Saturday, 28 March 2009

Pippi Longstocking

How lovely it was last week when I revisited my friend Pippi Longstocking at Villa Villekulla.
The classic tale of an irreverent redhead, Astrid Lindgren created a loveable little misfit that taught us all about mischeviousness.
A nine year old girl that lives all alone but for her pet monkey Mr. Neilson, Pippi lives life to the fullest in the way she knows best. After her mother died and her father was blown overboard at sea, Pippi has one adventure after another. In this introductory book, we join Pippi as she socializes with her neighbors, Annika and Tommy and we are delighted as she attends the circus and battles burglars like no other kid can.
Pippi is simply irresistible and I do so hope that today's generation of little girls get to experience these books. They truly are a classic and Pippi will definitely be a lifetime friend. I sure remember days of dreaming of living Pippi's life or at least having her as a neighbor!

Pippi Longstocking was my Childhood Favorites Read for the month of February. In March, I'll be rereading another childhood classic, Bambi. No matter how many books I read , the children's category is always one of my favorites.

Friday, 27 March 2009


The Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss

Product Description(from Amazon.Com)

Swept off course by a raging storm, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four young sons are shipwrecked on an uncharted tropical island. Thus begins the classic story of survival and adventure that has fired the imaginations of readers since it first appeared in 1812.

This is such a wonderful book! It brought back lots of childhood memories for me. It amazed me when I was a child and it amazed me again as an adult. How this family, all alone on an island manages to survive and flourish, and keep up their spirits. Some of the things that happen is really hard to believe and all the things they find to survive is even more amazing.
If you haven't read this book you really should! It really makes me wonder if it is based on a true story or all make believe. I really would like to believe it's real!!

This is my last book for this challenge. I have done a wrap up of this reading challenge at my book blog,
Just Books.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


"A Treasury of Peter Rabbit and Other Stories" by Beatrix Potter

This book has several stories. One being The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
The story begins,
Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy,
and Peter,
Peter gets in all kinds of trouble when he goes to Mr. McGregor's garden. He loses his suit of clothes and his shoes. He also gets all wet when he hides in a watering can. He does eventually get out of the garden and goes back home to his mother.

"The Tail of Benjamin Bunny" is the next story in this book. The story begins,

One morning a little rabbit sat on a bank.
He pricked his ears and listened to the trit-trot, trit-trot of a pony.
A gig was coming along the road; it was driven by Mr. McGregor, and beside him sat Mrs.
McGregor in her best bonnet.

Benjamin and Peter have gone back to Mr. McGregor's garden to get Peters clothes. They get trapped under a basket with a cat sitting on top. Old Mr. Bunny comes along and saves Benjamin and Peter by trapping the cat in the greenhouse. Old Mr. Bunny takes Benjamin out of the basket by his ears and whipped him with a little switch, takes Peter out and the handkerchief with the onions.

"The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin"

This is a Tale about a tail - a tail that belonged to a little red squirrel, and his name was Nutkin.

Nukin and the other squirrels went to Owl Island to get some nuts. They took some mice as an offering for Old Brown, he is the owl, and put them on his doorstep. But Nutkin was excessively impertinent in his manners. He was always telling riddles to Old Brown.

"Riddle me, riddle me, rot-tot-tote!
A little wee man in a red, red coat!
A staff in his hand, and a stone in his throat;
If you'll tell me this riddle, I'll give you
a groat."
And so Nutkin kept telling riddles until Old Brown got very tired of it. He was going to skin and eat Nutkin when Nukin pulled very hard and broke his tail. Nutkin doesn't tell riddles anymore!

"The Tale of Two Bad Mice"

Once upon a time there was a very beautiful doll's house; it was red
brick with white windows, and it had real muslin curtains and a front
door and a chimney.

The mice make a terrible mess of the doll house. They got very upset the food was plastic, so they went about tearing up things in the doll house. They took all the feathers out of a bolster and made themselves a feather bed. They proceeded to take items from the doll house to their home. The girls that owned the dollhouse dressed one of the dolls up in a policeman's outfit. But the mice paid them back for everyting they broke and tookwith an old crooked sixpence found under the hearth rug.

"The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher"

Once upon a time there was a frog called Mr. Jeremy Fisher;
he lived in a little damp house amongst the buttercups
at the edge of a pond.

Mr. Jeremy Fisher goes fishing one day to catch some minnows for lunch. He is having company for lunch, Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise and Sir Isaac Newton. Mr. Jeremy Fisher puts on his macintosh and a pair of old shiny galoshes, he took his rod and basket and sets off to catch some minnows. Instead of catching minnows he catches little Jack Sharp the stickleback, covered with spines! Instead of a nice dish of minnows - they had a roasted rasshopper with lady-bird sauce!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

What a pleasure to go back in time and remember sitting/lying on our front porch one summer with this book. That summer I was living out this tale of the Florida "Crackers", as they were called. Birdie Boyer and her family have just moved to an old farm with ambitious plans to fix it up. Their nearest neighbors are the Slater family. These are not the nice neighbors the Boyers are used to. It's apparant to the reader that the Slaters do not want the Boyers on the farm.

