transport it past farmyard obstacles to the barn. When Alice shows the egg to the farm's sheepdog, Sam is alarmed it will be eaten. His haste to protect it knocks it to the ground, shattering the egg and their friendship. On hearing another hen laying, Sam is quick to 'make up'. This time they are more sensible and are thereby more successful.