Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Tea with Old Friends

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Who Were They Really?:The True Stories Behind Famous Characters. (1999)

This amusing and well illustrated book briefly tells the stories of a variety of beloved literary characters, including Misty of Chincoteague, Paddington Bear, Betsy-Tacy, Peter Pan, and others. There are brief descriptions of the authors' lives, and the people or animals they knew who drove them to create their fictional characters. I knew some of the stories, but it was nice to have such a thorough overview. I especially appreciated the tact with which the story of Alice in Wonderland was told. I'm not sure that this would be a big hit with my students, but parents who have shared most of these stories with their children would certainly find this a fun book to read with those children. It's not a bad starting point to introduce classic literature to young readers, either! (My children were all huge Beatrix Potter fans; sometimes I think this was because the books were so appealingly small!)

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