Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

Despite having more than my fair share of children, I don't generally read a lot of children's literature. My kids' tastes and mine rarely gibe well and I buy enough books for myself that I decided I didn't need to be buying kid books for myself too. But if I think I can convince my kids to give them a try, they are fair game. And then there are some that I don't even care if the kids will read them or not because I just love them so much. The Mr. Putter and Tabby books are one such series (although even the teenaged girl will still coo happily when I bring a new one of those home) and this Penderwick series by Jane Birdsall is another.

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette is the third in this completely delightful, charming, and nostalgic feeling series of books that started with the National Book Award winning The Penderwicks. It is the continuation of the summer adventures of the four Penderwick sisters, their absent-minded father, their gallumping dog Hound, and their friend Jeffrey. In this installment of the series, Rosalind goes off with a friend to the beach while the three younger Penderwicks head to Maine with Jeffrey and their Aunt Claire while their father is on his honeymoon in England. Sweet adventures abound as they make the acquaintance of their neighbor in the next cottage, Jane falls in love for the first time, and Batty learns to play the harmonica and some piano. Like the previous entries in the series, this is a heartwarming and lovely tale with characters it is impossible not to love. There's more of the old-fashioned feel of the other books as well, which is completely welcome after too many children's books written revolving around a moral instead of a good, solid tale. Great storytelling, fluid writing, likeable characters, and a continuing sense of fun will keep this series on my to buy list long after my children are too old to use as an excuse for acquiring it.


  1. It's actually quite hard to get kids to read these, in my experience. The covers must be very nostalgic, which doesn't really trigger the kid saliva glands.

    I snuck one in under the radar with an audio version in the car, which hooked even the non-reading niece. And my boys, but they are suckers for a good book.

    I love them, though. And I also love Putter and Tabby.

  2. I haven't had the chance to read any of this series as yet, but I've had my eye on it for a while. Great to hear such a glowing review, I look forward to reading them.

  3. This sounds like a wonderful series. Perhaps it's something like Elizabeth Enright's Melendys?

    I've put this on my must-read list. Thanks for the recommendation!


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