Betty Jane's Diary: Lessons Children Taught Me


86 pages
ISBN 0-00-637903-6
DDC 649'.1




Reviewed by Moira Harris

Moira Harris is a graduate student in animal behavior at the University
of Saskatchewan.


“It’s easier to do, isn’t it, with a smile and a prayer?” Betty
Jane’s Diary is a collection of short anecdotes, each with a moral,
originally written for a radio series. Betty Jane Wylie, a prolific
author and playwright, has drawn on her experience of children—her own
and other’s—to tell stories about the lives of adults and their
children. Together, they form a modern-day parable, a lesson in how to
live a spiritual life.

At best, the book is, as described by its publishers, affectionate. It
offers everyday advice about how to understand people and treat them
well, in a sometimes humorous way. It is cosily old-fashioned,
comfortable, and unchallenging. At worst, however, Betty Jane’s
writing is complacent and cloying. It offers little that is new or
original, and the constant testaments to the benefits of a religious
life quickly become tiring.

To someone searching for a present for an elderly aunt or grandparent,
I might recommend this book. Otherwise, I would advise leaving it on the


Wylie, Betty Jane., “Betty Jane's Diary: Lessons Children Taught Me,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,