Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Penderwicks Series (100th post)


by Jeanne Birdsall
Knopf | 2005, 2008, 2011

This absolutely charming series about the four Penderwick children and their father, dog, and others they meet through their adventures are true treats for children and parents alike. I chose the series for the 100th post of the Book Pile because of a recent conversation with a childhood friend who shared how much her own children have loved it.

Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty have lost their mother and live and travel with their doting father. They each play roles in the family and are supportive of and exasperated by each other in equal measure, which makes their relationships real and relateable. In the first book they spend the summer at Arundel, an estate; in the second they are at home on Gardam Street; and in the third are on vacation once again at Point Mouette. Each setting allows for exploration and development of the characters.

Jeanne Birdsall visited one of my classes last spring and shared that she wanted to write books that reminded her of what she loved as a child. She set out to create characters and situations rooted in the realistic innocence of childhood. She's succeeded. And as the National Book Award Winner gold seal on the first volume attests, others agree.

The set would make the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for any child in your life. They are fantastic read aloud stories and wonderful books for new readers ready for longer chapter books.  Don't miss the Penderwick series!

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