Reviews for Penderwicks on Gardam Street
AudioFile Reviews 2008 August/September
This is Birdsall's second book about four close-knit sisters. After their mother's death, they receive a letter from her in which she requests that their reticent, Latin-quoting father should bring another woman into all their lives. To that end, she says, he needs to begin dating again. But he's unwilling, so the girls come up with schemes to thwart him. Crucial to this story are the unique portrayals of the sisters. Each is fully realized by Susan Denaker, who narrates in a voice that merges old-fashioned storytelling and a contemporary story. Dialogue gives the opportunity to depict each girl's individuality. Rosalind, the eldest, is the worrier; Jane, the writer, is overdramatic; Skye, the tomboy, is rough and ready; and preschool-aged Batty has a high voice that fits her youth and eccentricity. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #6
This recording is a terrific way to experience the further adventures of the Penderwick sisters. When the girls learn that Aunt Claire is playing matchmaker for their widower father, they secretly retaliate with the Save-Daddy Plan: a "fool-proof" scheme to keep Gardam Street free of stepmothers. Narrator Denaker gives an arresting performance that suitably captures Birdsall's infectious combination of warmth, tenderness, and madcap hijinks. Denaker's comic timing shines as she describes homework disasters, soccer mishaps, new neighbors, school dances, and romantic entanglements. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2008 March #2
This return to the Cameron, Mass., cul-de-sac home of the Penderwicks--romantic seventh-grader Rosalind, temperamental sixth-grader Skye, dramatic fifth-grader Jane, four-year-old Batty, and their widowed college-professor father, Martin, whom readers met in Birdsall's 2005 National Book Award-winning novel--begins with a visit from his sister, the girls' affable Aunt Claire. She has brought a pale blue envelope entrusted to her by their beloved mother years earlier; it contains a deathbed note in which Elizabeth Penderwick encourages her husband to date again. The girls, horrified, formulate a "Save Daddy Plan," but they are, of course, doomed to failure. While observant readers will deduce the denouement on page 13, Batty makes it perfectly plain a little further along: "I say Daddy should date the [sweet, young, widowed, also-an-academic] lady next door, and then I could play with her baby." Out of the mouths of babes . . . . The rest of the story is a pleasant ramble of a read, replete with well-intentioned scheming, adolescent crushes, horrible homework disasters, soccer, secrets, school dances and lots and lots of literary allusion (and yes, a wedding). (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 September
Gr 4-7-- Jeanne Birdsall's second book (Knopf, 2008) about the Penderwick family is even better than her first, the National Book Award-winning The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (Knopf, 2005). The story begins as the four daughters return home to begin a normal school year. Much to their surprise, they find that their aunt has given their father a letter from their mother who died three years ago. In the letter, she begs him to continue on with his life, date, marry, and have a happy family life. The oldest daughter, Rosalind, hatches the "Save Daddy Plan" since she is determined never to have a replacement for her late mother. Of course, plans have a way of going awry and father has a few plans of his own. In the meantime, the sisters have their own problems. What will happen to Rosalind's relationship with her neighbor Tommy? Sisters Skye and Jane have homework and school disasters, and youngest sister Batty goes on a secret spy mission. Susan Denaker's narration creates a pace that's soothing but never boring. Listeners will relate to the well-drawn, charming characters. Birdsall plans at least three more installments to this series.--Linda Steele, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City [Page 75]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.