Monday, August 31, 2009

Review #42: Anne of Green Gables

Dad:  What book did we finish reading the other day?
Lily (age 6):  Anne of Green Gables!
Dad:  Can you tell me how Anne came to live at Green Gables?
Gracie (age 9):  Matthew and Marilla wanted to adopt a little boy.
Lily:  Anne was supposed to be a boy, but things got mixed up and someone brought a girl from the orphanage instead.
Isaac (age 10):  When Matthew came to pick up the person he thought was a boy, Matthew couldn't figure out what was going on.  The train had come a while ago, and there was no boy waiting there.  Only a girl.
Gracie:  Matthew doesn't usually talk to girls.  In the book it says, Matthew had to walk up to a girl and demand of her why she wasn't a boy!  Matthew is not good at talking to girls at all.
Isaac:  That would be impossible for him.
Gracie:  So he just took her!
Isaac:  He took her all the way back home from the train station.
Gracie:  He was planning to just let Marilla take care of it at home.
Lily:  They were going to give her back.
Gracie:  On the trip home Anne started talking way too much.  But it made Matthew like her, and he wanted to keep her.
Dad:  Let's talk about the characters one by one.  Tell me more about Matthew...
Gracie:  Matthew and Anne are kindred spirits.
Isaac:  Matthew always starts his sentences with "Well now..."  And he's very, very, very, very shy.  Matthew doesn't talk much at all.
Lily:  He is quiet.  And he is nice.  And he is a grown man.
Isaac:  Also he's a farmer.
Gracie:  Matthew loves to work.  There's this one part in the book that says, to tell Matthew not to work was like to tell Matthew not to breathe.
Isaac:  And Matthew is nervous when he goes by girls, except his sister Marilla.
Gracie:  He can NOT talk to girls.  One time he went to the store to buy a dress with puffed sleeves for Anne, but then he found out that a girl worked at the store.  He got all shy, so instead he asked for a gardening rake -- in the middle of winter!  Then he asked for hayseed -- in the middle of winter.  Then he asked for 20 pounds of brown sugar!  And Marilla barely ever uses brown sugar.  20 pounds!
Dad:  Isaac, would you be embarrassed to buy a dress for someone?
Isaac:  No.  But if the dress was for me, then yes.
Dad:  Alright, tell me some more about Marilla...
Isaac:  She is the opposite of Matthew.  Matthew is always doing this nice, nice stuff for Anne.  Like getting her anything she wants, and Marilla is horrified.  She doesn't want Anne to have stuff she doesn't need.  She doesn't want to spoil her.
Gracie:  She just wants Anne to grow up to be a proper lady.
Lily:  Marilla is grumpy because she is old.
Gracie:  Marilla never gives compliments.  Like in one part of the book, Anne did something really good and important, and everyone was giving her compliments, but Marilla just said, well I guess you did okay Anne.
Dad:  Tell me about Mrs. Lynde...
Isaac:  She always says, "That's what."  And she's always horrified at Anne.
Gracie:  She always has to know everything that's going on.  Like at the beginning of the book Mrs. Lynde sees Matthew in a tuxedo driving a golf cart...
Isaac:  A golf cart!?!
Dad:  In a suit driving a buggy...
Gracie:  Yeah, whatever.  So Mrs. Lynde runs over to Marilla's house and says, what's going on?  And one time Mrs. Lynde said Anne was skinny and her red hair was horrid.  So Anne said, you waddle like a penguin!  Then Anne apologized and said, what you said about me was true. And even though it hurt my feelings, I had no right to say what I said about you, even though that was true as well.
Dad:  Who wants to tell me something about Gilbert Blythe?
Gracie:  Gilbert Blythe is a boy who was always picking on the girls.
Lily:  He called Anne "Carrots," so Anne whacked Gilbert Blythe with the chalkboard until it broke!
Gracie:  Then she was never friends with him until the end of the book because Anne has red hair and she hates it.  She's very sensitive about the way she looks.
Dad:  Tell me about Diana.
Isaac:  She's Anne's best friend.
Gracie:  Diana is Anne's bosom friend.  One time Anne accidentally sent Diana drunk.  And then she wasn't allowed to talk to her or speak to her or even sit by her.  And they were so sad.
Dad:  Alright, so tell me about Anne.  What kind of girl is she?
Isaac:  Very imaginative.
Gracie:  She's got probably the biggest imagination in the land.
Isaac:  She names every single place and tree.
Gracie:  And she wanted to sleep in a wild cherry tree.
Lily:  She's a happy girl.  Ha ha ha.
Gracie:  And dramatic!  And romantic!
Isaac:  Anne doesn't stop talking for hours.  She was always using these huge words.  And she said people laughed at her because she was too young to be using these words.
Gracie:  When she was young she was like, Oh I will be so overjoyed when I am old enough to use big words and not have people laugh at me.  But then when she got old enough to do that, she never used her big words anymore.
Dad:  Anne finds herself in trouble quite a bit, doesn't she?
Gracie:  She makes mistakes a lot.  But she learns from them.  She learns from every one.  Once the kids were all daring each other, and Josie Pye dared Anne to walk on the roof ridge.  So she did it, and then she fell off and sprained her ankle.  And one time she bought some hair dye to turn her hair raven-black.  But instead it turned it green.  I think now there must be a color called "raven-green" because of Anne.
Dad:  There are so many funny scenes in this book.  Everyone pick just one.  What is your favorite scene?
Lily:  When Matthew bought the 20 pounds of brown sugar!  Because he was embarrassed to get a puffed-sleeve dress for Anne!
Isaac:  My favorite is when Anne accidentally made Diana go drunk.  Dianna was going to come over for tea and Marilla said there was some raspberry cordial in the cupboard.  But Anne got the wrong thing out, and Dianna drank three cups of it and said, I don't feel so good.  And as soon as Dianna's mom smelled Dianna's breath, she was furious and went crazy, angry, madness on Anne.
Gracie:  This is my favorite funny part.  Anne told about a time when she...  well, this is how her story goes:  Once I made some jello -- no, pudding -- and I forgot to put tinfoil on the top.  And when I went to go get it, there was a dead rat floating in it.  I picked the rat out with a spoon, but I forgot to throw the pudding out to the pigs.  Then these really fancy people came to have tea.  Marilla brought out the pudding and I said 'Stop!  Don't eat that pudding!  There was a dead rat swimming in it!'  Marilla was mortified.  And probably flabbergasted.
Dad:  There are lots more Anne books.  Do you think Anne will still be her same old self even when she grows up?
Gracie:  I hope so.

