I just finished reading the last chapter of this book to my kids at lunch today, and I feel a little bit sad that we’re done with the series.
I enjoyed the series so much, I keep looking for more biographical information about Edward Eager (the fact that he was an Ohioan is especially intriguing to me; I kind of collect Ohioans), but there’s just not much information out there about him.
At any rate, my children and I loved this book. I think I liked The Time Garden a little better, but the chapter in this one where Grannie got her wish almost edged out all of the other books in the series. The kids and I read that while curled up together on my bed, and the story of Grannie’s courtship (and the fact that that’s the moment she chose to revisit) brought tears to my eyes. The other chapters were somewhat less poignant, but they all dealt a great deal with cooperation, personal sacrifice, and the challenges of friendship (and family relationships), which are subjects I like to discuss with my kids.
Before we read this series, my daughter only wanted non-magical stories. She liked talking animals (Wilbur and Charlotte, Babe and Fly) and gave special dispensation to the Magic Tree House books because they dealt with history, but she mostly claimed magic was too unrealistic. Eager’s books helped her start to enjoy the process of suspending her disbelief and just immersing herself in the story. We’ve since read Edith Nesbit’s The Complete Book of Dragons, and she’s now working her way through the Harry Potter series. It’s quite a big change for a girl who six months ago turned her nose up at any book that remotely smelled of magic.