The Peterkin Papers
Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks
Date: January 2006
Duration: 4 hours 27 minutes
Originally appearing as a series of short stories in a children's magazine, The Peterkin Papers is a collection of tales of a hysterically inept family named The Peterkins.
The Peterkin's unfortunate lack of common sense causes hilarious unintended consequences nearly everytime they have an idea. The Peterkins muddle through life's challenges with love and cooperation, but when they come to their wits' end, they know they need help. The Peterkins decide to consult the wise, sensible ""Lady from Philadelphia"" who manages to extricate them from their troubles with sensible commonplace solutions.
Table of Contents
Chapter 01: The Lady Who Put Salt In Her Coffee
Chapter 02: About Elizabeth Eliza's Piano
Chapter 03: The Peterkins Try To Become Wise
Chapter 04: Solomon John's Book
Chapter 05: Mrs. Peterkin Wishes To Go To Drive
Chapter 06: The Peterkins At Home. At Dinner
Chapter 07: Why The Peterkins Had A Late Dinner
Chapter 08: The Peterkins' Summer Journey
Chapter 09: The Peterkins Snowed-Up
Chapter 10: The Peterkins Decide To Keep A Cow
Chapter 11: The Peterkins' Christmas-Tree
Chapter 12: Mrs. Peterkin's Tea-Party
Chapter 13: The Peterkins Too Late For The Exhibition
Chapter 14: The Peterkins Celebrate The Fourth Of July
Chapter 15: The Peterkins' Picnic
Chapter 16: The Peterkins' Charades
Chapter 17: The Peterkins Are Obliged To Move
Chapter 18: The Peterkins Decide To Learn The Languages
Chapter 19: Modern Improvements At The Peterkins'
Chapter 20: Agamemnon's Career
Chapter 21: The Educational Breakfast
Chapter 22: The Peterkins At The ""Carnival Of Authors"" In Boston
Chapter 23: The Peterkins At The Farm
Lucretia P. Hale
Lucretia Peabody Hale (1820-1900) was a successful novelist, journalist and served as a member of the Boston School Committee. Born in Boston to a newspaper publisher father, Hale developed her writing skills early on. One of eleven children, Hale came from a family of prominent writers, lawyers, politicians and ministers. Hale's childrens' stories are filled with humor and charm, entertaining for adults as well as children.
Reviews for Alcazar AudioWorks' production of The Peterkin Papers
The recommended age range for listening to The Peterkin Papers is ages 4-8, but really, I get as much of a kick out of listening to books read aloud as the kids do, especially amusing books about people who do even sillier things than we do! (And we've had some doozies...)
Although the Peterkins seem to be quite sedate and conventional on the surface, and somewhat ambitious, at least when one looks at the names of their children (Agamemnon and Solomon John, for two of them), you start to get an idea of quirkiness when you hear their daughter's name, Elizabeth Eliza. And then, of course, there are the Little Boys who never are named other than ""the Little Boys"" as if they always do things together. Come to think of it, we have some of those around here.
Each of the chapters starts with a situation commonly found at home: buying and decorating a Christmas tree, moving, going shopping, going on a picnic, going on vacation, building a home library, going to a graduation, getting ""snowed up"" (though we call it ""snowed in"" at our house), and more.
But when the Peterkins are involved, no commonplace situation remains commonplace. Instead of sawing off the bottom of their too-tall Christmas tree, for example, they renovate Elizabeth Eliza's room on the second floor to accommodate the unexpected height of the tree on the floor below, leaving her with a large hump in the middle of her bedroom! And starting off for town, Mrs. Peterkin simply cannot get the horse to go, no matter what she tries. (Whipping the horse, and then whipping up a confection and feeding the confection to the horse are two things. As it turns out, what the horse really needed was to be untied from the hitching post!) When snowed in, they make all sorts of plans to stave off starvation (some of which frighten me, for they involve sawing holes in the side of their house... please don't let our small fry get any ideas from the listening!) only to find that the snow has stopped falling by afternoon and their milkman has arrived with the day's milk!
I kept finding myself holding my breath as an episode proceeded, starting out ""normal"" and getting more and more absurd as we went along... until, of course, the common-sense ending, usually rescuing the Peterkins from their folly in the nick of time. Quite often the rescuer is ""the Lady from Philadelphia,"" a lovely and gracious friend whom they often call on for help when they are perplexed.
I do love to hear a read aloud that's well done, with differing voices for the characters, and ""unabridged"" is one thing I look for in any literary product. You'll find both these qualities in this CD set from Alcazar AudioWorks.
Reviewed By: Virginia Jones - EHO Eclectic Homeschool Online