Friday, April 18, 2008

The Short List

In spite of the fact that we checked out about a bazillion library books last week, only one held any interest.

Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maude Montgomery, as retold by Kathleen Olmstead
Part of the Classic Starts series

We watched the movie (the one that PBS stations always put on at pledge time) and Elise was enraptured. Having requested this version for younger kids from the library, I wasn't sure what to expect. I hadn't counted on Elise being quite so excited. I received a notice from the library on Monday, and we had to go pick it up. With much lamenting that they don't open until 2pm on Mondays. And, the whole works was read by Thursday afternoon. (This with me out of commission for a day and a half.)

Aside from a few nonsensical changes (Why does Bonnie have to be a tulip instead of a geranium? I mean really.) I thought this version did a good job of introducing the best of Anne to younger kids. I also thought that the acrobatics necessary to believably leave out Diana getting drunk were pretty funny.

So far we've pretended that blankets are long dresses, had fancy tea parties at which we use affected voices and talk of lofty things, and given Elise "Anne braids." It helps that Elise's new friend Rista has lovely raven black hair that we can admire and envy.

My introduction of Anne (which even I admit has been too early for such a little girl) was all a part of a not-so-subtle ploy to coerce Andy into heading for PEI while we're off in Maine at the end of June. (It's so close, after all!) We may or may not make it there, but Elise and I have found something that we have really bonded over. I'm glad this younger-audience version of the book exists.

1 comment:

Aunt Linda said...

I am always leery of simplified classics for kids. I am glad this one turned out to be worthwhile. It is hard not to be drawn into the story of Anne. I did not read it until I was a mother and living in Spain. Now I suggest it enthusiastically to many of my students.