The Willoughbys (Anglais) Broché – 23 mars 2010
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"The tone of this darkly dry pastiche is consistently witty, and it's chock-full of accessible parodic references to...classic children's texts...Lowry crafts a tidy plot."--The Bulletin, starred review
Présentation de l'éditeur
From the Newbery Medal-winning author of The Giver and Number the Stars, comes a "hilarious" (Booklist, starred review) and wonderfully old-fashioned story about a mother and father who are all too eager to be rid of their four children . . . and four children who are all too happy to be rid of their parents.
The Willoughby's—Timothy; his twin brothers, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their little sister, Jane—are old-fashioned children who adore old-fashioned adventures. Unfortunately, the Willoughby parents are not very fond of their children, and the truth is that the siblings are not too keen on their parents either. Little do the Willoughby kids know that their neglectful mother and father are hatching an evil plan to get rid of them! Not to worry—these resourceful adventurers have a few plans of their own. But they have no idea what lies ahead in their quest to rid themselves of their ghastly parents and live happily ever after.
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Meilleurs commentaires des clients
The object of parody here is old-fashioned children's books. Accordingly, the titular Willoughbys are "an old-fashioned family," and constantly refer to themselves as such. The Willoughby children are Timothy, the bossy oldest child; indistinguishable twins who are both named Barnaby (referred to as "A" and "B"); and the overlooked youngest child, Jane.
"Shouldn't we be orphans?" Timothy asks one day. While they're not, Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby, unbeknownst to them, are about to abandon their children in a plot inspired by HANSEL AND GRETEL. But the Willoughby children are too busy doing all the things that an old-fashioned family should do to care very much. All the elements of old-fashioned children's literature are included in the plot. Abandoned baby in a basket? Check. Mysterious nanny? Check. Reclusive tycoon living in squalor? Check. Really bad fake German? Well...that might be a new one.
It's impressive how effectively Lowry pokes fun at literary clichés so widespread that most of us have never even thought about them. It had never occurred to me how prevalent some of the elements of classic children's literature are until I read THE WILLOUGHBYS, but once it did, I wondered why I'd never read a similar parody. Lowry gets plenty of jokes in while still keeping the plot moving, and the result is a fast, funny read. Adding to the fun are the glossary and bibliography at the end of the book. Here's a sample glossary entry: "Tycoon means somebody who has amassed great wealth and power in business. Usually a tycoon is a man, for some reason. Maybe Oprah Winfrey is a tycooness." The bibliography consists of a list of "books of the past that are heavy on piteous but appealing orphans, ill-tempered and stingy relatives, magnanimous benefactors, and transformations wrought by winsome children," which include MARY POPPINS, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, and the BOBBSEY TWINS series.
While teens and adults will also find this book hilarious, it's appropriate for even those younger readers in elementary school. Readers will laugh out loud--and they might even be moved to pick up one of the books that inspired it.
Reviewed by: Katie Hayes
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
My first contact with Lois Lowry was way back in l986 when, on first sharing several of her books with my fifth grade class, I wrote to her, expressing my good fortune in discovering her books and the fun I had reading them to my kids. She responded to my letter and has done likewise over the years as I established a rapport with not only an author of increasing note (her Newberry Awards were not too distant in the future) but with a friend.
Lois has always provided the children for whom she writes the opportunity for a most worthwhile reading experience. It's obvious, in books from the "Anastasia" series to books in the vein of "The Giver" or "Number the Stars," that she has great respect for the youngsters who become her audience. The release of a new book is something, then, for them to eagerly anticipate...and "The Willouby's" is no exception. From start to finish, readers delight in what is not only a "parody" but a story that will have readers eager to read to book's end to see just how this parody will be handled and story resolved. Kids, parody aside, will be anxious to read to book's end to see just what becomes of these children, abandoned by their parents, left in the care of a nanny, making their way into the care of a recluse candy maker, he whose life is radically altered by actions taken by the original four children, eager to dispose of a baby they find on their own doorstep. Parody of stories of old? Yes. But also a story that one eagerly reads for its "happy ending." And might there be any youngster who won't feel that the wonderful glossary at the end of the book is "icing on the cake?" And might readers not fully familiar with the stories and authors of old mentioned through Lois' book be prompted to perhaps pick up "Little Women," "The Secret Garden," and the like and enjoy stories of other children who have been part of "children's literature" for years and years? Yes, Lois' book is a parody, but children love reading of other children, and it will be the lucky youngster who chooses to make him or herself familiar with these characters from "stories of old." Hence, Lois' "bibliography" of sorts at book's end, where these classic stories are all listed, along with a brief description of each book's content, author, date published.
Whether you're a teacher anxious to see Lois' new book as part of your school's library of books or added to a classroom's reading list for both enjoyment of reading but, just as important, discussion of the book's elements; whether you're a parent, anxious to find just the perfect book for a youngster as a gift, Lois, as well as so many other fine writers of books for younger readers, will not disappoint. Move from her latest offering to the other books she's written...especially if this is a first introduction of the author to you and your child or the children in your classroom. I always told my kids, when I taught and read, over the years, oh, so many books to them (for their enjoyment AND mine), some of the best literature created over these many years has been written for THEM. Kids can be quite discerning; it's the fortunate parent or teacher who can guide them into an appreciation of just what's out there to be read and enjoyed. There's a veritable treasure to be found!
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