Sunday, May 22, 2011
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
Memorial Day, to me, signals the start of summer. I am very excited for summer - swimming lessons, backyard BBQs and popsicles on the front porch. I just finished Jeanne Birdsall's The Penderwicks : A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy and loved it. It captures the essence of summer and childhood.
It is the story of four sisters: Rosalind (12), Skye (11), Jane (10) and Batty (4) and their extended summer vacation to a small cottage, located behind a large mansion, in the Berkshire mountains. Their widowed father is a professor of botany and spends most of his summer in the background studying plants. Meanwhile the four sisters set off on adventures of their own around the grounds - a first crush, a best friend found, a "bestseller" written and being chased by a bull. Birdsall is able to portray summer in its lazy filled days of fun - catching fireflies, climbing make-shift rope ladders to friends bedrooms, and playing games until dusk. At the same time she creates characters that are relatable and fun.
This story is well written and just fun. I highly recommend it. Especially for a start of the summer celebration read. For children, I think it is for the 8 to 11ish range - depending on the child you could go younger or older. This book is the first of 5 books on the Penderwick sisters - the second is already out and the third was just released this May.
I hope to pick them up soon!