Title: The Willoughbys
Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Author Website: www.loislowry.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
Challenge: 100 Books 10
Abandoned by their ill-humored parents to the care of an odious nanny, Tim, the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister, Jane, attempt to fulfill their roles as good old-fashioned children. Following the models set in lauded tales from A Christmas Carol to Mary Poppins, the four Willoughbys hope to attain their proscribed happy ending too, or at least a satisfyingly maudlin one. However, it is an unquestionably ruthless act that sets in motion the transformations that lead to their salvation and to happy endings for not only the four children, but their nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate, and his long-lost son too. Replete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography, this hilarious and decidedly old-fashioned parody pays playful homage to classic works of children’s literature.
I read The Willoughbys on a recommendation of a friend from LT (Linda (whisper1) - thanks!), and I'm so glad that I did! It's quite a delightful, tongue in cheek poke at all the old-fashioned children's books (think Mary Poppins and the like). She mixes in all the requisite elements: sinister parents, orphans, a kind nanny, possibly impossible developments for our heroes of the story, a benevolent benefactor and a happy ending, and creates a hilarious modern day parody of those beloved books of yesterday. Not taking itself too seriously, The Willoughbys is just the right book to read when you need to get away to a guaranteed good time and a happy ending.