Monthly Archives: March 2017

Swiss Family Robinson

Swiss Family Robinson by Mary Godolphin

Swiss Family Robinson by Mary Godolphin

All the excitement, danger, heartbreaks and triumphs of this well known story, but without the big words. Lucy Aikin, an accomplished writer and writing as Mary Godolphin, accomplishes this with apparent ease in this little book. The story of a plucky family ship wrecked on a desolate island, saving what they can from the ship, is well known. The entire family, under the leadership of an intrepid father and mother works together to not only survive in this island, but actually prosper. This work would seem an excellent one for English as a second language speakers to improve their skill in English.

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More William

More William by Richmal Crompton

More William by Richmal Crompton

The second of Crompton’s series of 39 books about William Brown, our cheeky 11 year-old protagonist. A hero to some, a dastardly villain to others, this book is structured round a year in his life. Starting with William waking up on Christmas morning and ending with him going to sleep the following Christmas Eve, there are the usual round of misadventures, misunderstandings, and general mayhem in between. When a boy like William wakes up under a motto that says “A Busy Day Is A Happy Day” alongside a copy of “Things A Boy Can Do”, chaos is just around the corner. Includes the very first William short story – “Rice Mould”. Often dismissed as children’s literature, the first few books of William stories were probably aimed more at an adult audience. They resonate with a distinctly English humor, but there are obvious echoes from ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’.

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Tarzan the Terrible

Tarzan the Terrible by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan the Terrible by Edgar Rice Burroughs

In the previous novel, during the early days of World War I, Tarzan discovered that his wife Jane was not killed in a fire set by German troops, but was in fact alive. In this novel two months have gone by and Tarzan is continuing to search for Jane. He has tracked her to a hidden valley called Pal-ul-don, which means “Land of Men.” In Pal-ul-don Tarzan finds a real Jurassic Park filled with dinosaurs, notably the savage Triceratops-like Gryfs, which unlike their prehistoric counterparts are carnivorous. The lost valley is also home to two different races of tailed human-looking creatures, the Ho-don (hairless and white skinned) and the Waz-don (hairy and black-skinned). Tarzan befriends Ta-den, a Ho-don warrior, and Om-at, the Waz-don chief of the tribe of Kor-ul-ja. In this new world he becomes a captive but so impresses his captors with his accomplishments and skills that they name him Tarzan-Jad-Guru (Tarzan the Terrible), which is the name of the novel (Introduction by Wikipedia)

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The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

Robin Hood is the archetypal English folk hero; a courteous, pious and swashbuckling outlaw of the mediæval era who, in modern versions of the legend, is famous for robbing the rich to feed the poor and fighting against injustice and tyranny. He operates with his “seven score” (140 strong) group of fellow outlawed yeomen – named the Merry Men. He and his band are usually associated with Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire.

The Victorian era generated its own distinct versions of Robin Hood. The traditional tales were often adapted for children, most notably in Howard Pyle’s Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. These versions firmly stamp Robin as a staunch philanthropist, a man who takes from the rich to give to the poor. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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Robinson Crusoe – in Words of One Syllable

Robinson Crusoe - in Words of One Syllable by Mary Godolphin

Robinson Crusoe – in Words of One Syllable by Mary Godolphin

Mary Godolphin was the pseudonym of Lucy Aikin who undertook translating great literature into single-syllable words so that young readers could enjoy plots that were considerably more interesting than, say, the McGuffey readers or the “Dick and Jane” primers. She produced this volume based on Daniel Defoe’s most famous work, considered by many to be the first English novel.

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