Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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

Author: Jeanne Birdsall
Originally Published: 2005
Length: 262 pages
Award: National Book Award
Personal Enjoyment Factor: 4.5/5
Amazon.com Rating:4 .5/5 (97 Customer Reviews)

The Penderwicks is a modern book with an old-fashioned feel to it, which I love. My 9-year-old daughter and I read this together, taking turns reading each page. It's hard to pinpoint what's so great about it--it's just a heartwarming story told with entertaining humor. I asked my daughter some questions about the book:

Q. When you saw the cover of this book did you think you would like it? Why?
A. Yes, because it has lots of details on it like everyone running in the grass and the grass flying up.

Q. Can you tell me what the story is about?

A. This story is about four sisters and their dad that go to Arundel to stay in a cottage for a little bit. At Arundel the girls meet an interesting boy who is forced to do things by his snobby mother.

Q. Who was your favorite character and why?
A. I liked Batty because she is funny and cute. She always wears her wings and likes Hound, the Penderwick's dog, a lot. Batty really likes Cagney's bunnies Yaz and Carla.

Q. Were there any characters you didn't like?

A. I didn't like Dexter because he was rude and selfish. I also didn't like Mrs. Tifton because she was rude too.

Q. What was your favorite part of the story?

A. I liked it when Harry the tomato man gave Mr. Penderwick the tomatoes.

Q. Who do you think would like this book?

A. Girls, because there weren't very many boy characters in it.

Q. Did this book make you want a pet?

A. Yes, because there were lots of animals in it.

Maybe we'll get a hamster???

Jeanne Birdsall's Website
Winning the Award

Subjective content assessment: Squeaky clean!


  1. My cousins and I really enjoyed this book too. They are 11,5, and I am 25. I like the sequel even more, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. :)

  2. I really liked this one too. I enjoyed the second almost as much, but I kind of felt like it lost some of the original's charm. Or something. I can't really explain it. Glad you liked it!

  3. I read this aloud to all four of my kids - 12yo girl, and boys 10yo, 9yo, and 7yo - and we all absolutely loved it. I have the sequel in our read-aloud stack and we'll be getting to it soon.