Saturday, March 7, 2009

Read this: The Willoughbys

I first heard about this book on the Angry Chicken blog, and I knew that I wanted to read it right away. It was probably the cover. The Willoughbys is a children's book written by Lois Lowry (who also wrote Number the Stars, The Giver, and lots of other books you've probably read). The book is very funny and satirical and pokes fun at the conventions of old-fashioned children's books. It tells the story of the four Willoughby children, who wish they could be orphans, and their parents, who wish they didn't have children. I love that Lowry doesn't hold back when it comes to the vocabulary--she even includes a glossary of some of the bigger words (I admit I had to peek at it more than once). Here's an excerpt:

Their father, an impatient and iracible man, went to work at a bank each day, carrying a brief case and an umbrella even if it was not raining. Their mother, who was indolent and ill-tempered, did not go to work. Wearing a pearl necklace, she grudgingly prepared the meals. Once she read a book but found it distasteful because it contained adjectives. Occasionally she glanced at a magazine.
The Willoughby parents frequently forgot they had children and became quite irritable when they were reminded of it.
I'll definitley hang on to this book and read it to Luke when he's older. I'm not sure what the recommended age would be. Maybe 10-12?


Stephanie said...

Start now. And read it over and over. You know, so the message sinks in.

Natalie said...

I like this book. It's a little too old for 2nd graders, but third graders (9-10 year olds) like it at my school...