Cynthia Frazier


Outstanding, Primary, Intermediate, Jeanne Birdsall, David Frankland, Vacation, Summer, Sisters, Rabbits, Dogs, Children, Friendship, Family

Document Type

Book Review


What do you get when a widower takes his four daughters, ages twelve to four, and a dog on vacation? You get a story set in a time before cell phones and internet, when playing sports, make believe, and exploring was the way to spend an enjoyable summer. Mr. Penderwick, a biologist, loves plants and the country is full of interesting specimens. Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty are his daughters. Each has her own personality, talents, and foibles weaving a wonderful story of family love and sibling interaction. Add a young boisterous dog, named Hound, who eats inappropriate things like travel maps, two rabbits who accidentally get loose the morning of a special garden party, and a new friend named Jeffrey, whose mean mother is thinking of marrying Dreadful Dopey Dexter Dupree and the stage is set for a most enjoyable read. Adventures with a dangerous bull, climbing out the bedroom window and having to be rescued by the gardener, soccer ball kicking contests with calamitous results, escaping through a tunnel in the hedge and hiding in an urn are just a few of the delightful exploits these children get into.