The Penderwicks: a series recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

My love for Jeanne Birdsall’s series knows no bounds. It’s one of those heart-warming, absolutely endearing tales I wish had existed when I was kid. I would have loved it then, and I absolutely ADORED it now!  This will be one of those series I find any excuse to give as a gift–Oh, you just set up a new bank account? What an occasion! Let me buy you a gift…HERE.

In the first book, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, we are introduced to the cast of characters: Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty. Rosalind is the twelve-year-old eldest daughter (and I definitely identified with her the most), Skye is the tomboyish eleven-year-old (very similar to Jo March from Little Women), Jane is the imaginative and kinda loopy ten-year-old (she is, in my opinion, the funniest), and Batty is the absolutely lovable four-year-old who never takes off her butterfly wings (she was my favorite character of all!).

While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.

This book had me so close to tears so many times–but all in that happy-cry sort of way. It reminded me very much of Little Women, but more accessible to a modern reader. The dialogue, the characters, the wit–oh, Ms. Birdsall, has made a lifelong fan out of me. I devoured this in a day and then moved right onto The Penderwicks on Gardam Street.

THE PENDERWICK SISTERS are home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure! But the adventure they get isn’t quite what they had in mind. Mr. Penderwick’s sister has decided it’s time for him to start dating—and the girls know that can only mean one thing: disaster. Enter the Save-Daddy Plan—a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it. It’s high jinks, big laughs, and loads of family warmth as the Penderwicks triumphantly return.

Somehow this book manages to be EVEN BETTER than the first novel. The Penderwick sisters are back and more endearing than ever. Plus, we’ve some new characters to fall in love with. Batty remains my favorite, but Tommy (the across-the-street-neighbor who’s madly in love with Rosalynd) is a close second.

And how cool is that the cat’s name is Asimov–just like MY dog. Clearly Ms. Birdsall and I think alike. Er…right?

Needless to say, I devoured this and instantly got my hands on the third book, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette.

When summer comes around, it’s off to the beach for Rosalind… and off to Maine with Aunt Claire for the rest of the Penderwick girls, as well as their old friend, Jeffrey.

That leaves Skye as OAP (oldest available Penderwick) – a terrifying notion for all, but for Skye especially. Things look good as they settle into their cozy cottage, with a rocky shore, enthusiastic seagulls, a just-right corner store, and a charming next-door neighbor. But can Skye hold it together long enough to figure out Rosalind’s directions about not letting Batty explode? Will Jane’s Love Survey come to a tragic conclusion after she meets the alluring Dominic? Is Batty – contrary to all accepted wisdom – the only Penderwick capable of carrying a tune? And will Jeffrey be able to keep peace between the girls . . . these girls who are his second, and most heartfelt, family?

It’s a rollicking ride as the Penderwicks continue their unforgettable adventures in a story filled with laughs and joyful tears!

As with the other two Penderwicks books, the third installment is filled with hilarity, charm, and a few tear-jerking moments. I adored the revelations at the end (I absolutely did not see those coming!), and I was as happy as the three sisters to finally rejoin Rosalind at the story’s end

I am so sad that I finished the series…I need MORE, Ms. Birdsall! Please let there be more Penderwicks novels. PLEASE.

And to all my fellow readers out there, get your hands this series. DON’T DELAY. It’s like becoming a part of a whole new wonderful family!

You tell me: Have you read The Penderwicks? What did you think?