Monday, August 12, 2013

What have I read lately? A lot, mainly old children's lit. So let's have a few quick reviews.
  • Heidi - Unprepossessing little Swiss girl grows up in the mountains, has to live in the city, and converts her city friends to the wonders of the mountains. It's so sincerely written that you don't mind a lot of happenings that would be extremely twee otherwise. Overall, I enjoyed reading this.
  • Dear Brutus - Short, sentimental J.M. Barrie play, I like this one because it hits all the expected notes and is enjoyable to read as a short story just as much as a play. It's a quick read but clever.
  • Black Beauty - A classic horse story but actually pretty boring? Like, I thought there were supposed to be more exciting parts, but it's basically a tract about animal cruelty. It held the most interest, to me, in its depictions of English life and how horses fitted into society. Black Beauty is such a bland narrator that I couldn't care about his story.
  • What Katy Did - A young scamp of a girl with her big family gets into trouble, befalls tragedy, and learns to trust in God and be more ladylike. Resonated with me since I've been laid up with a bum leg for the past few weeks, and Katy's spirit isn't entirely crushed, and she is rather more of a wild child than some of her contemporary spunky female main characters, so I'll allow it.
  • What Katy Did At School - A sequel and a pretty entertaining one, all things considered. Katy and her sister Clover go to boarding school and the usual shenanigans are had. Katy is more subdued and so a bit less interesting.
  • The King of the Golden River - A charming little fairy tale, not much to it, but delightfully told with a lot of vivid images and plenty of story fairy tale elements.
  • Seven Little Australians - Seven Australian children are not paragons of virtue and instead get into scrapes without learning wholesome moral lessons all the time - you know, like real children. I thought that the book was too short; there could have been a lot more to it without the story wearing out its welcome. All of the children were unique and well drawn, and the ending worked.
In conclusion, wow, children in those books are always having horrible things happen to them. Ye gads.

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