Anne stumbles off the roof, by Gracie

Diana and Anne cannonball onto poor Aunt Josephine,
by Isaac

"It would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry tree
don't you think?"
  by Lily

Author: L. M. Montgomery
Published, 1908
Like it? Find it


debbie said...

I love this book too! We must be kindred spirits...

Carrie said...

I'm grinning like the cheshire cat! =)


Shelley said...

I bet Anne would love that picture of her in a cherry tree. Sweet.

Heidi Noel said...

I just read these books for the first time and am sad I didn't discover them when I was younger. Very good review! I liked the broach part the best.

Andy said...

Matthew is a wonderful character. I really identified with him when I was in high school. Girls were always very scary to me.

Tina Turbin said...

I really enjoyed visiting your website. I have a fun website that revolves around the topics of children's books, reading and literature yet is focused on the lovable characters from my children's book series Danny the Dragon. It's always a pleasure to connect up with like-minded individuals and websites that share similar interests. Thanks Tina

hollybookscoops said...

Anne of Green Gables is one of my all-time favorites! I always wanted Diana's raven black tresses and Anne's romantic, superfluous vocabulary.

Thanks for the great review and pictures!

Genevieve said...

LOVE the pic of Anne and Diana jumping on Aunt Josephine - it's so lively, I never imagined it quite like that and now I do!

morninglight mama said...

What a fantastic (as usual) conversation about a classic book!! Your kids have such great insights and illustrations here (as usual, again!) Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorites. Here is mine

Unknown said...

I knew that Carrie would love this post :).

I love the illustrations as usual.

I find it interesting that you all focused on the funny parts. My daughter (10) and I just read it for the first time last year. I found it magical, but yes it was very clever as well.

Magnus Smith said...

I always ignore this book as a child, and assumed it would be boring. Finally, atthe age of 36, your review convinced me to try it, and I loved it!

Terrible to think I might never had read it. Thank you for helping me discover a new author - I'll hunt down the sequel now.