As a kid, I loved the ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY. Papa, Mama, Ella, Sarah, Henny, Charlotte, Gertie and — by the end of the first book –Baby Charlie felt like good friends. I’ve just re-read the first in the series for my fourth and fifth-grade book club.
Here’s a glimpse at the story line:
There’s something to be said for a book that makes you wish you’d been part of a poor immigrant family living in New York’s upper east side on the eve of World War I. Sydney Taylor’s time-honored classic does just that.
Life is rich for the five mischievous girls in the family. They find adventure in visiting the library, going to market with Mama, even dusting the front room. Young readers who have never shared a bedroom with four siblings, with no television in sight, will vicariously experience the simple, old-fashioned pleasures of talk, make-believe, and pilfered penny candy. The family’s Jewish faith strengthens their ties to each other, while providing still more excitement and opportunity for mischief. Readers unfamiliar with Judaism will learn with the girls during each beautifully depicted holiday.
This lively family, subject of four more “all-of-a- kind” books, is full of unique characters, all deftly illustrated by Helen John. Taylor based the stories on her own childhood family, and the true-life quality of her writing gives this classic its page-turning appeal. (Ages 9 to 12)
Evidently, Sydney Taylor changed her name from Sarah to Sydney as a young woman (the second eldest child in the story). This would have thrilled me to know as a young reader!
Did anyone else read this series as a child?