The Boyers plan to raise sugar cane and other crops. The crop Birdie cares the most about is the strawberry one. She works hard on caring for the young plants but the Slaters allow their hogs and cattle to roam about and wreck many of her plants. Even after Pa Boyer erects first a board fence and then a barbed wire fence, the Slaters ruin the fences and push their cattle through the garden. Pa Boyer does a few things to get revenge but the Slaters manage to be even meaner.

Lois Lenski has an uncanny way with dialogue. She writes in such a way that I swear I can hear exactly how the people are talking. Here's a sample:

"Ain't them right purty, Ma?"

Birdie brought the first cupful in and Ma made shortcake.

"I think that's jest plumb good," said Pa.

The author wrote seventeen books in this series of regional stories. I like knowing that she did extensive research for each one.  They have all been very popular. This one, however, won the Newbarry Medal in 1945. I don't remember how old I was when I first read this book but I would think a good reader of nine or ten could handle it. I'd also recommend it for those of us who are a little bit older.

Published by Harper Collins, 1945

Thursday, 19 March 2009


"Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson

I read this book when I was a child, which was a few years ago, and loved it then. And I still loved it now! If you like pirates, sea voyages, adventure and a mystery you will love this book.

It all starts when a seaman comes to the 'Admiral Benbow' inn. The seaman brought with him his sea chest and the contents unknown at the time by anyone. Jim Hawkins is the boy in this story and he is telling the story. After some time the seaman has some visitors that want his sea chest and what is in it. He gives Jim the message that if anything happens to him to take his sea chest. Some men (pirates) come for the seaman and he is killed. Jim gets the sea chest and it's contents and takes it to Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney. They open it and find a map of an island. This starts the adventure to Treasure Island.

Wonderful classic book that I personally think every child should read!

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Product Description(from Amazon.Com)
Anne is a young orphan who finally finds a home at Green Gables, but it's not exactly smooth-sailing. Anne always seems to find herself getting into scrapes!

This book brought back lots of memories for me. As a child I always dreamed I was Anne. I was always getting into scrapes. One I thought of while reading this book was when I found a baby field mouse. I brought it home, made it a little house out of a shoe box and loved it dearly. Of course it died a few days later. But I just cried and cried. My mother suggested we have a funreal for the mouse. So we put it in it's little house show box and buried it in the backyard.
My favorite part of the book is when Anne was in the boat floating down the river. The boat got a hole in it and starting sinking. Poor Anne had to hang onto a pylon at the bridge. And who saved her, her enemy Gilbert Blythe. How awful for Anne. I loved the ending when her and Gilbert made up after all the years they were enemies.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Homer Price

homerHomer Price

Robert McCloskey

The Viking Press, 1941

Genre: Children's Fiction

Homer Price was one of my childhood heroes. I was quite the tomboy and I imagined myself as Homer. We had a lot of things in common. We both lived in the Midwest, although his town is smaller than mine. We both have some rather quirky relatives and neighbors, but then quirky seems normal. We also shared some traditions that are gone now. Does anyone burn leaves in the Fall anymore? 

Homer has lots of adventures that are told in six chapters. Each chapter is a separate story. I'm not going to tell you about all the stories, just two. 

The first is the story of Uncle Ulysses' Donut Machine. Homer is in charge of his uncle's diner for a couple of hours while Uncle Ulysses is at the barbershop. With some help from a rich customer, Homer gets the donut machine going and the donuts are really delicious. Unfortunately, he can't stop the donut machine and pretty soon donuts are piling up everywhere. Of course there will be a creative solution. Here's a picture from this story. Just looking at it tickles me inside.


Another story features Homer's Uncle Telly and the Sheriff who are competing for the hand of Miss Terwilliger, who is a very clever lady. Both men collect string and have string balls that are nearly six feet across! A contest is devised to see who has the most string with Miss Terwilliger as the prize. The clever Miss Terwilliger has her own plan for this contest. I won't spoil it for you but, there is a happy ending.

I'm so glad this book is still in print and still popular with children. I'd recommend this book to both boys and girls in the seven to ten-year-old range. And then I'd also recommend it to adults like me who still have a big child inside of them. You can always say you're getting this for the kids or grandkids.

On The Banks of Plum Creek

plumcrkOn The Banks of Plum Creek

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Harper and Row, 1937

Summary: This book features Laura Ingalls in Minnesota when she is seven to eight years old. The book opens with the whole family moving to a beautiful place on the prairie. Unfortunately, there is no house. There is, however, a "dugout" - a house dug into the ground and fortified with sod. 

Pa is determined that he will have an amazing harvest of wheat and oats that will bring riches to them all. So he buys supplies on credit to build a nice two-story house. I don't want to spoil it for you except to say that it does turn out fine. But getting there is tough what with the grasshoppers and the ice and snow storms and other calamities. This is the first book to introduce Nellie and her brother. They play a very minor role, unlike the TV series.

My opinion: It was still a fun read as an adult. I like that the author doesn't talk down to the reader. She tells of everyday experiences as if they were adventures. For example the task of walking a mile into town with her sister when there was no road. Or the time the roof fell in on the dugout. Or how they picked the plums off the trees by the creek. Although there are a few good drawings to illustrate the story, it's still a great read for using your imagination. I recommend it for children eight-years of age or older. It would make for a great read-aloud book for the whole family.