Our gift to Holly was a book written with her as the protagonist.
Violet and I brainstormed the ideas together, I wrote the text, and Violet did the cover art. Here is a sample of our work:
Once upon a time, in a magical kingdom quite near, there lived a witty, precocious young princess by the name of Holly Hox. Though number ten in a direct line of royalty, never had a princess graced the steps of Sylvan Castle with such an adventurous spirit and desire to see the world beyond the castle.
Holly was a beautiful princess with intelligence to spare. Her mother affectionately deemed her “practically perfect in every way,” her only known deficiency being a propensity for sneaking wild animals into the castle. She wore her dark, curly locks short and bouncy, a departure from the princess tradition. But Holly never tended to follow the royal crowd. While banquets were being held in the dining hall in honor of powerful rulers and magistrates, Holly Hox was infamous for disappearing and being recovered hours later in the library by her ladies in waiting. They would find her in various spots, curled up beside a stack of books. She would always sneak a peak at the ending of each novel in order to ensure that the hours spent reading it would be worth the time.
Only a brief mention of her ladies in waiting does not do them proper justice in a story about Holly Hox, as they were her ever-faithful confidants and friends and were often partially responsible for the minor disturbances (though Holly would always prefer to refer to them as excursions) that rocked the castle walls. Hydrangea was the quieter of the two and a brilliant artist. Everything she touched became a masterpiece due to her painstaking attention to detail and eye for color and design. Pansy aired on the side of caution and, true to her name, was always a bit afraid of embarking on the adventures Holly proposed. It was Pansy, though, who arranged for any social gathering with members of the opposite gender, thus providing the three girls entertainment well beyond their 9:00 p.m. curfew, as they’d discuss the interactions between each and every guest well into the wee hours of the morning.
I am so lucky to have Holly as my friend. I have so many memories laughing together, plotting together, venting to each other, wrapping utensils together, spending New Year's together, passing notes, riding on buses, whispering, giggling, going to education week, driving together, listening to music, shopping for cute outfits, and the list goes on and on (and on and on). Looking forward to many more memories!