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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Add this to your list


For those who have children in their lives who are old enough to listen to a chapter book read aloud, or who can read on their own, this is a fantastic pick for the summer. I bought this for the girls at the end of the school year so that we'd have something to read together. Well, we polished it off before the end of June. Some nights, the girls were actually excited to go to bed so we could see what happened next. When we finished, Claire started reading it again on her own. They even wanted to PLAY "Penderwicks", which I think is the ultimate compliment. The youngest character, Batty, wears a pair of fairy wings all the time- there were a couple of days when Lydia, who we call Bitty, wore HER fairy wings to Target, to the grocery store, you name it.

It is the story of the Penderwick sisters, Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty (nickname for Elizabeth, they aren't crazy). They range in age from about 5 to 12. They have no mother, (of COURSE, no great children's book has children from a 2 parent household, it seems), and a quirky, intellectual father. Their usual summer cottage rental gets sold, or some snafu, so they end up renting a cottage in the Berkshires that is on the grounds of a massive home, called Arundel Hall. There is a mean widow who lives there with her son, whom the girls befriend and have all kinds of adventures with. The story is reminiscent of those classic books I remember from my childhood, yet, because it was written quite recently, it has a freshness to the language and storyline. For instance, the mother died of cancer, not from dipthereia or in childbirth. They talk about the dog eating the map in the car and then barfing it up- just gross enough to appeal to kids and not alienate adults.

Check it out from the library, buy it from Amazon, buy it FOR your local library. Just read it. I have a feeling I'll be reading it again for many summers to come.

6 Comments:

Blogger dear wife said...

I may have to check that out now. I am a sucker for childrens fiction. That is great that they enjoyed it that much. I remeber having that feeling when my mom would read from the Laurel Ingalls Wilder books to me.

7/16/2006 9:00 PM  
Blogger JeanneB said...

Here's a secret for your daughter Claire -- the Penderwicks' favorite aunt is their Aunt Claire, and she'll have a lot to do in the next book. Shhhh....

7/17/2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger Pieces said...

I just put it on hold with our library. Thanks for the recommendation.

7/18/2006 10:10 AM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

I'm going to check it out...
Always looking for a good book...
We found a great author as of late that we love...
Kate DiCammilo... She wrote The Tale of Depereaux... It is fabulous... It is about a mouse, A rat, a Princess, a King... and the whole journey is about love....
She also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie and the Adventures of Edward Tulane...
They are all amzing and wonderful for young girls...

7/20/2006 9:11 AM  
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my blog is Arts Collections .
pls feedback to me.
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7/27/2006 3:38 PM  
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