For this weeks Suggestion Saturday I have decided to review The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. This is one of my absolute favorite books! Its the definition of literary magic.
A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
Meet the Penderwicks, four different sisters with one special bond. There's responsible, practical Rosalind; stubborn, feisty Skye; dreamy artistic Jane; and shy little sister Batty, who won't go anywhere without her butterfly wings. When the girls and their doting father head off for their summer holiday they are in for a surprise. Instead of the cozy, tumbledown cottage they expected, they find themselves on a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon the girls are busy discovering the summertime magice of Arundels's sprawling gardens, treasure filled attic, tame rabits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the most wonderful discoery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundels's owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though , and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will - won't they? One thing's for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
I found out about this book several summers ago when my older sister was listening to it as an audio book. I could hear the story through the walls and I just knew that I was going to love it. Unfortunately my sister is a rather slow audio book listener, so I pretty much spent the next two weeks harassing her until she finally finished it and I got to listen to it. Lets just say that it was love at first listen. This book evokes the same sorts of wonderful nostalgic feelings you get from books like Anne of Green Gables or Little Women. Namely its a magical reading experience and this book is sure to become a classic! Or at least it is to me.
At the heart of this story is the wonderfully loveable Penderwick family. The four sisters are all different in their personalities and each reader will find at least one of them to relate to. Personally I love Skye! She is similar to me in many ways and I just love her feistiness and devotion to the family she cares about so much. This story is really one of friendship and family and most of all sisters! I only have one sister myself, but even so I just love books about sisters. There is something very special about the bond between siblings. And it is portrayed beautifully in this book!
Possibly the greatest thing about this book is that is is so simple and yet so wonderful. Its merely the story of 4 sisters and one magical summer, but Jeanne Birdsall is able to make it so much more. She captures the purity of and simplicity of childhood and all its adventures, struggles, silly moments and serious moments. It really is a beautiful thing. Reading this book makes me wish I could spend a summer at some wonderful summer cottage somewhere with my 3 siblings (1 sister, 2 brothers)! Unfortunately summer cottages were never high on my own fathers "To Do" list. Oh well.....
Still not convinced to read this? Well here is my final form of convincing you. This book has rabbits. RABBITS!!! I have a special spot in my heart for rabbits. I've had several pet rabbits in the past and they were all great. Such cute little fuzzballs! If anything read the book for the wonderful rabbits Yaz and Carla. Oh and Hound! If you love giant, loveable, slobbery dogs you will ADORE Hound!
So what more can I say? Read this book! It is enchanting if ever sense of the word. It gets 5 out of 5 cupcakes!
Oh and whats that you say? You desperately want to have your very own copy of The Penderwicks? Well you are in luck! Later this month you will have a chance to WIN (yes WIN!) your very own hardcover copy of The Penderwicks in my Gratitude Giveaway! The giveaway starts on November 17th so be sure to check back and enter so you can win this fabulous book.