Saturday, June 11, 2011
A true delight!
How often have I called the Penderwicks books a "modern Melendy Quartet?" Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty Penderwick are as much a part of me now as Rush, Mona, Randi, Oliver and Mark Melendy!
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette was the perfect book to start the summer! As in the first book, the girls are off on vacation--only this time the family is headed in different directions. Second daughter Skye finds herself in charge as the O.A.P. ("Oldest Available Penderwick") and dreads it. Their buddy Jefferey unexpectedly gets to join them and several new friends are made during their stay at Maine's Point Mouette in the little house known as the "Birches." The girls grow up in surprising [but not disappointing] ways. Skye, especially, rises to the challenge of being a true O.A.P. in ways reminiscent of Dorothy Canfield Fisher's classic "Understood Betsy."
My absolute only complaint is that one story line could truly give false hope and unrealistic expectations to certain children. I do not want to write a spoiler and explain further!! I love that these books are wholesome and loving and deal with the girls' loss of their mother [before the books begin] in such a caring and mature way. These are normal modern girls who have rules and follow them, who care for each other and treat each other with love and respect. Each girl also has interests that help them cope and grow--Jane writes her "Sabrina Star" books, Skye loves astronomy and soccer and Batty, .....ooops! that would be a spoiler!They navigate the murky waters of school and new friendships with clarity and thoughtfulness and respect the adults in their lives.
I also totally loved the way the author describes "Asmiov," the Penderwicks cat. She KNOWS cats! Asimov sharing a love of dumping over wastebaskets with my cat Cali, was icing on the cake! I love, too, the loyalty Batty and faithful Penderwick dog "Hound" share. It makes me miss my dear-departed Keeshund, Smokey. I can't wait for book 4--there are supposed to be five books in all, if I remember correctly!