Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

The cover made me want to find out more about the sisters!
September 2013, Corgi, 272 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: family life, sisterly kinship, having to take turns, keeping an eye on younger sisters, inventing sensible fun rules, secret meetings, getting into scrapes, a pet dog, rabbits, a very angry bull, making things worse before making them better, brownies, baking disaster, lots of water, holiday life, only having a father, a formidable woman, a gem of a housekeeper, new friends,
Content: Lots of laughter, occasional major peril, lots of minor peril, mild preteen crush, a tissue is needed

The Penderwicks: four sisters, as different as chalk from cheese, yet as close as can be.

The eldest, Rosalind, is responsible and practical; Skye, stubborn and feisty; dreamy, artistic, budding novelist, Jane; and shy little Batty, who doesn't go anywhere without her butterfly wings. And not forgetting Hound, their large lumbering lovable dog.

The four girls and their absent-minded father head off for their summer holidays, but instead of the cosy tumbledown cottage they expect, they find themselves on a huge estate called Arundel, with magnificent gardens ripe for exploring. It isn't long before they become embroiled in all sorts of scrapes with new-found friend, Jeffrey - but his mother, the icy-hearted Mrs Tifton, must be avoided at all costs. Chaotic adventures ensue, and it soon becomes a summer the sisters will never forget...

Nayuleska's thoughts 
This is such an awesome read! I fell in love with the 4 sisters as soon as I started reading. I like the
chemistry between the sisters, how they all react to each other (some leave each other alone except in an emergency.) I thought the reasons behind the acronyms made sense and was really cool - wish I could attend a MOOPS meeting! (I'm not saying what it stands for- you will have to read the book!)

Hound the dog adds to the mishaps the sisters get in, especially the cute youngest Batty who gets into plenty of scrapes with her beloved butterfly wings on. Rosalind feels responsible as the eldest since their mother died, but there are times her youth means she is blind to the truth which was both funny and sad to watch unfold. Their father mostly lets them do what they want, stepping in when needed and usually saying the right thing. Mrs Tifton is a character-feel so sorry for Jeffrey & what he has to endure. I'm excited about reading book 2! I have to say I got confused in a good way-I kept thinking the story was set in England rather than the USA as only an hour and a bit away from me is a place called Arundel! And it's in Hampshire rather than the Berkshires (which is just Berkshire here in England).

Find out more on Jeanne's website.

Suggested read
For another group of entertaining sisters also with sort of only parent check out Pea's Book of Best Friends, the first in a fun series by Susie Day (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

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