The Penderwicks are four sisters, as different as chalk from cheese, yet as close as can be. The eldest, Rosalind, is responsible and practical; Skye, stubborn and feisty; dreamy, artistic, budding novelist, Jane; and shy little Batty, who doesn't go anywhere without her butterfly wings. And not forgetting Hound, their large lumbering lovable dog. The four girls and their absent-minded father head off for their summer holidays, but instead of the cosy tumbledown cottage they expect, they find themselves on a huge estate called Arundel, with magnificent gardens ripe for exploring. It isn't long before they become embroiled in all sorts of scrapes with new-found friend, Jeffrey - but his mother, the icy-hearted Mrs Tifton, must be avoided at all costs. Chaotic adventures ensue, and it soon becomes a summer the sisters will never forget...
Both of my daughters and myself absolutely love this book! It's a real classic - beautiful, realistic characters on a summer adventure. Jeanne Birdsall is a very talented writer and this book reads like a contemporary version of the best of E Nesbit. It's the perfect book to read aloud to younger children. Read it to mine when aged 6 and 7 and for older kids to read themselves. It's the first in a series and the others - three so far - are equally as great.
Rather dull -
My daughter is a very keen reader but she found this book really rather dull. The characters are fairly appealing but nothing of significance really happens and it's very slow.