Anne-with-an-e-xtravaganza time! It’s time to take a look at some utterly delightful books all inspired by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s iconic Canadian classic Anne of Green Gables! Courtesy of my friends at Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada, I have a selection of titles on review: Anne’s Kindred Spirits, which is the second Anne Chapter Book entry by Kallie George and illustrator Abigail Halpin, as well as four board books all about Anne by Kelly Hill. Enjoy!
“Anne with an e,” said Anne.
“And how are you?” Mrs. Barry asked.
“I’m good in body, but rumpled in spirits, ma’am,” said Anne. Then, to Marilla, she said, “That wasn’t too strange, was it?”
An early chapter book series that began with the wonderful Anne Arrives, Anne’s Kindred Spirits is the dazzling second title in Kallie George and Abigail Halpin‘s series. Anne’s Kindred Spirits opens with Anne looking forlornly at the “plain, sensible dresses”- all without puffy sleeves- Marilla has brought to her attention. Anne is on the way, with Marilla, to meet neighbor Mrs. Berry and her daughter Diana- a character who will soon become Anne’s “bosom friend”. While Anne and Diana immediately click and excitedly plan to meet at an upcoming picnic, major trouble brews at Green Gables when Marilla cannot find a brooch and directs the blame on Anne! Continuing the sincere, heartfelt, and sweetly funny rhythm and feel of the first title, Anne’s Kindred Spirits is a terrific story. Anne’s depth of emotions and wonderful imagination are on full display in this tale, and readers will likely find themselves deeply and happily satisfied with the conclusion. This series brings a refreshingly modern yet recognizable Anne to a younger, ready-for-chapter-books audience: author Kallie George has done such a marvelous job with capturing the heart and passion of the classic series, and Abigail Halpin’s art simply shines with energy and emotion.
Canadian book designer (and clearly, crafter-extraordinaire!) Kelly Hill brings the youngest of readers- and their caregivers- a marvelous treat with a series of four Anne of Green Gables-based concept board books that feature hand-embroidered illustrations. All inspired by “iconic moments from the beloved L.M. Montgomery classic”, this board book series includes: Anne’s Alphabet, Anne’s Colors, Anne’s Feelings, and Anne’s Numbers. From “L is for Lake of Shining Water” and “red cordial”, to “Anne is excited” and “3 skipping stones”, each of these excellent sturdy books works as both a dive into Anne’s snug world and and as an accessible and straightforwardly functional concept book. Any of the titles would make for an adorable newborn/baby gift…while older readers who have loved the Anne of Green Gables series may especially fancy spending time in Kelly Hill’s brilliantly imagined, cozy and joyful interpretation of Anne. The hand embroidery is absolutely enchanting- the more you peruse, the more intricate and sweet details you notice- and I would like to point out this lovely illustration note, if I haven’t already convinced you to seek these books out: “The artwork in this book was created with fabric, thread, embroidery floss and a sprinkling of freckles”. Readers who have enjoyed Holman Wang and Jack Wang’s felted stories, Jennifer Adams’ BabyLit series, or who appreciated hand-crafted artwork, might especially love Kelly Hill‘s series of board books.
I received copies of these titles courtesy of Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions and comments are my own. Titles have been published and are currently available.