Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Heidi

Yodelay, yodelay, yodelayheehoo! There's no actual yodelling in Heidi, the classic children's novel by Johanna Spyri. Nor does a cherubic Shirley Temple pop out to say all the charming platitudes that the little Swiss girl spouts during the book. But otherwise, it was much like I remembered it from reading it in my younger days.

Orphaned at an early age, Heidi is sent to live with her curmudgeon of a grandfather high in the Swiss Alps. But Heidi soon finds that things are not always what others say they are, makes friends with her grandfather, and happily runs wild in the glorious mountains with the goat boy, Peter, and his goats.

Suddenly her aunt returns, and Heidi finds herself confined in the city to be companion to the invalid Klara. But Heidi is bitterly unhappy away from her grandfather and the outdoor life she has grown to love.

There's actually a lot in common between this book, which I enjoyed, and The Secret Garden, which I did not (link goes to my recent review). I don't know what the difference was. For example, where I found Colin in The Secret Garden to be insufferable, I thought Klara was quite sweet. This is definitely a kids' book - I don't expect to see it suddenly become hot beach reading - but I thought it was charming to read again. Buy Heidi on Amazon or download free at Project Gutenberg.

1 comment:

  1. First, your baby is adorable (and I don't say that to every mother).

    How funny that you read both The Secret Garden and Heidi is quick succession. I had never read either book until my early 30s when I bought cheap editions of both of them. I gobbled them both up. I loved all that milk and cheese in Heidi.


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