Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Willoughbys

Lois Lowry, author of The Giver and Number the Stars, among others, has written a new book. The Willoughbys are an old-fashioned family: four children, neighbors to a mysterious man on whose front steps they leave the baby they found on their stoop--with the addition of a ransom note... The book is basically a parody of children's classics. Think Hansel and Gretel combined with Mary Poppins and The Bobbsey Twins, with references to Heidi, James and the Giant Peach, and Jane Eyre, just to name a few. It comes complete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography. The entry for Mary Poppins states:
Mary Poppins is not at all like the cheerful, spritely movie person played by Julie Andrews. She is a stern, cross, vain and mysterious nanny who arrives on the wind at the home of the Banks family in London to care for their four children... Ms. Poppins does not sing, ever, and would not like being portrayed as someone who did.
So true.

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