Family Stories

Stories about families / family life

The Seven Silly Eaters

Author(s): 
Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrator(s): 
Marla Freeze

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman is neither a Catholic book, nor does it tell of a saint--it is not even around a religious theme. And yet, it is an all-time favorite in this seven-children Catholic family! The book tells about a family that grows and grows... almost every time we turn the page there is a new baby! The fact that they are silly--or fussy--eaters, which our kids have never been, matters little to us. The illustrations are absolutely captivating and darling, and the rhymes are known by all the kids, who can recite the book from cover to cover.

The Penderwicks

Author(s): 
Jeanne Birdsall

It may have been the old fashioned cover with all those happy children, or the subtitle, but the fact is, I grabbed a copy of the Penderwicks from the library even though it’s a 2005 copyright: our read-aloud selections are almost never beyond 1950! It took me a while, however, and some research online, before I inserted the CD into the van’s stereo, and not without some trepidation. Needless to say my personal experience with contemporary children’s materials has been… bumpy at best. But this one promised to be different.

Betsy-Tacy

Author(s): 
by Maud Hart Lovelace

Upper Level Books Newly Reprinted!!!

I first read Betsy-Tacy to my eldest daughters when they were about five and eight years old. How I skipped over this charming book when I was a child I shall never know, but it was as new and delightful to me as it was to them.

As the book opens, Betsy Ray is almost five years old, and is longing for a friend.

“Well, for Pete’s sake!” said Betsy’s father. “Hill Street is so full of children now that Old Mag has to watch where she puts her feet down.”

Friendly Gables

Book cover: 'Friendly Gables'
Author(s): 
Hilda Van Stockum

Friendly Gables is the final book in the Mitchell's Series and our favorite of the bunch.The family has recently settled into a large, comfortable house in Quebec. Mother has just given birth to twins and a cranky nurse comes to help. The children are adjusting to life in Canada - including French schools and a boy who's itching to pick a fight with "Yankee" boys.

Canadian Summer

Book cover: 'Canadian Summer'
Author(s): 
Hilda Van Stockum

Canadian Summer continues the story of the Mitchell Family (this is the second book in the series) several years after World War II. Baby Catherine has joined the family. Father is back from the war and has moved to Quebec for his job. He has difficulty finding housing for the family, but finally makes arrangements and sends Mother, Granny and the children up on the train. Upon arriving, the ladies are shocked to find that accomodations consist of a remote ski cabin lacking electricity or running water.

The Mitchells: Five for Victory

Book cover: 'The Mitchells: Five for Victory'
Author(s): 
Hilda Van Stockum

This is a charming and thoughtful story of an American family of five children during World War II (based on Hilda Van Stockum's own family) whose father is away at war. The family is very real with plenty of worries and troubles...but they manage to find joy with each other. For independent reading, it could be one your children's first full-length chapter books.Wit and wisdom make it a can't miss for adults as well (a perfect read-aloud). This has been a favorite with our family (for children as young as four or five) for many years.

Focus On The Family Radio Theater - The Chronicles of Narnia (additional review)

Book cover: 'Focus On The Family Radio Theater - The Chronicles of Narnia (additional review)'
Author(s): 
C.S. Lewis

Our family has been enjoying the first three audio books in this series very much. At this time, most of the stories have been produced in this audio format. The Silver Chair will be made available this spring (2002) leaving only the Last Battle to be produced. The narrator, Paul Scoffield (A Man for All Seasons [1966] and Hamlet [1991]) is just excellent. While the stories are somewhat abridged, they are remarkably complete for an audio drama.

Focus On The Family Radio Theater - The Chronicles of Narnia

Book cover: 'Focus On The Family Radio Theater - The Chronicles of Narnia'
Author(s): 
C.S. Lewis

Focus on the Family has produced an audio version of all of the Narnia books ( Available on CD or audio cassette). The stories are elegantly introduced by Douglas Grisham, stepson of C.S. Lewis. Mr. Grisham draws listeners into the story by recounting his personal experiences with C.S. Lewis ("or 'Jack' as he liked to be called"). Thus far, three books have been reproduced- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Magician's Nephew, and The Horse and His Boy.

The Last Battle

Book cover: 'The Last Battle'
Author(s): 
C.S. Lewis

This final book really presents a grand finale as the signs of Narnia's own "end times" begin to appear and the good side makes its preparations for a last stand against all the corruption and evil around. Even as a child, I remember enjoying how the author wove in so many "historical" details from the past books. Salvation and the reality of what life is really about are just over the horizon.

The Silver Chair

Book cover: 'The Silver Chair'
Author(s): 
C.S. Lewis

Eustace Scrubb and a new character, Jill, return to Narnia to save a young prince from his evil captors. Early in the story is a small piece that almost haunts me (in a good way - like something that has become imbedded in my conscience), even as an adult. Because Eustace fails to greet an "old friend" much good that could have happened, is lost, and much work must be done before achieving his mission. The truths that underlie these sorts of details in this entire series are really wonderful.

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