Book Review: Mary Poppins and the House Next Door

Mary Poppins and the House Next Door by P.L. Travers
Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (Mary Poppins, #6)
by P.L. Travers

5 out of 5 stars

A new neighbor has moved into the house next door on Cherry Tree Lane, and the Banks family are horrified. Only Mary Poppins has the magical wisdom to deal with the drama that threatens to engulf the whole street.

I love the whimsical writing and the funny magic! Mary Poppins is perfect as always, and the Banks children are silly and adorable. The plot has some interesting turns, and I love how all the neighbors on Cherry Tree Lane have their own little additions to the story.

Mary Poppins is just the right mixture of sweet and strict. She plays games with the children, but also lays down the law in the nursery. I love how she reacts to each twist in the plot with grace and elegance.

Book Review: Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake

Doctor Dolittle And The Secret Lake by Hugh Lofting
Doctor Dolittle And The Secret Lake
by Hugh Lofting

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Doctor Dolittle returns to the Secret Lake hidden in the depths of Africa to interview the oldest living animal, a massive turtle named Mudface. His journey is perilous, but he has his trusty animals by his side. With the help of Chee-chee, Polynesia, Dab-Dab, Cheapside, Gub-Gub, Jip, and his faithful assistant Tommy Stubbins, the Doctor travels through swamps and jungles to find the old turtle and hear the story of the Flood.

I loved the plot in this one! The first part of the book is taken up with the Doctor’s preparations for the journey to Africa, and then his travels to get inland from the African coast to the Secret Lake. Once they find Mudface, the rest of the book chronicles his adventurous story about Noah and surviving the Great Flood.

The writing is charming and hilarious! The animals are all so funny and full of life, and the ridiculous situations are interesting. I’m amazed at how imaginative all of the Dolittle stories are, and the books never seem to run out of wild material for an adventure.

Modern Classic Review: The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1) 
by Walter Farley

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Alec is heading home aboard a steamship, when the ship sinks in a storm and there are only two survivors: Alec and a spirited black stallion. The two are washed ashore on a small island, where they forage for food, and Alec tames the wild stallion.

I was completely riveted while reading this book! I couldn’t put it down, and read it in one day. The writing has such good pacing, and the action moves swiftly along, pulling the reader into the next chapter and the next.

I adored Alec’s character. He’s smart and tough and resilient.

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Myths and Misconceptions about Classics

Classic Adventure:
Children’s Classics:
Classic Poetry:
Classic Mystery:
Five Favorite Classics:

Picture Book Review: Wind in the Willows Jigsaw Puzzles

Wind in the Willows Jigsaw Book by Kenneth Grahame
Wind in the Willows Jigsaw Book 
by Kenneth GrahameErnest H. Shepard (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

A beautiful board book with jigsaw puzzles on the pages. I will NEVER take those puzzle pieces out. They are too perfect! I adore Shepard’s whimsical illustrations, and enjoyed reading the little excerpts from the Wind in the Willows book that accompany each puzzle.
So cute!

Book Review: Aunt Jane’s Nieces in Society

Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society by Edith Van Dyne
Aunt Jane’s Nieces in Society (Aunt Jane’s Nieces, #5) 
by Edith Van Dyne

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Beth, Louise, and Patsy are three cousins, who gain entry into fashionable society through their wealthy Uncle John’s influence. They discover that being part of the rich elite in New York City is not all parties, receptions, and dances. When Louise becomes involved with a questionable gentleman, the girls will need all of Uncle John’s help to save Louise from the despicable machinations of a desperate rogue.

I love this 5th book in the Aunt Jane’s Nieces series! The plot has lots of intrigue and action, and of course, the sweet nieces are adorable. I enjoy the simple writing style, and the wholesome storylines.
I found all the characters to be interesting and complex, especially the cold and mysterious socialite, Diana, who pretends to befriend our new young debutantes.

Book Review: A Lemon and a Star

A Lemon and a Star by Elizabeth C. Spykman
A Lemon and a Star 
by Elizabeth C. Spykman

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

The four Cares siblings run around the country side in 1907, running races, exploring the reservoirs, chasing after burglars, fighting their own private wars, and making secret trips into the city. They are constantly in trouble for dirtying their clothes, tearing their stockings, and coming home covered in mud, but they certainly have fun!
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Book Review: Edie on the Warpath

Edie On The Warpath by Elizabeth C. Spykman
Edie On The Warpath 
by Elizabeth C. Spykman

4 out of 5 stars

Eleven-year-old Edie is declaring a war on men! Edie is tired of being told to act like a little lady, while her brothers have the freedom to play games and have fun all up and down the countryside. She hears about the suffragettes and tries to join one of their parades, but instead gets into trouble with the police.
Her stepmother entrusts her with the care of the youngest Cares siblings, hoping that it will settle Edie’s wild spirit with some responsibility, but Edie tries to train the littlest girls to romp through the fields, climb trees, and explore the streams of the woods.
Edie’s rebellious soul is maddened every time someone tells her, “You’re only a girl.” Edie plans to find the perfect way to prove to everyone, especially her own family, that she is so much more than “just a girl.”

I absolutely adore Edie! She has the most disastrous ideas, and she is never boring. She has so much courage and hope in her little heart, and a beautiful capacity for trouble! She starts out with such good intentions, and I loved reading all the hilarious situations she finds herself in. Continue reading

Book Review: The Wild Angel

The Wild Angel by Elizabeth C. Spykman
The Wild Angel 
by Elizabeth C. Spykman

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

A sweet story about a group of siblings growing up at the turn of the century. They run wild through the country hills, chasing errant cows, and tracking down wayward lost dogs. They hate visiting their aunt and grandfather in the city, and sometimes find trouble at school.

The siblings see the world from their child’s point of view, and that gets them into difficulties because they don’t really understand how things work in the real world outside their comfortable family home. They are an unusual bunch of hooligans, with their own squabbles and childish secrets, but they all ultimately band together to protect their family. Continue reading