One of children’s literature’s most memorable redheaded heroines is being introduced to a younger audience.
For all caregivers who have been champing at the bit to share their love of L.M. Montgomery’s bestselling series with their little ones, Christmas is here early in this delightful abridged version of the first novel aimed at emerging readers. George, who adapted Anne’s tale into a gorgeous picture book (Goodnight Anne, 2018, etc.), is the ideal person for the task of distilling the first novel’s adventures into manageable chunks for independent readers. The author chooses her words with care, preserving all of Anne’s charm, wit, and infectious enthusiasm as she renames places in Avonlea and integrates herself into Green Gables. The short, clipped sentences also capture Matthew Cuthbert’s quiet-yet-affectionate nature and Marilla’s well-meaning prickliness. The book focuses on Anne’s early tussle with nosy next-door neighbor Mrs. Lynde, so those hoping for a glimpse of Gilbert will have to wait until the next installment. Halpin’s illustrations are a sheer delight, and in her capable hands the vibrant green grass and delicate pink flowers of Green Gables pop off of the page. The illustrator’s chief strength is drawing people, and she beautifully captures the angular awkwardness of Anne’s prepubescent body and the worry lines on the Cuthberts’ faces. All characters are white.
A dream of an adaptation that is an unabashed love letter to the series that inspired it. (Early reader. 6-8)