Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (National Book Award for Young People's Literature )


This enjoyable tale of four sisters, a new friend, and his snooty mother is rollicking fun. The girls' father is a gentle, widowed botany professor who gives his daughters free reign but is always there to support or comfort them. Rosalind, 12, has become the mother figure. Skye, 11, is fierce and hot-tempered. Jane, 10, is a budding writer of mysteries who has the disconcerting habit of narrating aloud whatever is occurring around her. Batty, four, is an endearingly shy, loving child who always wears butterfly wings. The family dog, Hound, is her protector. The tale begins as the Penderwicks embark on a summer holiday in the Berkshire Mountains, at a cottage on the grounds of a posh mansion owned by the terribly snobbish Mrs. Tifton. Her son, Jeffrey, is a brilliant pianist, but her heart is set on him attending a military academy like her beloved father. The action involves Rosalind's unrequited love for the 18-year-old gardener, Skye's enmity and then friendship with Jeffrey, Jane's improvement in her melodramatic writing style, and Batty's encounter with an angry bull whom she rather hopefully calls "nice horsie." Problems are solved and lessons learned in this wonderful, humorous book that features characters whom readers will immediately love, as well as a superb writing style. Bring on more of the Penderwicks!-B. Allison Gray



The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

By: Jeanne Birdsall
Book Summary: THE PENDERWICK SISTERS are home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure! But the adventure they get isn’t quite what they had in mind. Mr. Penderwick’s sister has decided it’s time for him to start dating—and the girls know that can only mean one thing: disaster. Enter the Save-Daddy Plan—a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it. It’s high jinks, big laughs, and loads of family warmth as the Penderwicks triumphantly return.

My Review: I loved both books. The second is probably my favorite but you need to read them in order to catch all the details and the essence of the characters and the history. The characters come alive in the pages and are very lovable. The four sisters are unique and interesting. The father the same. I took Latin I and II so I enjoyed the parts where he spoke in Latin and the children did not know what he was saying. Rosalind the oldest decides to start taking Latin in school to figure out what he says. He is a Botany Professor. I love the different plot lines and tensions. I especially like the endings. The books are appropriate for elementary and up. I am 25 and I liked them as much as my 5 and 11 year old cousins. I highly recommend both books. :)

1 comment:

Mary said...

I too am a book lover. I am gratefully sharing this with my niece Elizabeth. She is 10 and is an avid reader. I will recommend "The Penderwicks" to her. She just finished another wonderful book called, Bitter Tastes, by Author V.B. Rosendahl. It's along the same line as my girlhood favorite, "Nancy Drew". It has something for everyone - a murder mystery, a girl with a disability others can easily relate to and a solid ending. Elizabeth and I enjoyed trying to figure out "who done it".

Thank you for the "Penderwicks..." recommendation. I will pick it up for Elizabeth.