Read The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes Free Online
Book Title: The Witch Family|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 28.57 MB
v The author of the book: Eleanor Estes
Edition: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date of issue: September 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780152026103
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books The Witch Family:This book is sheer perfection. It has many of the same qualities as Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner -- young children who live out tremendous adventures in their imagination with characters who are typically treated by the author as though they are also real, though every once in a while perspective shifts and you see the drawings of Old Witch, Little Witch Girl, Lurie (the little mermaid), Weeny Witchy, Malechai (The Spelling Bee -- yes, he is an enchanted bee who spells everything he says) and the others, the same way the illustrations occasionally show you the animals in Winnie the Pooh as stuffed animals.
Another similarity is in the witty sophistication of the language. Christoper Robin is 3-5 in the Pooh books while Amy and Clarissa are 6 in this book, and in both cases there's no way a child of the protagonist's age would actually be able to read the book to him or herself. A parent reading to their child, however, will love every single word, understand an additional six dozen ways the book is delightfully funny, and be thrilled at how much their child is learning and how much more curious and engaged he or she is becoming both with books and with his or her own imagination. I remember reading the book to myself over and over when I was a couple of years older and able to read it on my own -- I hadn't outgrown Amy and Clarissa at all.
That said, however, Estes is absolutely genius at capturing the little nuances of how young girls (perhaps young children in general, but I can only speak with authority on girls) interact when they play -- how they introduce new concepts for games and stories to each other and adapt to each other's additions to their shared world. I think many children will find solace and a sense of belonging in this book because they might identify more with Amy (who is a strong leader, often taking the initiative in crafting the narrative and suggesting adventure) or Clarissa (who is less consistently creative, but clearly glad to have a friend like Amy who brings so much excitement to her life, and who is always able to go along on the journey because she has as much imagination and wonder when given a chance.) The book presents them both as okay, which could mean a lot to both extroverted, brave, imaginative children and introverted, gentler children who are less often appreciated and praised for their gifts.
An important note: this book is NOT scary. If you have a child who is afraid of witches, this book would be great for helping him or her cope with that fear. If you have a child who WANTS scary books... look elsewhere.
It would also be remiss not to praise illustrator Edward Ardizzone, who is perhaps the only other member in a class with Ernest Shepard. His artwork is similarly sweet and deceptively simple -- there's nothing flashy about it, but for me it's saying a lot to contend that the illustrations are instrumental to the story. So much of the time I would rather imagine locations and even characters my own way than have them turned into something concrete and specific that might (from my perspective) be WRONG (I'm looking at you, Mary GrandPré). But Ardizzone has depicted the world in a manner even more lovely than I could have imagined it, and I would hang framed prints of some of his panels in my writing room if such things were sold.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough -- it comes from such a place of beauty and love and imagination, and it is also a nearly-flawless piece of writing with unique turns of phrase, subtle humor, and perfect structure and pace. Even as an adult, I would rather re-read this book than read 99.9% of books that are intended for grown-ups.
Read information about the authorEleanor Ruth Rosenfeld (Estes)was an American children's author. She was born in West Haven, Connecticut as Eleanor Ruth Rosenfield. Originally a librarian, Estes' writing career began following a case of tuberculosis. Bedridden while recovering, Estes began writing down some of her childhood memories, which would later turn into full-length children's books.
Estes's book Ginger Pye (1951) won the Newbery Medal, and three of her other books (The Middle Moffat, Rufus M., and The Hundred Dresses) were chosen as Newbery Honor books. She also received the Certificate of Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Literature and was nominated for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. By the time of her death at age 82, Estes had written 19 children's books and one novel for adults.
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