Parts of The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy reminded me of Little Women – the movie version, with Winona Ryder (I am embarrassed to admit I’ve never read Alcott’s book itself). At any rate, here with the Penderwicks we have four diverse sisters – one motherly (Meg/Rosalind), one a writer with an adventurous spirit (Jo/Jane), one practical (Beth/Skye…I admit, this is the longest stretch in terms of character association), and one young and sweet (Amy/Batty). They make friends with a neighbor boy (“Laurie”/Jeffrey) and have their secret sisterly societies (The Pickwick Society/MOOPS). Even the fathers (Mr. March/Mr. Penderwick) are both gentlemen, intelligent and wise.
In this summer tale there are plenty of adventures and opportunities for the characters to grow. There is a sweet, old-fashioned pace and feel to the story, but it’s not too syrupy to me. If anything, I was disappointed that the story was so brief – the littlest bit of complexity introduced in each of the characters could have been explored so much more. I was happy to see, though, that Birdsall has written a follow-up to this summer story, so perhaps there are many more Penderwick adventures in our future.
Related Link: To read kidlit blogger Big A Little A’s 10 yr old daughter review this book, visit this site.
*Disclosure: Amazon affiliate link included.