Note: I wrote this review in 2015, but am just now publishing it.
Excitement reigned at my house last month. My youngest daughter realized that the library finally had processed the newest book about one of our favorite literary families, the Penderwicks. The day we got the email that her hold was ready, I made a special trip to the library to pick up the book.
Within two weeks, not only had she finished it, but so had her older sister, and her mother (ie, me).
The Penderwicks in Spring is Jeanne Birdsall’s fourth book about the Penderwicks, a lovable family of sisters – which grew to include a brother and another sister after their widowed father married their neighbor (see: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street).
Birdsall has a delightful memory of what it is like to be an upper elementary schoolgirl. Batty’s issues are real – mourning her beloved Hound, haunted by the fact that she had something to do with his death; missing Jeffery, a beloved family friend (see The Penderwicks) whom her sister Skye has banished because he is in love with her; missing her oldest sister Rosamond, who is away at college.
Batty also must keep an eye on Ben and Lydia, her younger siblings. Two-year-old Lydia loves Ben, who tries to escape her princess obsessions as much as possible. Even Batty refuses to play Lydia’s princess games. But Jane, of course, relishes and encourages them.
This heart-warming story continues the Penderwick’s story with the same charm as Birdsall’s previous books. I laughed at the antics of the two-year-old, chuckled at the similar antics of the teenagers, and cried with Batty as her heart broke. I cried again when her heart, and broken relationships with her sisters, were mended.
Highly, highly recommended for ages 8 and up.
Note: I have purchased the entire set on Audible. These are comfort books my girls and I turn to again and again.