Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Few Titles by Kate Douglass Wiggin

Hey there! So it has been far too long, but I thought I would pop in and do a little post! Today I want to discuss my fondness for Kate Douglass Wiggin, and two of her books that in turn, inspired movies that I loved as a young girl, and still enjoy now!
About a year ago, Anna and I saw the Shirley Temple movie "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was going to be on tv. I got all excited, and set it to record on the DVR. It was cute (not really as engrossing as my memory had it chalked up to be), and we enjoyed watching Shirley Temple do her stereotypical overly cute, bubbly thing (don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Shirley Temple, but sometimes she can go over the top!). Buuuut, anyway. The best part about watching it this time around, was finding out in the opening credits that this movie is based on a book of the same title by Kate Douglass Wiggin, an authoress whom I already knew myself to be fond of! Sooo, I did a little internet shopping, and landed myself Wiggin's book: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm! I'll now proceed to share with you my favorite passage from the book, that I recorded in the book review notebook that I keep. I warn you, it is a bit of a whopper, but that Kate Douglass, she can be a wordy woman!

"Sparkling in the sunshine, gleaming under the summer moon, cold and gray beneath a November sky, trickling over the dam in some burning July drought, swollen with turbulent power in some April freshet, how many young eyes gazed into the mystery and majesty of the falls along that river, and how many young hearts dreamed out their futures leaning over the bridge rail, seeing 'the vision splendid' reflected there, and often, too, watching it fade into 'the light of common day.' "
I liked the cover art I chose for this post (even though my copy unfortunately doesn't have this cover) because it is a picture from the scene of the above passage! I wrote in my notebook that this book was like a New England version of Anne of Green Gables. So if you are an AOGG fan, this book may be for you! =) I will warn you, it has a creepy Dean Priest element to it (for those of you familiar with Emily of New Moon). But, overall this book is delightfully witty, while touchingly tender at the same time. If you like the movie, definitely give the book a try, because in my opinion, the book is much better!

Next Kate Douglass Wiggin book turned movie is Mother Carey's Chickens which was made, by Disney, into one of my most beloved movies ever: Summer Magic. I just love Haley Mills, and the music in Summer Magic, and of course the fact that it is set during my pet season...Summer! So, I can't remember when exactly I found out that Summer Magic was originally a book, but that was my first introduction to KDW. It is a lovely book. Sadly, it has been a few years since I have read it, and I had not yet started recording favorite quotes/passages from my literary undertakings. =( It is definitely in my "to do list" of books that were greatly enjoyed and need to be eventually re-read. Sadly, I'm afraid that to do list usually takes a back seat to "books that I have not read, but cannot wait to read." So...all that being said, the book is a good bit different than the movie, but still a very enjoyable read. The book seems to focus more in on the character of Mrs. Carey, while Summer Magic revolves more around Haley Mills' character, Nancy (the daughter). Also, Nancy is a bit younger in Mother Carey's Chickens, so that sort of changes the dynamics of the storyline. I do remember enjoying MCC, and I would like to read it again one day, maybe out loud to future daughters. =) But...if I was forced to choose book over movie, in this case I would have to go with Summer Magic! Partly because I really love all of the songs! =) Oh, and this time I chose a picture with the actual cover art on the book I own!

Ok, so one last KDW book. I have not read this one, but seeing as how it is a Christmas story, I hope to read it in the Christmas season 2012 (haha, really planning ahead, I know). I've read good things about it, and since I already know I like KDW, I hope I will enjoy The Birds' Christmas Carol. As far as I know, this book has not been made into a movie, but I could definitely be wrong. I was recently given a Kindle as a very generous birthday gift from a family that I babysit for (Thank you Bells!). I have always thought I would not be a big e-reader person (Jake has a kindle, and I have tried it a few times), but I am finding out that Kindles definitely have their selling points. One of those being this: I can get books like The Birds' Christmas Carol for free on my Kindle because the copyright has expired. This way I can read it, and if I decide it is a favorite that I would like to own in an actual paper format, I can always buy it online, but for now, it's sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read in December, and I didn't have to pay a penny. Can't really beat that! Oh, and if I do end up buying this in paper form, I hope I can find this cover, because I think it is delightful! =)
Well, here ends my thoughts on Kate Douglass Wiggin. Hope you folks enjoyed! If anyone has any other recommendations of KDW literature, let me know! Hopefully I won't let quite so much time lapse between now and my next post. Maybe I will finish up this book vs. movie idea, and post about Pollyanna. Until then, happy reading (too cheesey?)!