I have had these books in my Amazon cart for well over a year. I don’t even remember how I heard about them! I am like that. But I finally got them this past month and I can’t wait to share with you my thoughts!
First, I love that the books are set up in such a way as to make it manageable for beginner readers so that they can not only have the ease of reading aloud, but having a larger font so that they can have an easier time to read regardless of method. The vocabulary is rich but simple. I love that. The whole setting takes place in Australia during the 1930’s. She is so full of questions and a bright imagination. She bounces from going to be a swaggie (U.S. Hobo would be the equivalent) and from there she decides to be a man and much more. Its adorable and cute. She even tries a big word like “blasted” and gets a scold from her mother for using not so nice language. I LOVE IT! How many parents would be ok with their child’s imagination to such an extent but still be firm in principles. It’s heartwarming! Towards the end of the book, you find that Audrey’s best friend is an invisible camel named, Stumpy. It so cute. Only she can see the camel. I always liken it to Anne Shirley’s Katie– her window friend. Unfortunately, Audrey’s home has no windows. 😉
I haven’t read the second book, Audrey Goes To Town, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it is now on its way! I got a glimpse of the content through the third book and I am quivering in my bloomers to read it.
And finally, Audrey’s Big Secret (get your copy here). This one I knew I was going to have to be a bit more critical about, but I’ll be honest, I feel like I am trying to nitpick something that doesn’t even bother me. I am sharing it as the only possible objectionable thing, and I would like to make it perfectly clear, that it was WELL-WRITTEN. First, Audrey thinks she see’s a ghost. She has a conversation with her father, and its heart-warming and wonderful. Conclusion: ghost would not have hung around as stinky area, and they wouldn’t walk in a dirty area when they could fly, ergo no ghost. Also, there is a kidnapping of an Aboriginal girl who Audrey finds. She keeps a secret from her parents about finding this young girl. And then it has a beautiful ending with a wonderful conversation with her mother. It wasn’t pushed too much and it wasn’t brushed off as nothing. It was BRILLIANT! In my attempt to be a bit vague so as not to ruin the whole story, it seems to be more of an issue than it really is.
What I love most about these series are the rich content of the Australian life. There is a vocabulary list so that you can understand some of the Australian language, the chapters are short to make it manageable for beginner readers. The print and vocabulary is rich but simple for great read aloud practice. And can we pause on the illustrations?! I mean, they are wonderful! The story is magnificent for read aloud times for all ages to enjoy. Really, this girl has tugged at my heartstrings. Her little brother has the adorable charm and her older brother Price, always comes through for her in times of need. This family will delight your soul. I hope this author writes more.
In summary: I aspire to finding quality literature for my children that give them a taste of being with the characters and learning about cultures that are different from our own. I love Audrey’s tenacity and spunk. I love her questions, and I aspire to be her mother. If you enjoy a Charlotte Mason philosophy, this is a great living book. I enjoyed researching the author online and found that she was inspired by Anne Shirley. I am not surprised since I kept comparing Audrey to Anne.
I hope you will pick up your copy and enjoy them as much as I did. Don’t forget that Amazon will let you get samples of the books when you click the picture.
You can get the complete Kindle stories from less than the cost of one book if that is more in your budget