The four Penderwick sisters are a breath of fresh air providing a welcome relief on these long, hot summer days. This well-written, funny, family series allows readers to thoroughly lose themselves in the story and get lost between the pages. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy introduces us to Rosalind, Skye, Jane, Batty, Mr. Penderwick, and their oversized dog, Hound, as they set off on a summer vacation in the country. Once arriving at their destination they meet people and animals that will change their lives forever. The books following invite readers to encounter new adventures and dilemmas with the sisters as they continue to grow.
The stories read like classics to adults but are still entirely accessible to today’s children. They are reminiscent of a type of childhood that seems nostalgic but is also currently relevant. Sounds hard to pull off, right? Author Jeanne Birdsall accomplishes this timelessness through the characterizations of Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty. Each girl is distinct with her own personality, quirks, and passions. The stories are carried along by their interactions and relationships. This is not an action-adventure series and it’s not trying to be — the characters are magnetic and keep the pages turning without cliffhangers or clues. What makes the series even better is that there are no bad eggs, each installment is wonderful. In fact, my favorite is the third title 🙂
I first met the Penderwick family last September and I plan to reacquaint myself again and again. I would recommend this series to anyone, and frequently do, but it is especially great for families looking for books to read together.