Friday, December 16, 2011

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

 The four Penderwick sisters are spending 3 weeks of their summer vacation at a cottage on the estate of Arundel.  There they find adventure and new friendship with, Jeffery, the son of Arundel's owner, Mrs. Tifton.  But Mrs. Tifton does not approve of the Penderwicks and their tendencies to get into trouble.  

This was an adorable book.  I love the Penderwicks and thought they were a delightful group of girls, from Rosalind, the oldest to Batty, the youngest.  All the girls had very distinct personalities.  Rosalind, 12, is the caring oldest sister who is beginning to like boys. Ferocious and smart Skye, 11, is next followed by aspiring author Jane, 10. And last is Batty, 4, the sweet and adorable yet trouble prone youngest.  They were all great characters and I was happy to go along with them on their summer vacation.  I also like Jeffery and thought he was a sweet boy who really needed his mother to listen to him.  Mrs. Tifton is not a likeable character but I think there might have been more dept to her character than could really be explored in a short childrens book.  That was the great thing about this book.  Even the characters who were not fully explored, i.e. most of the adults, seem to have hidden depths and a real back story. That is is so rare to find and is, I believe, the hallmark of a well written book.
6 hours, 44 minutes
Susan Denaker is the narrator and she does a delightful job of bringing the Penderwicks to life. I liked all her voices for the characters and the book was really fun to listen to on my daily commute.

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