Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book Review: The Serial Garden by Joan Aiken

The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories is a collection of stories about the Armitage family, who happen to have very interesting lives.  Odd things always seem to happen to them on Mondays, and all of these strange happenings date back to a wish made by the newly wed Mrs. Armitage.  But, the family is quite used to these happenings and nothing, not even unicorns, magical gardens, fairies, or witches will phase them.

The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories (Junior Library Guild Selection)

Things I Liked:
Each of the individual stories are very fun, full of silly things that happen.  The humorous and sometimes sarcastic comments from the parents, the tongue-in-cheek humor, and the delightful adventures are what makes each of these stories a delight to read.  I think these stories are best for reading aloud and in small increments (they can get a bit repetitive if read all at once).

Things I Didn't Like:
I admit I had a hard time getting through this one and ended up not finishing it (for Cybils).  I was bothered that there appeared to be no real progression from story to story, that they didn't relate to each other much other than the characters were the same.  I suppose this is expected as it is a collection of short stories.  I also found that some of the language was archaic and strange, rather difficult to understand at time.  I'm not sure how much appeal they will have to kids now, but I know many people who grew up with them adore them still.  But, I think they might appeal to advanced kids who like quirky read-alouds.

A little like the humor in the Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

Britt at Confessions of a Book Habitue asked whether some of our childhood favorites will appeal to kids today.  What do you think?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

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