Into the Book


Pinky Pye- Eleanor Estes

“ ‘Well,’ said Rachel, ‘I like books, but I’m not crazy about book reports.’ ” Rachel, the protagonist of this “book report,” never said a truer word. It is certainly one thing to be a voracious reader, but to be a reader, critical thinker, and writer all at once truly is a remarkable thing. However, it must be said that the book report is easy if the book is a delight. And surely, Eleanor Estes’s Pinky Pye is one such book.

This story of the Pye family- a happy bunch consisting of Papa (an ornithologist), Mama, Jerry, Rachel, four-year old Uncle Bennie, along with their pets Ginger the dog and Gracie the cat- begins with a journey to Fire Island, a “long and skinny island just south of Long Island, which is also a long and skinny island, though it is fatter than Fire Island and much longer.” (A description borrowed from the book). The book is a chronology of the Pye’s adventuresome summer vacation. Much like the Middle Moffat, this book is a series of snapshots that string together to make for a lovely, lazy summer novel. Among the many wild and wonderful things that happen to the Pyes on Fire Island is the acquistion of a new member of the family: a charming kitten named Pinky. By the end of the book, Pinky is not the only new member of the Pye family, but I suppose if you would like to know about that, you will have to read the book for yourself.

It is no wonder that Eleanor Estes is a Newberry award-winning author. Her energetic style, loveable characters, and interesting subjects lend themselves to an ideal children’s novel. However, there is a little something for everyone in this lively tale (it had my fiancĂ© laughing out loud while I read it to him on our road trip- even begging for more, though my voice was rather hoarse). A few words here and there may be a bit archaic (what 9-year old do you know that frequently uses the word “cunning” to describe her pets?) and Estes descriptive narration often lends itself to long (borderline run-on) sentences with lots of odd punctuation that make for a somewhat difficult read-aloud. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book to children of all ages (yes, that includes adults).


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Alisha Hange started on ItB in December of 2013. She is studying Elementary Education and hopes to spend her life teaching. She loves children's books, magic, and beauty. She is also a poet.


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