As the official Anne-oholic of my circles, I’m occasionally asked what I think of the various Anne-inspired books that have been published in recent years. There are surprisingly few that I love (What can I say? I’m a snob.) but I’ll happily feature here those few worthy of the main character! Recently my daughters and I have been enamored of the gorgeous Anne chapter books written by Kallie George and illustrated by Abigail Halpin.
I remember when Lucy (my oldest) was six or so, and I first got the itch to share Anne with my own wildly imaginative, dreamy, sensitive chatterbox. Except…Anne of Green Gables is pretty inaccessible for a six-year-old. Try handing that thick, wordy book to an early reader, and you’ll suddenly realize that L. M. Montgomery’s sentence are complex and sophisticated in a way you never realized. Yet her characters–perhaps none more so than Anne–are easily appreciated by young readers. How to find a balance?
Obviously, one solution is to read Anne aloud, choosing the most interesting bits, perhaps cutting out some long bits of description, hoping you have a child who will take Anne’s vocabulary for granted so you don’t have to stop to define every other word. This is the route we took with Lucy. She had a kinda gigantic vocabulary of her own and an affinity for “big kid books” so it worked well. Honestly, I recommend you try it, if you have the patience and the right kind of kid.
But even though that method worked for us, I’m still grateful for these beautiful books by Kallie George. They have a few advantages:
- While great for read-alouds, kids can also read these on their own. Over and over and over.
- The language echoes the richness of Montgomery’s style, while skipping many of the long descriptions that can tire young readers.
- The stories are more focused on Anne herself, whereas L. M. Montgomery’s omniscient narrator often follows the adult characters, a stylistic choice that made it harder for my younger children to maintain interest.
- The illustrations are gorgeous, and allow new readers to put the words into context, making them good choices for first chapter books.
- All in all, these books are things of beauty. They’re lovely to look at, nice to hold, and beautifully detailed (I love the endpapers, covers, and dust jackets).
I think you’ll love these little books, and I wholeheartedly recommend them!
You can purchase Anne Arrives and Anne’s Kindred Spirits from Amazon by clicking the images above, or from your local independent bookstore by clicking HERE.
(I’m an associate seller, so if you buy through these links, I will receive a small portion of each sale. Thank you!)
I’m linking up with the folks at Always in the Middle today for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. Click on over to find many more excellent middle grade reads!