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The Peterkin Papers (New York Review Children's Collection) Hardcover – October 17, 2006
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–The New York Times
“Lucretia P. Hale’s Peterkin family and ‘the lady from Philadelphia’ are standard characters in American fiction, and surely that is much to say of an author in these book-crowded days…Few writers leave behind them such a tribute to their greatness as the Peterkins are to Lucretia P. Hale, for the years pass them along to every new generation with the hint that human nature is about the same everywhere and all the time.”–Harper’s Bazaar
“People young and old, solemn and gay, rich and poor, will be glad to welcome a new edition of the Peterkin Papers. It is pleasant to meet the Peterkin family again…”–The Chicago Tribune
“[Lucretia Hale is] among the best of American women writers.” --Harper’s Bazaar
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Top Customer Reviews
The early chapters provided a lot of funny tales. My kids retell the stories and have taken to asking things like "Oh my gosh, can you imagine what the Peterkins would do now?" The characters in this book are just fantastic, and by the time the reader gets to the story of the Peterkins' tea party, it's easy to understand the large turnout - who would miss a chance to meet these wonderfully goofy people?
I subtracted a star because there are some sections of the book that didn't age quite as well. We didn't get much out of the section about the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia; it was probably funnier at the time. There is also some commentary about skin color during their Egyptian trip that made us uncomfortable, but the comments are understandable in historical context.
Even though we didn't find every story equally enjoyable, there are some real gems in the book. I am so glad to have read about the Peterkins' attempts to grow wise, the accommodations made for a too-tall Christmas tree, and their extraordinarily unique response to a heavy snow. These stories alone would be worth the price of the book.
When I was a kid we were dirt-clod poor and some charity gave my family a partial set of Young Readers Classics. My hardbound copy of The Peterkin Papers was one of the volumes. I read it over and over until the bindings wore thin. Discovering this public domain gem for Kindle was a joy. Even as an adult, the stories still have the power to delight and amuse. It seems the Peterkins haven't gotten any more sensible in all the decades they slumbered in my memory. Also, as a fledgling writer my self, the subtle, relentless, comedic voice is well worth studying and trying to emulate.
Tired of young readers' stories that rely on sex, violence and sparkly vampires? Revisit this classic. Only complaint are small formatting errors in the text. It needs a good going over by an ebook specialist.
The Peterkins--Mr. and Mrs., Agamemnon, Elizabeth Eliza, Solomon John, and various unnamed younger brothers--are a family with lofty aspirations and nothing to ground them. If the Christmas tree is too tall for their living room, they raise the ceiling instead of cutting the tree down to size. In short, they are silly fools. The lady from Philadelphia is their salvation. After they've exhausted their harebrained ideas, she solves their problem with one sentence of common sense.
The foolishness is funny at first blush, but gets tiresome quickly. On the plus side, the illustrations are well done, complementing the text. The chapter on Agamemnon's education entertained me because it was close enough to the truth to be very funny.
And that sweet, patient Lady from Philadelphia...every fool needs someone like her for a friend. Everyone needs her for a good example of loving patience with all those goofs who are trying their best and still messing up.
This edition seems to have the nice old illustrations the edition I grew up with had, which is good. They really enhanced the stories.
I was delighted to find The Peterkin Papers on Amazon. These innocent stories are suitable for children from the age of about 3 on up, I think, since youngsters are so much more savvy these days, although I'm sure it was intended for older children when it was first published. I've started reading them to my 4 year-old granddaughter who doesn't understand why the Peterkins can't figure out things that are obvious to her!
Finally, my first-born child is named Peter. As an affectionate diminutive, I always address him as Peterkin.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This Kindle edition is faulty. There are missing sections and sometimes the first words of a story are not there. This needs to be digitized. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ronald A. Maine
Sorry I was so much better today than other types of people are awesome and I am going to get the golden pathway and add to get your message across a good day.Published 10 months ago by log lover
The first of the Peterkin family stories appeared in 1867 in the magazine "Our Young Folks". Each Peterkin story recounts the family members' inability to solve even the simplest... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Pop Bop
Nineteenth century tales of a dopey family. Dated, I suppose, but I love it.Published 14 months ago by Hendon
GET THIS BOOK. This book is my favorite book. The Peterkin Papers is so funny it will knock your socks off!Published 16 months ago by SP
I grew up on some of these stories, and my kids did too -- as soon as I realized that there were many of these stories (written for a Boston newspaper in the 19th century) and they... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Winslow Rogers
I loved the Peterkins as a child, and am glad to have them on my Kindle.Published 18 months ago by Savvy Consumer
Very funny. Enjoyable if you understand culture at the turn of the century (20th).
Recommended to Philadelphians, especially "wise" ladies.:)